Toronto food truck restrictions loosened by City Hall
The food truck rules in Toronto just got a tiny bit friendlier to mobile vendors. A year after the city instituted new rules that allowed food truck owners to operate in downtown parking spaces, council has voted to further relax the permit system Mayor John Tory called "byzantine" in a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade last week.
The new rules will allow food trucks to operate 30 metres from an open and operating restaurant, down from 50 metres, and remain in place for five hours in every 24 hour period, up from three. Trucks will be allowed to use 5 square metres of sidewalk for business purposes. A year ago, space was capped at 3.48 sq. m.
In slightly less exciting news, the changes also permit food truck owners to place garbage and recycling bins on the sidewalk, provided they don't block pedestrians, and allow the same person to hold more than one permit should they own multiple trucks.
There are currently 195 licensed "food trucks," a definition that includes coffee, hot dog, french fry, and gourmet food trucks, according to the city, and 143 ice cream trucks. It's estimated the license fees will bring in $139,783 in revenue for Toronto in 2015.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti worried that "monster" food trucks would block brick-and-mortar restaurants and drive them out of business should the changes be passed. He was the lone vote against adopting the new rules, which will take effect May 14.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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