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Toronto's Food Trucks Debate No Longer In Neutral

Photo: Beach Boys Food Truck/Facebook

The war on bikes may just soon shift to food trucks. The Toronto Star reports that after seven years of dragging its heels and countless hours of public consultations, City Council, come mid-March, is expected to amend its bylaws to allow "food trucks to easily operate throughout Toronto." And with rumours that the trucks will be "free to operate between 20 to 50 metres of a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, provided parking is available," Leslie Smejkal, the vice-president government relations with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, is miffed. Though Smejkal agrees that food trucks have a place in the GTA, she says they "should not compete in close proximity to brick and mortar restaurants and should not occupy metered parking essential to local residents visiting restaurants, retailers and professional service providers." The tension between food trucks and restaurateurs is nothing new, but will an increase in food trucks also gum up Toronto's already maddening vehicular congestion? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, food truck activists like Zane Caplansky (Caplansky's Delicatessen) are hardly jumping for joy: "That the city has been so slow to react is frustrating."
· Toronto street-food rules might finally be cooking [Toronto Star]