OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Some of Ottawa’s food trucks are returning to the streets for the summer but some owners and operators of the trucks have mixed reviews about how the city is running the food truck program.

Steven Dupras is the co-owner of the Red Roaster truck in the Glebe and was part of the 17 food trucks and carts added to the streets of Ottawa last year. He said it is frustrating how the city assigns the trucks a spot for the summer and are not allowed to move.

“But why does it have wheels then,” questioned Dupras.

The city’s street food vending program established street spots for vendors to sell meals between 11a.m. and 5:30p.m. Each vendor has a designated permit for a particular spot that must be at least at 46 metres from another food provider such as a restaurant.

Tarek Hassan, owner of the Gungfu Bao cart on Elgin Street at Slater Street, said that the truck operators need to learn how each location works to make the most money.

“You access a very specific market when you’re in that location and at a certain time of day during the week,” said the steamed-bun maker.

Hassan usually sticks around his location until 3 p.m. for late lunch lines. He hopes to find another location for the weekends or a new way to exploit his current spot on Saturdays and Sundays.

Food trucks voicing concerns

Food truck operators have now gathered and created an association, the Capital Street Food Association, to better voice their concerns to city officials.

The purpose is to have a single voice discuss problems and challenges with the city as well as with event organizers, according to Dupras.

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