With the warm weather upon us, many are taking to the streets and spending more time outside. Toronto is home to a multitude of languages, ethnicities and cultures, so with such a wide array of options, one would assume that the average Torontonian’s palate has been exposed to various tastes and spices.
Toronto is a city where an individual has the option of dining at an all American breakfast joint, a Brazilian restaurant for lunch and ordering Chinese take-out for dinner – and still have a variety of options for dessert. Living in a world-class city, such as our own, we’ve come to expect these dining options, but where Toronto seems to lack is in its street food options.
Let’s be real: When you think street food, you think hot dog. As delicious and appetizing as a hot dog may be, especially at 3am, it lacks a certain… je ne sais quoi. Cities such as New York, Paris and even Calgary are home to some of the most delicious and decadent street food – great quality food that leaves your mouth watering, such as pretzels, cakes, noodles/stir fry, burgers and even Dosa (South Indian dish). So, where our options at?! What’s the hold up, Toronto?
Unfortunately, our city is entrenched in bylaws that discourage food vendors from taking that extra creative leap. Some rules and regulations for street trucks need to be replaced with ones that allow more leniency and flexibility regarding the preparation of food (not everything can be grilled on a barbeque). With all that’s happening at City Hall, including the subway scandal and casino fiasco, it doesn’t seem shocking that updating our street food laws aren’t at the top of their list.
Luckily, a handful of innovative Torontonians have taken to the streets, literally, and have started an organization called Toronto Food Trucks (TFT). This movement’s sole purpose is to expose our streets to the world of better food and a multitude of options. The campaign encourages people to use social media to communicate directly with their City Councillor. By following TFT on Twitter or Facebook, you will be “in the know” of what new or temporary trucks are popping up and where they’re located.
Some of TFT’s most recent food truck deliveries include Greek food at Blue Donkey, fresh sandwiches at Toasted Tangerine, wood fired pizza at Bonfire Catering and even desserts at Cupcake Diner.
Not only can street food offer a diverse menu, it can also generate great business. Owning a street food truck is a great way for entrepreneurs to start their business – street trucks are up and coming! They are in high demand, especially in large cities as our own. City dwellers love street food because it’s quick and easy. Tourists love street food as a way to try various dishes. And students love it for the low cost.
So take a stand with TFT and demand more street food in Toronto by contacting your local councillor and signing this petition. By encouraging Scarborough councillors, specifically, to stand up for street food – we can bring some of these delicious options to our neck of the woods! Let your voice be heard!