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food-trucks toronto

TORONTO, CANADA - More food trucks will likely soon be on Toronto’s streets following a council vote Thursday night.

In a 34-3 decision, councillors voted in favour of new regulations aimed at loosing restrictions for street food vendors in the city.

Under the new rules, food trucks will be allowed to set up in a pay-and-display parking spot for up to three hours. Trucks can only operate for three hours in a 24-hour period, however, and only two trucks can operate on the same block at the same time.

Additionally, trucks must keep at least 50 metres away from a licensed restaurant that is open and operating. The condition does not apply when a food truck is parked on private property or in one of 58 licensed parking lots, however.

While the new program is not perfect, it’s an improvement, according to one local vendor.

“It’s better than it was,” food truck operator Zane Caplansky said of the new program. “It’s progress, it’s a step forward, and I think it’s something that we can look at as baby steps, but not certainly the victory we wanted.”

The city will issue 125 permits this year to vendors, including the 27 food trucks already operating.

Find the entire article at cp24.com <here>

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toronto food trucks on street

TORONTO, CANADA - Council has yet to swallow any changes to the city’s street food rules.

Despite spending several hours debating the licensing committee’s proposal to slice and dice the red tape around Toronto’s food truck industry, councillors failed to wrap up the debate Wednesday.

The debate is expected to continue Thursday but it isn’t clear whether council will be able to digest the changes or end up chewing them up and spitting them out.

Food truck advocates Councillors Josh Colle and Mary-Margaret McMahon predicted it is going to be a close vote.

“It seems we just move at a snail’s pace sometimes,” Colle said after council finished Tuesday night without finishing the food truck debate.

A fight is expected on the council floor around how far away from an existing restaurant a food truck must be before it can serve food. City staff have recommended a 50 metre rule. If approved food trucks would only be able to operate in street parking spots that are at least that far away from the nearest restaurant.

Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday he was in favour of reducing the restrictions.

“The less red tape the better,” Ford said.

Find the entire article at torontosun.com <here>

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rob ford toronto mayorTORONTO, CANADA - Supporters of Toronto’s food truck movement have a new — if unexpected — ally at city hall: Mayor Rob Ford.

The mayor was asked about the new street food bylaw recommendations from city staff.

Ford said he supports loosening the notoriously restrictive rules and that the latest proposal doesn’t go far enough.

At present, food trucks aren’t allowed to sell on city streets. They can sell in private parking lots, but only for 10 minutes at a time. The new regulations, which will go to council next month, would allow trucks to set up anywhere with “pay and display” street parking provided venders are 50 metres away from a bricks and mortar restaurant.

But there’s a catch.

City staff has also said that Business Improvement Areas — which are largely made up of restaurant owners — and local councillors can request that food trucks be banned from their neighbourhoods.

Ford said that restriction could jeopardize the point of the review, which was to make it easier for food truck drivers to operate.

Find the entire article at thestar.com <here>

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toronto food trucksTORONTO, CANADA - Toronto food truck owners are unhappy with the long-awaited liberalization proposal unveiled by city bureaucrats on Monday, saying it gives an unfair near-veto to established restaurateurs who want to keep them away.

The proposal is intended to launch a street food renaissance. It would allow the trucks to sell food from all “pay-and-display” parking spots on city roads — for the first time — as long as they stay 50 meters or more from a restaurant and 30 meters or more from school property.

That is a major victory for a food truck movement that has long struggled under a repressive regulatory regime. But the proposal would also permit councilors or local Business Improvement Areas — made up of bricks-and-mortar establishments — to ask the city to ban the trucks from a particular area.

If the city agreed, the truck owner would have to file an appeal. A final decision would be made by the local community council, made up of councilors from the general area.

BIAs would have even more power over applications to operate trucks from streets without “pay-and-display” spots. The proposed bylaw says the city “shall” reject the applications if the BIA objects. Those battles, too, would have to be settled at community council.

Caplansky’s Deli owner Zane Caplansky, who also operates a food truck, said he will take legal action against the city if the “ridiculous” BIA provision is approved.

“That provision will gut the entire initiative,” Caplansky said.

“The BIAs are caving to the restaurants who don’t want the food trucks there. Therefore, what BIA is going to let us set up where we need to set up, which is where the people are?” said Scott Fraser, co-owner of the Hogtown Smoke barbecue truck.

“What they’re going to do is give us a little hole-in-the-wall parking lot, a mile and a half away from the nearest office building.”

Find the entire article at thestar.com <here>

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regina canadaREGINA, CANADA - Rob Reinhardt hasn’t decided if he is going to operate his food truck this season in downtown Regina if the city’s proposed fee increase for a permit is approved.

Reinhardt, owner of Prairie Smoke and Spice, thinks the overall cost of $1,775 for operating downtown is too high and could reduce the number of vendors at the City Square Plaza this summer.

“I’m not thrilled about it,” he said.

Today, the city’s public works committee will discuss the proposed changes. Last year, food vendors could pay $500 for a mobile licence to operate across the city at parking meters and an additional $600 for access to the plaza.

The proposed $1,775 overall cost includes $1,400 for a city permit, $250 for membership with the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District and $125 for an annual SaskPower gas system inspection.

The $1,400 city permit includes a $700 annual permit fee, $600 for parking, electrical service and maintenance at the plaza and $100 for 100 hours at parking meters, according to a city report. The report explains that the $1,400 flat fee will “incentivize vendor attendance, especially in the downtown to maximize their investment.”

Find the entire article at leaderpost.com <here>

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montreal food trucks

Photograph by: Allen McInnis, The Gazette

MONTREAL, CANADA - The warm weather will come back to Montreal’s streets, and when it does, so will Montreal’s food trucks.

The downtown Ville-Marie borough says the popular food trucks will be back on the streets sometime in May.

“Their creativity and originality not only won over thousands of Montreal, but also contributed to the distinctive character of Montreal’s culinary offerings,” said mayor Denis Coderre in a statement.

The mayor says there will be more choices this year as well.

The food trucks, and the food truck locations, are due to be made known sometime in mid-March.

Find the original article at cjad.com <here>

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black marketVANCOUVER, CANADA - Vancouver City Hall has halted new food cart applications for 2014 after realizing some venders were flipping their permits by using a “loophole” that allows card holders to sub-lease their licenses.

According to a letter sent last month to street venders, city street activities co-ordinator Alan Rockett said council would be asked to ban the so-called “renting” of street vending permits.

The proposal would additionally limit the number of permits each business can have.

The city currently has 138 food cart permits issued.

The recommendations are expected to go to council in February.

Coun. Kerry Jang said on Tuesday the subletting problem is an issue that wasn’t foreseen when the city’s food cart program was first set up in 2010.

“Somebody would get a couple of licenses and sublet it to somebody else at a higher profit, that’s sort of a loophole,” he said.

“So somebody would pay a $1,000 fee (to the city), and say, ‘Hey, I got two. So here you can have (one) at $10,000.’”

Staff, he added, had also been tasked to monitor the program also to ensure “brick-and-mortar” businesses weren’t being impacted unfairly by the street venders.

According to city hall, applications for the street vending program are assessed based on food safety requirements, business plans, ingredients used, among other factors.

Find the original article at vancouver.24hrs.ca <here>

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Halifax OvalHALIFAX, CANADA - There is no question that The Oval provides a great opportunity for the people to get outside and be active during the winter months. Now in its third season, The Oval continues to attract more people to the centre of the city to skate, socialize and snack on local food fare. Pastry, that is.

That’s right. You’ll find your food-buying options fairly limited at The Oval. As far as vendors go, there’s Beaver Tails, and…Beaver Tails. If you’re not in the mood for chocolate-covered-maple-sugar-dough-bombs, too bad.

The fact that Beaver Tails is the only food vendor at The Oval is not indicative of a latent connection between ice skating and pastry eating, but rather of the city’s unfamiliarity with how the mobile food industry actually works. In 2012, the city issued a Request for Proposal to the Mobile Food Services, offering local businesses a chance to compete for a coveted spot at The Oval.

I’m co-owner of The Food Wolf, a food truck. After reviewing the RFP for food at The Oval, I was left with the overwhelming impression that it was written with one specific aim in mind—to exclude food trucks, the very businesses it proposes to attract.

Here’s why: For one, the RFP stipulates that prospective vendors would be required to hardwire their trucks’ electrical systems into permanent outlets. Call this a conceptual difference, but this requirement manages to take the mobile out of mobile. Food trucks typically operate on generators, or plug into available onsite outlets (outlets that the city has already paid to install!). That way, we can, quite literally, just roll up and do business.

Secondly, the RFP states that food service at The Oval be open daily from 10:30am-8:30pm, but the nature of the mobile food industry is, yes, mobility. We move around, go where the customers are. This is not only the essence of the business, this is how our businesses survive. If we’re at The Oval each day, all day, we’re not anywhere else. We are no longer a roving restaurant, we’re just a food stand in a parked vehicle. And, on those bitterly cold days when The Oval is only populated by a handful of winter diehards, we’re a food stand losing money by the minute. The Oval closes for daily maintenance for several hours a day. At other times, it’s only open to members of the speed-skating community. In a nutshell, it makes no sense for us to be open all day daily, because the guarantee of a regular, or even sporadic, customer-base, just isn’t there.

After catching the after-dinner crowd at Squiggle Park (Falkland and Gottingen Streets), we’d happily relocate to serve evening skaters at The Oval. The problem is, if we’re one place, we can’t be another. And, the only way we can provide the high-quality food that we do is to ensure that we have a higher sales volume. We want to provide better-quality food to our customers, therefore, we need an infrastructure that supports this. Turning out cheap, shitty food is not our mandate, but unfortunately, the current RFP seems to support only this.

Find the entire article by Natalie Chavarie at thecoast.ca <here>

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OTTAWA, CANADA — Four out of seven food carts that were expected to hit the streets in May have been delayed.

ottawa food cart locations

Philip Powell, the city’s manager of licensing and permits, said three carts have been delayed because they are waiting for a safety inspection.

The fourth cart has been delayed because its business owners are searching for a facility to prepare their food after the one they lined up backed out.

“It’s a new enterprise, a new business for these folks and they are just working through the process,” Powell said.

Gavin Hall hopes to operate BoBites, a cart that has been approved to sell organic baked potatoes with seasonal toppings near Metcalfe and Sparks streets. He said the process of getting up and running has been a roller coaster.

“Everything looks good and then it’s a no,” Hall said. “It’s just these teeny little obstacles.”

Recently he was delayed because he didn’t have a safety certification sticker on his oven, he said.

An oversight by the company Hall bought the oven from led to the delivery of the appliance without the sticker.

Find the entire article by Meghan Hurley at The Ottawa Citizen <here>

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According to the Sabra website, you can Dip Life to the Fullest!! Sabra has launched a nationwide Dip Life to the Fullest Tour where they bring the fresh flavors of Sabra to cities across America and Canada in their gourmet food trucks. At their tour stops, you’ll have the opportunity to taste Sabra’s delicious hummus and choose from some of our favorite toppings like Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper on their toppings bar!

sabra food truckSABRA FOOD TRUCK TOUR SCHEDULE

Truck 1

  • San Antonio/C.C., TX Feb 27 – April 21
  • Austin, TXApril 25 – May 29
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX May 31 – July 11
  • Houston, TX July 26 – Sept 5
  • Chicago, IL Sept 11 – Oct 20

Truck 2

  • Cincinnati/Dayton, OH March 19 – April 19
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN April 24 – June 16
  • Detroit, MI June 21 – July 4
  • Cincinnati/Dayton, OH July 30 – Aug 7
  • Detroit, MI Aug 10 – Sept 11
  • Cleveland, OH Sept 13 – Oct 3

Truck 3

  • Baltimore/D.C., MD March 20 – April 14
  • New Orleans/ B. Rouge, LA April 19 – May 30
  • Birmingham/Mont, AL June 5 – June 16
  • Birmingham/Mont., AL July 17 – July 28
  • Atlanta, GA Aug 1 – Sept 11
  • Baltimore/D.C., MD Sept 14 – Oct 11

Truck 4

  • Boston, MA April 11 – May 9
  • New York, NY May 23 – July 7
  • Springfield, MA July 26 – Aug 15
  • Hartford, CT Aug 19 – Sept 6
  • Providence, RI Sept 10 – Oct 5
  • Boston, MA Oct 9 – Oct 24
  • New York, NY Oct 25 – Nov 11

Truck 5

  • San Diego, CA April 17 – May 26
  • Denver, CO May 31 – July 11
  • Los Angeles, CA July 16 – Aug 24
  • Portland, OR Aug 31 – Oct 10
  • San Francisco/Oakland, CA Oct 15 – Nov 16

Truck 6

  • Buffalo, NY April 24 – June 2
  • Pittsburgh, PA June 6 – July 17
  • Harrisburg/Scranton, PA July 31 – Sept 1
  • Philadelphia, PA Sept 5 – Oct 16

FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER FOR CONTANT UPDATES

@SabraTruck1 San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Chicago

@SabraTruck2 Cincinnati, Dayton, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Detroit, Cleveland

@SabraTruck3 Baltimore, D.C., New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Atlanta

@SabraTruck4 Boston, New York, Springfield, Hartford, Providence

@SabraTruck5 San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland

@SabraTruck6 Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton, Philadelphia

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