Hamilton to Get Food Truck Pilot Project

By on February 29, 2012

Operating a food truck in Hamilton could become a whole lot easier very soon.

Yesterday, at a Planning Committee meeting, Gorilla Cheese owner Graeme Smith made his case for why Hamilton needs to become more forward thinking when it comes to food trucks.

Here’s an excerpt from his deputation:

“It must be stressed that our presence does not have any negative impact on area food establishments. On the contrary, we bring potential customers to the areas in which we operate and often benefit those establishments by attracting attention to them. Today’s food-trucks rely heavily on social media, such as websites, Facebook and Twitter to attract a following. We tell our followers where we will be, and they actively seek us out, intent to purchase our food.”

Originally not on the agenda at all, Smith convinced Council to let him speak and ended up starting a 45 minute question and answer session afterwards.

The end result was Council members voting unanimously to look at fast tracking the easing of bylaw restrictions on food trucks and to start a new food truck pilot project. The specifics of the project are still up in the air but one detail released is that the trucks will be able to operate near public parks.

A main sore point for food trucks in Hamilton is that currently they aren’t allowed to operate within 100 metres from the nearest point of the property line of a food establishment, park or school without written consent of that property owner or manager.

However, yesterday’s decision could make Hamilton the latest city in Canada to become more “food truck friendly” following in the footsteps of cities like Vancouver and Calgary who both introduced legislation giving food trucks more flexibility around where they can vend.

Congratulations to the Gorilla Cheese crew and the people Hamilton for pushing to bring their street food scene into the 21st century.

Now if only Toronto would get it’s act together…

About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Founder of Toronto Food Trucks. He is a Toronto freelance web designer and a street food movement supporter. Get more from Mark on Twitter and .

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