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Today in unsurprising news: Toronto food truckers hate the city’s new food-truck rules

Today in unsurprising news: Toronto food truckers hate the city’s new food-truck rules
Buster’s Sea Cove owners Tom Antonarakis and Quinten Tran outside their truck. (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Earlier this week, Zagat Toronto canvassed a group of popular Toronto-area food truckers to see how they feel about the new food-truck bylaws approved by city council earlier this spring. (For those in need of a refresher, the new rules looked sort of liberating at first glance, and then not-so-liberating on closer perusal, mainly because they hiked the cost of permits up to $5,000 and granted Toronto restaurants a collective 50-metre restraining order against all food trucks.) Unsurprisingly, Toronto truckers don’t seem to be particularly enthusiastic about the rules. What is sort of surprising is how many of them have decided to bow out of the new licensing scheme altogether.

Out of the eight trucks surveyed by Zagat, seven of them—including big names like Fidel Gastro, Buster’s Sea Cove and El Gastronomo Vagabundo—said they probably wouldn’t be investing in a new permit. “To pay more than $5,000 for this frustration seems ludicrous to me,” said Graeme Smith, operator of the Gorilla Cheese truck. “I can’t help but feel like the program in Toronto was designed to fail.”

That’s our Toronto: alienating mobile food vendors since 2009.

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