Food Trucks React to Toronto's New Street Vendor Laws
After years of deliberating what to do with food trucks in Toronto, the City of Toronto recently approved a new set of bylaws to ease some of the restrictions that have been haunting street vendors for years.
Starting May 15, Toronto's gourmet food trucks will finally be allowed to roam the city, sort of. The new bylaw gives trucks some wiggle room in where they can park. Currently food trucks are limited to operating out of private spaces (such as Sony Centre, #10baySt, #lot110) and events. By purchasing a mobile food vending permit ($5,066.69/year or $13.88/day) on May 15 they'll be able to utilize pay-and-display parking spots throughout the city with a few exceptions.
The most important rules to note;
- Trucks are not allowed to park within 50 linear metres of an open and operating restaurant.
- Limited to two food trucks per block.
- Trucks can vend for a maximum of three hours, subject to parking regulations.
In addition to parking at pay-and-display spots, licensed commercial parking lots are also up for grabs (there are over 50 in the city). Currently food trucks are limited to a maximum of 10 minutes of service time in a parking lot.
The new set of changes comes with a storm of criticism from the public and food truckers. Some of which are directed toward the 50 metre rule, which limits where the trucks can park in a densely packed restaurant core, and the limited number of permits the city will be issuing this month (125 permits in total, but 27 have already been reserved to grandfathered ice cream and chip trucks). There's also a lot of debate among truckers on how quickly these permits will be taken up on May 15 by potential franchises that are carefully eyeing Toronto's street-food scene.
We went to the truckers themselves to ask them what they thought about the new set of bylaws and what it means for street food in Toronto.