As residents of Toronto who are founders of new organizations, small businesses and non-profits involved in the City’s growing food movement, we want to write in support of opening up Toronto’s street food. We are some of the little guys in food doing new things, and helping others to start small businesses and create opportunities
We've often seen entrepreneurs face City rules that hinder rather than help us to create opportunities and jobs. That’s why it is exciting to see new street food policies that would finally harmonize by-laws across the City to allow for easier access to sell diverse food. Until now, there’s been nothing but red tape.
We hope to see policies that allow new street food adopted at this week’s Council meeting based on the street food study approved at Licensing and Standards Committee. But we have two concerns:
A) The proposals keep a moratorium on any new food carts downtown, and B) they allow a single complaint to immediately deny a new food truck or cart, with appeals going to Community Council.
Many of the new vendors we work with won’t be in a place to spend tens of thousands on a food truck. Meanwhile, residents, workers and tourists downtown want opportunities to try diverse foods, more than hot dogs, on the street. Torontonians are making incredible food. Young people and new Canadians should have the opportunity to start with a business with a cart and provide good food at good prices.
Since new trucks and carts already have to be a significant distance from restaurants, there should be a clear process for them that doesn’t lead to denial of approval after one objection. The proposed process with a denial being sent to appeal at community council would create time and headaches for everyone.
Therefore, we are asking that councillors amend the staff report as follows:
A) 11. That City Council lift the moratorium on R53 Sidewalk Vending Permits for all food vendors in wards 20, 27 and 28.That in these wards the City allow up to 20 new vendor permits to be issued for the 2014 season.
B) Chapter 740, Street Vending - Article II and Article III
That a notification of objection does not lead to a refusal of the application by the Executive Director. That Licensing and Standards will devise a process with clear and reasonable grounds for denial of permits that reflects issues of space, mobility, sanitation and related issues that can be studied by staff and reported to the applicant and objector, with opportunity for dialogue, amendments and an appeal process.
Thank you for hearing our voice on this issue. Please feel free to contact us with any questions on the matter, or ideas to create a better City through food.
Hassel Aviles, Founder, Toronto Underground Market
Hillary Connolly, Founder, Food/Craft
Sang Kim, Founder, Yakitori Bar and Seoul Food Co. and Windup Bird Cafe
Evis Chirowamhangu, Founder, Mnandi Pies
Vanessa Yu, Founder, FoodSpokes and CaterToronto
Paola Solorzano, Co-Founder, Santo Pecado
Adriana Pelayo Rubio, Co-Founder, Santo Pecado
Jonathan Mikhail, Co-Founder, Fourcorners Culinary Concourse Inc.
Catherine Carriere, Co-Founder, Fourcorners Culinary Concourse Inc.
Henry Faber, Co-Founder, Bento Miso
Jennie Faber, Co-Founder, Bento Miso
Darcy Higgins, Founder, Food Forward
Food Forward, The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council and Building Roots presents:
Advocating For Good Food in Your Community
What: St. James Town and area residents will learn how the development process works, how to communicate with city councillors and planners which will enable you to grow, cook, buy and sell food in your neighbourhood.
When: Friday March 28, 6-8 pm
Where: Food Forward centre, 2 Homewood Ave (north side of Carlton St.)
Please register or ask questions to: email@example.com or 416-459-9975. Only 20 spots available.
Foster relationships to create gardens, kitchens, food stores, farmer’s markets and community food hubs in your neighbourhood.
Refreshments will be served.
This is a free workshop. Please pass this along to anyone who would be interested.
Thank you to the St. James Town Youth Council
This project was made possible through funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.