Snack Chats: The implications of street vending

When: Wednesday May 16 – Designing a vending cart and vendors’ experiences
Where:: 125 Bond Street, Room 201 HEI, Ryerson University
When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

When: Thursday May 24- The role of street food and vending in the city
Where: 87 Gerrard Street East, Room 229 EPH, Ryerson University
When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Precisely because food is an important element of city life and urban planning, every meal is a vote for the type of world you want to live in. The issues and spaces of food production, distribution, and consumption are therefore intrinsically political.

For this very reason, we invite you to sink your teeth into Toronto’s food vending culture. Multistory Complex and Ryerson University are hosting a series of informal talks by vendors, planners, designers, food security advocates, and others. “Snack Chats” will be open to the general public and will address a range of topics:

1. The conditions and needs of Toronto’s street food vendors
2. Existing vending regulations including food safety, licensing, and permitting
3. Urban food consumption and partnership opportunities with local farmers, chefs, and vendors
4. Current vending cart designs and future considerations

On Wednesday, May 16, talks will focus on future designs for vending carts and vendor’s experiences. Current and future street vending design standards will be addressed as well as how they can be used to accommodate healthy, safe, and diverse street food preparation and sale. As part of this seminar series, Torontonians are also being encouraged to submit their own designs for Toronto’s street food vending carts. The design competition is intended to encourage a city-wide dialogue about how to introduce healthier, affordable, and more culturally diverse street food to Toronto. Speakers will include Professor Lorella Di Cintio from Ryerson University, a public health inspector, and a professional vending cart designer and manufacturer.

On Thursday, May 17, the role of street food vending in the city will be addressed. Discussion will centre around the impact of street vending on our streets and social spaces. Members of the Toronto Food Policy Council will be speaking as well as Gus Michaels from the City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division and Dr. Mariana Valverde from the University of Toronto.

photo by Kevin Steele


  1. Good stuff — but I hope that hot dogs will continue to have a place of pride on Toronto’s streets, alongside a range of other options.

  2. I do wonder though why more people don’t sell Jamaican patties on the street. They’re prepackaged and can be warmed up like hot dogs/sausages.

    As for being able to pick up patties on the subway – I’ve found them at Bloor, Eglinton, and Donlands inside the fare paid zone, and at Union and Warden outside.

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