There's some great news for Torontonians who like to grab a bite on a hot summer's walk. Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday, June 3, that licensed Toronto food trucks and other street food vendors can start selling again in the city starting right now.*

Tory was delivering his second update of the week on Wednesday afternoon.

"Today, I'm happy to announce that after a review of the emergency measures regulations and recent changes, all licensed street food vending, food trucks, and ice cream trucks in the City of Toronto are permitted to operate as of today," he said.

Tory noted this change will come just in time for the "summer vending season."

The mayor stressed that these reopenings are permitted only if physical distancing measures can be safely implemented for the public, as well as if the proper health and safety measures are in place for staff.

For example, customers waiting in line for these trucks must maintain the recommended two-metre distance.

Tory noted that the fact the city is coming into the summer season right now means staff are looking at ways to reopen more outdoor spots.

He said he considers food trucks similar to the pick-up services being offered by many restaurants right now.

A City of Toronto release states there are 177 non-motorized food carts and 325 motorized refreshment vehicles, including 75 hot dog carts, licensed by the City right now.

The mayor added that the city is also working with Toronto Public Health and the province on a timeline for reopening restaurant and bar patios in the city.

For now, though, those remain closed, along with dine-in services. 

Toronto's top doctor, Dr. Eileen de Villa, noted later in the briefing that as long as they can be run in a way that allows for proper physical distancing, food trucks should be a pretty safe way to re-introduce more food sales.

Dr. De Villa also emphasized that street vendors largely tend to operate in open outdoor spaces. Because of that, the risk of COVID-19 infection is considered to be significantly lower than it would be inside a traditional restaurant.

Tory added that another reason for lifting this restriction was to clarify the status of food trucks in the city.

As recently as this weekend, food truck owners were not sure whether they were legally allowed to operate right now, per CBC.

These comments in the Toronto briefing came just hours after reports that Ottawa is considering a "ground-breaking" plan to allow food trucks to operate in some parks' parking lots this summer.


*This article has been updated.

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