Latest food truck controversy pits Caplansky vs. parks
A pilot project to put food trucks in Toronto parks last summer fell through, but the fallout behind the failed project is still raging. That goes for organizer Suresh Doss, who's reportedly still out $36,000 in fees owed to him by food trucks - and now, it's true for chef/food truck owner Zane Caplansky, who landed in hot water after telling a Toronto Star reporter that people in parks are are more likely to be "unemployed" or "looking to score sex or drugs" than those hoping to buy food from a food truck.
Doss spearheaded the plan last summer to put 24 food trucks in five city parks over the lunch and dinner hour. The project, which was met with complaints from residents and lukewarm sales, lasted just a few months, and 10 of the food trucks left Doss holding the bag for their rental fees for the space.
One of the non-paying trucks was Caplansky's; the owner says the truck only took part in the project for only a couple of days, adding, "I think he has too much sense to ask me for money."
His controversial comments, which drew instantaneous backlash online Wednesday, were made by way of arguing that a public park is not the best place to host food trucks: "People who go in parks are unemployed people, people walking their dogs or people looking to score sex or drugs -- not people looking for food."
"I hate neither parks nor the people who use them," Caplansky wrote on his blog Wednesday night in an attempt to clear the air. "Food trucks in parks? Different story." He says he had concerns about the project from the beginning, with Doss committing to put a spread-thin lineup of city trucks in all five locations at lunch and dinner, serving already-light crowds in undertrafficked parks.
In terms of the remarks themselves, he says he regrets "any hurt feelings my out-of-context quote may have caused. Intended as a bit of humour, the words should have never come out of my mouth."
Photo by Natta Summerky
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