Change is on the horizon for the burgeoning food truck industry in Toronto. It remains to be seen whether the changes will suit food truck operators, however. On March 18th, the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee approved a vote that would relax current restrictions on food tucks. Those in the City of Toronto (Wards 20, 27, 28) will see food trucks legally operating at-will on the streets for the first time as early as Victoria Day weekend.
The ability for local BIAs and city councillors to form “restricted zones” through an appeal process was removed from the proposal. Meanwhile, food trucks will now be permitted to operate in private parking lots for up to five hours. Under current bylaws, vendors can park for a maximum of 10 minutes.
The licensing committee has also proposed that food trucks will have unlimited access to “pay and display” parking zones, as long as they’re not within 50 metres of a restaurant or 30 metres of a school or religious building. Posted guidelines, including a three-hour maximum, will apply for these spots.
A vendor permit will run operators $5,067, an astronomical cost considering a city like Vancouver charges a mere $307.06 for their roaming food vending permit.
The proposed bylaws will loosen the noose that’s currently suffocating the growth of an industry that has boomed in other major North American cities. Though, as it stands it may not be enough to satisfy the desires of local food truck operators.
Zane Caplansky owns both a food truck and a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Caplansky’s Deli on College Street. He claims the permit fee and 50 metre restrictions are “ridiculous.” He says, “The benefits are obvious. Better street food, more choices, better value.”
A modified proposal will reach the council floor for a vote on April 1st.
What are your thoughts on the proposed food truck regulations? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.