UPDATED: Toronto relaxes food truck restrictions with a new pilot program in five city parks

UPDATED: Toronto relaxes food truck restrictions with a new pilot program in five city parks

Steve's Catering (Image: hobvias sudoneighm)
 

Operating a food truck in Toronto is a tricky enterprise. On top of the brutal winters, fledgling truck owners have to wade through a quagmire of bureaucratic nonsense and shell out tons of cash in order to serve food anywhere near the downtown core. Even then the options are limited: a 2002 moratorium on licenses means curbside spots are restricted to old-school vendors, like the ancient Steve’s Catering and Mr. Tasty Fries trucks outside city hall, while newer trucks are confined to private property only—provided the owner gives permission and the area is zoned for commercial use. Now the exciting news: for August and September only, a new pilot program is easing restrictions, allowing a fleet of Toronto trucks to hock lobster rolls and tricked out poutines at five parks: Woodbine Park at Queen and Coxwell, Sherbourne Common at Queens Quay and Sherbourne, Roundhouse Park at Spadina and the Gardiner, Canoe Landing Park at Bathurst and Lakeshore and Allan Gardens at Jarvis and Gerrard. The list of participating vendors includes relative vets like Caplansky’s, The Food Dudes and Urban Smoke BBQ, as well as new vendors Bestia and Beach Boys. [CityNews]

UPDATE: Things may be looking up for the city’s trucks. According to city councillor and food truck cheerleader Mary-Margaret McMahon, the two-month pilot program has now been extended indefinitely. McMahon has also been appointed to the licensing and standards committee, which will review a staff report on the city’s stance on roaming restaurants next spring. [Newstalk 1010]