21 Apr 2011

Toronto to end food vendor program

It looks like Toronto food vendors who were hoping to clean up on sales heading into the summer may be putting their equipment in storage units, as the city has said their services are no longer needed.

Toronto a la Cart, the program food vendors were participating in, was supposed to diversify the kinds of foods offered in the Greater Toronto area, but the city’s economic development department has recommended that Mayor Rob Ford scrap the project entirely because “it has not met its objectives and no improvement can be expected in the final year of the pilot.”

The program began three years ago after the passage of an amendment to the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Vendors say the program was doomed from the start because they had to pay exorbitant fees for their carts and licensing.

The Toronto Star has been covering the issue since the program started in 2009. In September 2010, the paper did a feature on several street vendors who had to close down their operation because they were hemorrhaging money.

While some of the vendors may have gotten out of the business entirely and put their carts into storage, others will likely make use of them and consider going to the new locations officials say they will soon recommend.

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