Food Trucks Start Your Engines

After a very public battle with Toronto’s licensing committee, the city has lessened restrictions on food truck operators. For years, food truck owners have had to deal with strict regulations limiting their ability to set up shop on Toronto streets.

Most food truck vendors are ecstatic about the new regulations, but many restaurant owners fear that the new regulations will hurt their businesses, this was the main reason the strict regulations were instituted in the first place.Following the lead of a number of big cities, the municipal licensing committee approved a city staff report to amend some of the strict rules, allowing for more food trucks on the roads and for longer periods of time.imgres-4

Here are some of the most important changes approved by the city:

  • The ‘restricted zone’ rule has been abolished. Food trucks are now able to operate anywhere in the city (but must park at least 50 meters away from an established restaurant).
  • Food trucks are allowed to park in one area for five hours at a time. Previously they were allowed to park for two hours or only 10 minutes when in a parking lot.
  • There is no longer a limit on the number of food trucks that can park on one block.  This is a big change from the previous two per block bylaw.

The new regulations are scheduled to take effect by the May long weekend.

But what about right here in Halton region?

There are several food truck operators that would love to set up shop on or around Sheridan’s campus. Currently, Oakville bylaws prohibit the sale of refreshments within 30 metres (100 feet) of the entrance/exit of any school ground. No licensee is allowed to stop on a roadway for the sale of refreshments unless it is necessary to service a construction site or work crew, and in no situation can the duration of the stop exceed 10 minutes.

But those rules may not last. “The current licensing bylaw is under review,” Vicki Tytaneck, acting clerk at the Town of Oakville, said.

Several Sheridan students have also voiced their opinions about the food options available on campus.

“Right now we’re limited to pretty much what’s in the cafeteria. If [Sheridan] brought in more options, it would be better for the students,” said Forest Wieler, a first year game design student.

Both York University and the University of Toronto allow food trucks on campus, offering a diverse selection of food options for students. As the food truck industry grows in popularity, hopefully the Town of Oakville and Sheridan College will follow suit.

If you want to track the whereabouts of your favourite food truck, visit Toronto Food Trucks for more information.

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