July 2013


Free the Food Trucks! Welcome news from the City...

We wanted to share the good news that the City will finally be allowing food trucks in public spaces starting August 1 for a two month pilot project. A number of food trucks will be rotating through five parks in different parts of the City!

Councillors McMahon and Colle have been pushing for a pilot since earlier this year when we met with members of the Toronto Street Food Project and food truck entrepreneurs. Find more information in their below. The councillors are still pushing for more locations and more trucks to be included. 

Please check out the trucks to support the street food pilot when it starts in a week. We hope this opens the discussion on even more street food possibilities for Toronto... and hope that City Licensing + Standards staff and Committee keep their word to finally resolve other issues like unfair fees for street food employees, and more spaces for innovative food carts and trucks to open up more opportunities for young and new Canadians.

We've been pushing for better street food and working with Councillors and partners for two of Food Forward's three years so far. Come celebrate our third anniversary with food + drink from a wide variety of awesome food ventures and mingle with some of Toronto's coolest food organizers. Get your ticket for August 7 now: http://foodtoeats.eventbrite.com/

For an opportunity to see the kind of street food we wanted legalized in Toronto, check out the innovative event Agak, Agak, Hawk! by our partner, the Chop Suzies, in Regent Park, August 9.

See you on the 7th!

 Media Advisory / Photo Opportunity:

Free the Food Trucks! City of Toronto Launches Pilot Program

TORONTO, July 24, 2013 - Starting August 1st and running for two months, food trucks will begin to operate in some of our parks around the City. Since early 2013, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) and Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence) have been urging the City to launch a pilot project that would see food trucks operating in more locations in the City. The Councillors have been pushing Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) to cut the red tape that has been holding back this sector of the food industry. Currently, food trucks are restricted to operating in private parking lots and at events, often facing large rental or participant fees, in addition to their City of Toronto permit, which does not allow them to sell on City property.

WHAT: Councillors Mary-Margaret McMahon and Josh Colle will be celebrating the launch of the City’s Food Truck Pilot Program with lunch at one of Toronto’s food trucks

WHERE: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall

WHEN: Thursday, July 25 at 12:15 P.M.

Food trucks and carts have been over-regulated in Toronto and this pilot project provides an opportunity to expand healthy and diverse food choices for Torontonians. Around the world, cities are embracing the power of street food to make their public spaces and urban culture more vibrant. Toronto is taking a step forward, but we are still far behind other cities such as Portland, Hamilton, New York, Dallas, and Vancouver, where food truck programs have been widely popular and a huge success.

"It is exciting that the City is taking these long overdue steps to support small businesses and entrepreneurs and to give residents the diverse food options that they clearly want," said Councillor Colle.

For the rest of the summer and part of the fall, a number of food trucks will begin to operate in five park locations: Woodbine Park, Sherbourne Commons, Roundhouse Park, Canoe Landing, and Allen Gardens. Some participating truck vendors include the following: The Feisty Jack, Urban Smoke BBQ, Stuft Gourmet Sausages, Caplansky's, Gourmet Gringos, Beach Boys, The Food Dudes, Pretty Sweet Bakery, Gourmet B1tches, Bestia, Crossroads Diner, Hogtown Smoke, Choco Churros, Tiny Tom Donus, and Localista.

"Animating our public spaces and bringing diversity to our culinary options will only add to the vibrancy of our terrific city! This has been a long time coming and we are very hopeful that this will evolve into a permanent program" said Councillor McMahon.

Councillors McMahon and Colle are continuing push ML&S staff to broaden the program to include more locations around the city and more food truck participants.

For more information:

Councillor McMahon at (416) 392-1376

Councillor Colle at (416) 392-4027


Agak, Agak, Hawk! Stories & Street Food

On Friday, August 9th the Chop Suzies Collective invites you to engage in the food stories that rarely make the headlines. Welcome to a Regent Park food story – Agak, Agak, Hawk!: Stories & Street Food. Sit around a circle and eat elbow to elbow with us. Interact through ingredients as we rollout tales and salad rolls, mash-up sauces, and mix among art, song, and dance together. 

Also featured will be the graffiti corridor of unique vendors from community caterers, to street food sellers, and established restaurants enthusiastic to be hawking delicious dishes alongside anecdotes about the women who have inspired them along the way.

Time: 4:00pm to 8:30pm, there is no admission fee. 

Place: MDC Partners Couryard beside Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St East

For more information on Facebook

Food Forward loves street food and the opportunities it brings. This is a unique event we are excited to be part of!


Growing Food Justice by Uprooting Racism


Food Idol Awards 2013!

Food Forward's Food Idol Awards celebrate outstanding contributions by food actionists  among our volunteers, community members, projects, and businesses – focused on healthy food and communities that are inclusive, diverse, ethical, local, and resilient. As the place where Torontonians meet to create a better City through food, we are asking you to help us identify and celebrate new efforts and results that are especially deserving of community recognition. 

New this year: We will be awarding the Food Sprouts Grant of $1,000 to a project that advances food justice in Toronto.

Awards will be announced at #foodTOEats, our Third Anniversary celebration on August 7th at Bento Miso. Please see the brief call for nominations for our 2013 awards:

Nominations are invited in the following categories:

Breakout Food Activist Award – Recognizes an individual whose understanding of food policy has led him/her to community organizing or standing up for food justice/good food policy to business, institutions, or government.

Spicy New Venture Award – Recognizes a food-related business or entrepreneur whose recent work has led to the development of a delicious venture contributing significantly to increase good food, food justice, and/or good food jobs expansion in one or more Toronto neighbourhoods.

Sweet New Initiative Award – Recognizes an organization, group, or partnership whose recent work has led to the development of an initiative contributing significantly to increase good food, food justice, and/or community food security in one or more Toronto neighbourhoods.

Food Forward Outstanding Member Award – Recognizes the commitment and contributions of a Food Forward individual member towards our mission, by supporting the design and implementation of our projects, development, capacity, and/or outreach. Also considers independent work the individual has contributed to related good food projects or policies through education, advocacy, and connecting.

Toronto Food Champion Award – Recognizes the commitment and contributions of a community member who has worked hard to advance a better Toronto through good food, food justice, and/or community food security in our neighbourhoods or communities. Their work may have been as a volunteer or employee of an organization, or through their own leadership efforts.

Food Sprouts Grant – A $1,000 grant for a project (for-profit, non-profit, or grassroots) that advances food justice in Toronto neighbourhoods or communities. The successful project may focus on community building, advocacy, job creation or other areas that would benefit from a small grant.

Criteria & Qualifications

The selection committee will be looking for good food work that is practical, visionary, and innovative.

We are considering work that puts a focus on food and communities that are inclusive, dieverse, ethical, local, or resilient). We also recognize contribution of efforts to good food jobs and community economic development in Toronto.

As we recognize new leadership, work on the initiative should have begun or significantly carried out in the last two years.

We know that good food work and non-profit/for-profit lines are blurring across lines of innovation, so please apply to the category you feel your nominee fits best.

Nominators should not nominate themselves or a project they have had a significant role in organizing, except in the case of the Food Sprouts Grant in which we welcome you to apply with your own project. Individuals may make more than one nomination and in any category. Decisions of the committee will be final.

Decision-making committee

Tzazná Miranda Leal (Justicia for Migrant Workers), Sang Kim (YakitoriBar and Seoul Food Co.), Gail Gordon Oliver (Edible Toronto), Carly Dunster (Carly Dunster Law and 2002 Breakout Food Activist)

Awards Night

Awards will be presented on August 7 at #foodTOEats, Food Forward's third anniversary celebration and awards night. Awardees will receive delicious prizes, congraultations, and positive media/social media coverage from our community.


Tell us briefly about the person or project and how they’ve been successful in their good food work, reflecting on the awards criteria outlined above, and answering the points below

Deadline is by the end of the day, Tuesday, July 23, 2012.

Email your submission to Vivian at viviann@gmail.com 

Please include the name of the award and nominee in the subject line, and: 

- Your name and email/phone contact

- Name of nominee and email/phone contact

- What was the inspiration of the founders to start this project or work? (100 words)

- In what two ways has or will this project/business/person demonstrate a committment to good food, food justice, community food security, or good food jobs? (150 words)

- If you had to choose, what is the single best example of the impact of this project/business/person? (100 words), and for the grant, how will you use the money? (200 words)

- Website/social media and email/phone contact for nominee


Building Roots

An exciting event is coming July 10 at Paint Box Bistro! We look forward to working with developers, planners, and communities after this event to advocate for more good food infrastructure in housing

Building Roots: Developing Food Systems in Housing from Regent Park+Beyond

More info, guest list and tickets: http://buildingroots.eventbrite.com

From a rich history of community gardening, Regent Park’s revitalization has included a significant focus on food. Innovative partnerships have infused the new space with new ways of doing urban agriculture, along with a resident-led farmer’s market, a social venture restaurant, a grocery store, and a Big Park.  These food focussed programs have provided the neighbourhood with new social, cultural, and economic opportunities for residents, and a new challenge for modern development.

Join us at this special Food Forward Symposium to learn about planning and building healthy food access into our City’s new housing developments.  A casual evening of presentations, hors d'oeuvres, and the sharing of stories from Regent Park and other exciting food projects around the GTA.  We look forward to welcoming developers, architects, planners, property managers, community members, food advocates, economic developers, food businesses, and policy makers to this vibrant dialogue.

The evening's speakers include:

- Special guests from Daniels Corporation

- Regent Park resident gardeners

- Chris Klugman, Owner of Paint Box Catering & Bistro

- Gavin Dandy, Farm Director of Everdale/Black Creek Community Farm

- Darcy Higgins, Executive Director of Food Forward

Before the symposium, enjoy a visit to the new Regent Park Farmer's Market, 3PM-7PM adjacent to Daniels Spectrum!

This project was made possible through funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.