Food trucks in Montreal may soon be street legal

For the first time since 1947, Montrealers could soon be able to enjoy a hot dog or taco that came out of a truck — legally.
Grumman 78's food truck has already been operating for two years. (CBC)

For the first time since 1947, Montrealers could soon be able to enjoy a hot dog or taco served right out of a truck — legally.

Late Thursday afternoon the city’s commission on economic development made a series of recommendations allowing for the legalization of street food vendors.

"Today it’s a yes for street food in Montreal," said city councillor Véronique Fournier.

Food trucks have made a comeback in Montreal in recent years, despite strict rules prohibiting them from being on public property.

The existing rules permitted them to attend private events and to be invited into parks and spaces, but they haven’t been able to just set up shop wherever they pleased.

But popular events like last summer’s Just For Laughs souk on Ste-Catherine Street West between Jeanne-Mance and St-Urbain streets, and the First Fridays events on the esplanade at the Olympic Park have proven food trucks can be a boon to Montreal.

And so today’s news was welcomed by people like Gaëlle Cerf and Jacques Séguin, owners of Grumman 78 and Nouveau Palais, respectively.

They said it was a great step forward, and that a framework could be developed that would benefit all parties involved.

"I think we proved it in the last two years," Cerf said.

Among the recommendations proposed was a stipulation that all food trucks must have a production kitchen or restaurant, and that the trucks can’t stay on public property outside of closing hours.

Councillor Fournier said the next step is to have the city’s executive committee rubber stamp the proposal at the next city council meeting.

After that, a pilot project will look at what kinds of rules need to be established, and a regulatory framework is expected for 2015.