Toronto is getting pedal-powered mobile bars this summer but there's a catch
If there are two things Toronto loves, biking and drinking on patios are easily near the top of the list.
Soon, people will be able to combine both of these beloved activities, as Toronto City Council has overwhelmingly approved cycle-powered mobile bars to begin operating this summer. Sort of.
The Pedal Pub era is about to begin in Toronto, or at least the era of the Pedal Pub Pilot Program, with council voting 21-2 in favour of testing out the bars on wheels during a Wednesday morning session.
Toronto's government and licensing committee greenlit the pilot back in May, setting the spoked wheels in motion for a final appearance at city council on Wednesday.
The council motion passing means that the city will officially opt-in to pilot large quadricycles, though this comes with amendments to the City of Toronto Municipal Code to recognize and classify the vehicle type, as well as some very specific rules guiding how these large pedal-powered tour vehicles will be allowed to operate.
Probably the biggest caveat, and the most Toronto-style appeasement of concerned politicians, is that the pedal pubs won't actually serve any alcohol, completely eliminating the entire selling point and replacing it with multiple stops at licensed drinking establishments.
Pedal pubs are a go. Council votes 21-2 to APPROVE a pilot to license pedal pubs on Toronto streets this summer. In a couple of very Toronto twists, staff will get a chance to approve all routes, and there won’t be any booze aboard. https://t.co/aTmtPXLRx3— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) June 15, 2022
Pedal pubs — if you can even still call them that without booze — will only be allowed to operate on roads pre-cleared by Transportation Services, which can be revoked with 48 hours' notice.
There are also regulations on how many of these quadricycles will be permitted to operate and with how many passengers.
Single-year licenses will be granted, allowing companies to operate no more than eight pedicab licences for large quadricycles, with a maximum of 16 passengers per pedicab, and no more than four pedicab licences to be issued for large quadricycles for any single operating company.
Pedal Pub lobbyists had hoped to have the service up and running by May 2021, though due to continued pandemic restrictions and glacial pace of approvals at city hall, these massive quadricycles have yet to be unleashed on Toronto roads.
Their imminent arrival — a website is now accepting tour bookings — means Toronto tourists will have a new way to get out and see the city this summer, but anyone expecting to enjoy refreshments on the go will likely be disappointed with this non-alcoholic facsimile of the popular party bike experiences found in cities around the world
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