By François Biber | CJME.com
Food Trucks could be coming to Saskatoon much sooner than a north commuter bridge and the city had its chance to hear from the public about their thoughts on allowing food-mobiles on public property.
“I personally think these can bring life and vitality to our city and I’d like to see them,” said councillor Mairin Loewen.
Currently food trucks are allowed on private properties according the bylaw, but the city recognizes there’s opportunity for both sides to allow these vendors on public spaces such as down by the river bank or in and around the downtown core.
“There were a number of inquiries received by city councilors in 2012,” said Alan Wallace, manager of community services.
“Where the administration got involved is we got an inquiry from one councillor to review our policy and that’s where we’re at right now.”
Wallace said part of the reason the city held an open house on Thursday at Francis Morrison Library, was to illustrate to the public what food trucks could look like and where they could potentially be around the city. Another reason was to dispel the misconception that food trucks are banned in the city.
“We want people to understand what’s currently allowed and give us some feedback on what they think should be allowed for our food truck policy,” said Wallace.
At the open house residents had the chance to place red stickers on a map of Saskatoon, laying potential spots where they would like to see mobile food trucks.
For Denise Kouri, she said allowing food trucks downtown will add to the vibrant food culture downtown.
“It would be nice to have ethnic ones and health food (trucks),” she said.
Ward 1 councillor Darren Hill said he wants the administration to take the review one step further to see if they could allow food trucks on city-owned parks.
“We could open up the Meewasin Valley, not for food trucks but for food carts along the trail,” said Hill.
“Food trucks will add to the quality of life and the cultural enhancements we have throughout the City of Saskatoon. It’s a positive thing for everyone.”
Potential hot spots for mobile food trucks include Second Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets with a 30 meter buffer from full service restaurants and nightclubs. 20th Street between Avenues H and F were also identified as possible locations. However, many residents who attended the open house put stickers all along the river bank.
A report from the city’s administration on food truck policy is expected to be released in the spring.