As the sun shines more often and the temperature warms up, Toronto’s food trucks, ice cream trucks, and street vendors have been permitted to reopen, effective today.
Mayor John Tory announced the news on Wednesday, saying that the decision was made after a review of emergency measures and regulations. The update includes all licensed street food vending, food trucks, and ice cream trucks within city limits.
Currently, there are 177 non-motorized food carts and 325 motorized refreshment vehicles, including 75 hot dog carts, licensed by the City.
“It’s important to note that for everyone’s safety, all operators must adhere to physical distancing requirements for the public, and provide the proper health and safety measures for their staff,” Tory said.
“Just like visits to other businesses, residents visiting street food vendors, food, or ice cream trucks, should maintain a distance of two metres or six feet from others while waiting in line, for example.”
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The mayor also addressed that restaurants are still waiting for their chance to reopen their doors.
“I know that restaurants and bars are eagerly awaiting the day when they will be able to reopen, and I dare say more than a few of their customers share that anticipation, especially as summer approaches,” Tory said.
“We are working with the province and public health to figure out both a timeline, and under what conditions, these businesses can reopen their dining areas safely, and we’re continuing to work on a plan to help open up more patio space for restaurants and for bars.”
The City is reportedly in “active discussion” with the Province, addressing regulatory aspects of the plan for patio expansion, with more details to come in the next few days.
The initiative is one that Tory says he believes will be “of scale, and therefore very helpful to businesses which are struggling in this sector.”
Tory announced his appeal for more space for Toronto’s restaurants in mid-May. The concept is not unlike what’s taking shape in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania; the municipality recently announced that the city is set to become “one giant outdoor cafe.”