Island municipalities looking at opening more spaces for food trucks
Published Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:53PM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:59PM PDT
The District of Saanich says it is considering allowing food trucks to park at city parks: (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Things are looking up for a local food truck, the Morning People, but before securing their location in the Cook Street Village, everything was up in the air.
B.C.’s ban on large gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been a tough blow to the food truck industry, which depends on events like music festivals.
"So many events were booked this year, and then they were all cancelled," said food truck operator, Emily Schlagintweit.
In the City of Victoria, mobile restaurants can set up shop pretty much anywhere, as long as they have a business license and the landowner’s approval.
But in surrounding areas, it’s a bit more complicated. Saanich was already exploring the idea of opening up its parks for food truck parking before the pandemic, an idea that is now more pressing than ever.
"The big events are now cancelled because of COVID advisories, so we're looking at how we can be nimble around that," said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes.
Saanich council is expecting a report from staff by the end of June that could create some opportunities for food trucks to park in public areas in July and August.
Haynes says this could be a win-win for food trucks operators and people planning to stay close to home.
"The travel [restrictions] from Dr. Bonnie Henry are going to be with us for a while, so the more we can do to bring vitality to our parks and trails and car parks, the better,” said Haynes.
The popular Eats & Beats festival at Esquimalt Lagoon won’t be going ahead this summer, but you'll still be able to find some food trucks parked nearby.
The City of Colwood will be reopening sections of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon for food trucks.
Trucks will be able to park at a central location and the road will have a blockade in the middle. You won’t be able to drive through, but you will be able to drive up for a bite on the beach.
"I think that'll help a lot," said Schlagintweit. "I think that people are really eager to get out and be eating out, and you know everyone is sick of cooking for themselves."