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Deputation to Licensing and Standards Committee June

Deputation to Licensing and Standards Committee June

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Deputation in support of the Ethnic Street Food Initiative in Toronto.
Deputation in support of the Ethnic Street Food Initiative in Toronto.

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Published by: Miguel Avila-Velarde on Jun 28, 2012
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06/28/2012

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Deputation to Licensing and Standards Committee
June 28 2012By Miguel Avila
FOOD DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGHT!BACKGROUND:
Toronto
a city that prides itself on diversity, but whose only street food untilrecently had been essentially limited by law to hot dogs and Hamburgers. AfterNew York City, The City of Toronto is the second largest Multicultural City inNorth America.
Last Sunday on Newstalk 1010 show, The brothers Ford wrapped up their radio act for the
summer on Sunday calling for more variety in Toronto’s street food offerings. I tried to get
into the program but the lines were busy as usual. Here is an important quote by the Mayoron the Show:
“I believe in free enterprise and being able to sell what you want,” You gotthat right Mr Mayor and couldn’t agree more with you.
 Mr Mayor, C
urrent policies are overly restrictive in holding back the locations and types offoods that can be cooked, bought, and sold in Toronto
 Here at City Hall next to the office of the Mayor Ford there is a huge placard
that exalts the city virtues “DIVERSITY OUR STRENGHT”
I named my
deputation “Food Diversity is our
Strength
 
So what is the road block to let street food variety on the streets of Toronto? The answer is
in the field of the Toronto’s Board
of health and their requirements once they are met,carts and trucks could even offer tacos. Lobster Grill Sandwiches and Somosas?
 
So far, I am glad the city has taken steps towards opening up street food menus offered byvendors. I have a feeling Toronto Bureaucrats are beginning to understand the Toronto as aworld class city can not lag behind other cities such as Portland Seattle, Miami, I would liketo point that the City of Portland,
has been celebrating its street food for years,thanks to a laissez-faire approach by the government and available space onprivately owned lots. With few zoning restrictions and much opportunity,Toronto could just do the very same , and it appears that on the report by theDirector of
licensing and standards is recommending that vendors be allowed to sell alarger variety of food items, provided they are approved by Toronto Public Health.
The Board of health met this past Monday
June 25, 2012 , a report provides anupdate on the Toronto Food Strategy and an overview of current initiatives and provides along list of community engagement with residents, community organizations and City staffon food systems issues.
The report states that Staff will continue to work with partners toaccess external project-specific funding. The Medical Officer of Health will report back tothe Board of Health annually on the progress of the Food Strategy.
COMMENT:
 
The review by the Executive Director of Licensing and Standars, concluded thatmodifications to the existing regulatory framework for hot dog carts and mobile food trucksshould be investigated if the City wished to pursue its objective of introducing more diversestreet food. A working group was struck in 2011, As such the working group made thefollowing recommendations so far to reach the goal of diverse street food in Toronto1. Review of Expanded Menus for Food Carts; and2. Development of a Street Food Vending culture which is subject to existing by-lawcompliance requirements.It is important to note that the Working Group describes The A La Cart program to beexpensive and impractical for many new or existing entrepreneurs.
TORONTO FOOD COUNCIL
The Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) connects diverse people from the food, farming andcommunity sector to develop innovative policies and projects that support a health-focused foodsystem. The TFPC provides a forum for action across the food system.TFPC members identifyemerging food issues that will impact Torontonians, promote food system innovation, andfacilitate food policy development. Toronto has a long history as a leader of initiatives thatensure access to healthy, affordable, sufficient and culturally acceptable food.

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