Food trucks: new rules approved by council

City council approves new rules to allow food trucks to operate in the city with certain restrictions.

Rolling food vendors must stay 50 metres away from restaurants

City council on Thursday approved new rules for city food trucks. They have to stay 50 metres away from a restaurant. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Pulled pork, corned beef, smoked meat, whatever your taste, you'll soon be able order it from a food truck in Toronto.

After months of wrangling about the issue, city council voted Thursday night to allow food trucks to operate on Toronto streets, with certain restrictions:

  • Trucks won't be allowed within 50 metres of restaurants, a rule that puts much of the downtown core off limits.
  • The trucks are allowed to park at pay-and-display spots on city streets and operate in private parking lots.
  • The total number of trucks allowed on city streets is capped at 125.
  • Operators will have to pay an annual fee of just over $5,000.
  • There's a three-hour time limit to how long trucks can park in one spot.
  • Business Improvement Areas will be allowed to establish restricted zones where the trucks can't operate.
  • No more than two trucks can operate on any city block at once.

The city plans to review the rules a year from now to see how they're working.

Zane Caplansky owns a truck that serves Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches. He's not happy about the 50-metre restriction but says the new rules are a good first step.

"Fifty metres is really problematic because it's going to be hard to find that many spots in the city, but they're gave us in front of city hall," he said. "I think we're going to find some great places and really show people what food trucks can do."

The new trucks are expected to be cleared to operate by Victoria Day weekend in May.


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