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Real City Matters

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politics

Toronto Is Taking Another Look at Food Truck Bylaws

The City is once again aiming to make its streets a friendlier place for food vendors.

Operating a food truck in Toronto can be a complicated business: you’re not allowed to set up shop in the majority of Toronto streets; you can’t work for longer than 10 minutes in a privately owned parking lot; you can’t settle yourself in a side street; and you’re forbidden from selling your wares within 25 metres of a restaurant that deals in a similar kind of food.

It certainly doesn’t help that as things stand now, food vending is regulated by six different bylaws.

The City is once again ready to take on the food truck issue (its last attempt, which resulted in the “A La Cart” program, was not a success)—proposals discussed at the first of two planned public consultations included extending the time a truck is permitted to remain in one place, increasing an operation’s maximum space allowance, and making permits easier to acquire.

These suggestions, and ones arising from the second public session scheduled for January 20, should lead to a proposal involving one harmonized street food vending bylaw. Staff will then present this proposed bylaw to the City’s licensing and standards committee in March, which means that more straightforward rules (and perhaps more food trucks) could be in place by summer.

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