Toronto loosens rules for food trucks in city

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto city council changes rules for vendors so trucks can park closer to existing restaurants than before. Mark McAllister reports.

TORONTO — Food truck junkies take heart — the city has voted to loosen some of the restrictions placed on the gastro-trucks.

A bylaw restricting food trucks from being within 50 metres of any of the city’s restaurants has been reduced to 30 metres.

The 50 metre rule has made it incredibly difficult for food trucks to find a spot in Toronto’s dense downtown.

Another change allows food trucks to stay in a spot for five hours, up from three hours.

Trucks can also now use five square metres of sidewalk space, a slight bump up from previous restrictions.

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“I think we’ve opted in favour of competition and choice and innovation for people in a dynamic growing city,” said Mayor John Tory after the vote.

Tory has promised reforms to the current food truck system, to make it easier for businesses to cut through the city’s regulatory red tape.

“I think that people got together, and forged this solution,” said Tory of efforts by people in the food industry who pushed for the changes.

Zane Caplansky has been a driving force behind the charge to drop restrictions for food trucks, and he said he’s not stopping now.

“We’re going to come back in a year — we’re going to go from 30 meters to 15,” said Caplansky. “Ideally we want zero metres.”

The man behind Caplansky’s Delicatessen, which has both bricks and mortar locations and trucks, said the bylaw changes are a “huge win.”

“This is the birth of an industry. This is a culture change,” said Caplansky. “I’m a restaurant owner and I understand that food trucks bring people and people bring dollars and dollars are good for everybody.”

On Twitter Tuesday morning Tory said “setting food trucks free” was his key item of the day.

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With files from David Shum and Mark McAllister

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