TORONTO, CANADA – Toronto’s latest attempt to give people delicious food truck options passed Tuesday with a healthy side of optimism.

Council voted 43-1 to reduce the distance that food trucks must stay away from restaurants, from 50 metres to 30 metres. City staff say the change will open up hundreds of on-street “pay-and-display” spots for mobile vendors.

“Finally we are giving Torontonians what they want, what they have been asking for ages,” exulted Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon. “Finally we are freeing the food trucks.”

Josh Colle, another councillor who has pushed the city to give residents alternatives to hamburgers and French fries, said: “Everyone realized the world’s not going to fall apart by having a few more fish tacos served on the street.”

The 30-metre rule is the result of compromise between food truck operators, who originally wanted no buffer at all, and restaurant owner representatives who said their businesses were threatened by competition from trucks closer than 50 metres.

“This is progress,” said Zane Caplansky, owner of Caplansky’s deli on College St. as well as the Thunderin’ Thelma food truck.

“This is a huge day for street food in the city of Toronto.”

“Restaurants have nothing to fear from food trucks,” he said, adding that next year he will push to shrink the buffer to 15 metres.

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