Letter to City Council on street food decision

Mar
31

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.


Sincerely,


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