To operate a food cart, you will need to obtain a non-motorized refreshment vehicle owner licence. Ensure that you are compliant with zoning bylaws and have obtained permission from the property owners.
To sell your food on city property, you will need to obtain a sidewalk vending permit and apply for designated sidewalk locations. If approved, you can operate:
You must not operate in front of a building entrance/exit, name/number, fire hose connection, or display window.
Individuals, partnerships or corporations.
Original documents required for all applications (and renewal transactions).
Two pieces of government-issued identification (one must be photo ID):
All applicants must also provide the following:
Corporations must also provide:
If a director of the corporation is unable to apply in person at the Licence and Permit Issuing Office, a designate may apply on their behalf. The designate must:
Applicants must provide an original Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.
A designate applying on behalf of a corporation must also provide a Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Check for each officer and director of the Corporation.
Applicants must provide proof of $1,000,000 insurance Personal Liability & Property Damage (PL/PD) insurance.
The completed Certificate of Insurance must be signed and stamped by the insurer.
Proof of a Health Inspection from Toronto Public Health. You can arrange this by calling 311 or the Health Connection Line at 416-338-7600.
Applicants must obtain:
Bring in a photo of the cart, as well as a sketch indicating dimensions.
Information about where the cart will be stored when not in operation.
Client’s Name: 10 cm. (approx. 4 inches) in height
Licence Numbers: 6.3 cm. (approx. 2.5 inches) in height
Plate Number: 15 cm. (approx. 6 inches) in height
A list of products and food items sold.
The Licence and Permit Issuing Office at the East York Civic Centre is closed due to COVID-19. Businesses requiring licences and/or permits from the City of Toronto can apply via a new online application portal.
Licence application and renewal fees must be paid online. Please have all required documents ready to upload before starting the application, as it requires 10-15 minutes to complete and cannot be saved. Download a step by step guide on how to submit a new application.
If you have already submitted an application you may upload additional documents using your upload token.
Non-Motorized Refreshment Vehicle Owner licence: $418.52
A photo of the applicant must be submitted with all other required application documents. It is essential that the photo provided complies with the Licence Application Photo Requirements. Failure to do so may result in delayed or rejected applications.
Provide sketch of proposed vending location showing all relevant dimensions, street name, curb, proposed location of cart and all street furnishings – utility pole, garbage bin, fire hydrant, tree, etc.
A 2.50 metre pedestrian clearance must be maintained and shown in the proposal
All measurements must be in metric.
Provide current photographs of the proposed vending location (showing at least three angles – front and two sides)
Provide a photograph of the cart
If the proposed vending location is in a Business Improvement Area (BIA), obtain an approval letter from the BIA.
The permit cost of $373.02 plus one of the two fees depending on where you would like to operate:
*All fees include HST
Applicants must provide proof of $2,000,000 in Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance. The completed Certificate of Insurance must be signed and stamped by the insurer. The Certificate must be sent by email to MLSroadallowance@toronto.ca directly from the Insurance Representative.
ML&S shall deny an application for, or a renewal for any business, trade or calling for which a vehicle and it’s driver are licenced or required to be licenced by the City under this Chapter and for which a licencesee is required to hold a valid provincial driver’s licence under this Chapter where the licensee or applicant has:
Despite these screening criteria, if a licence has been previously issued or renewed and the applicant’s or licensee’s record discloses no new breach of the screening criteria, the licence may be issued or renewed without the matter being referred to the Toronto Licensing Tribunal.
These screening criteria do not apply to any offence for which a licensee or applicant has been granted a criminal record suspension (i.e. a pardon) by the Parole Board of Canada.
Your permit for the cart will expire annually on the anniversary of the date that the permit was first issued.
The renewal fee is $292.76
A renewal notice, identifying any documents required to renew the permit, will be mailed to the address on file.
The Licence and Permit Issuing Office at the East York Civic Centre is closed due to COVID-19. Existing licensees can now renew their licences via a new online renewal portal. Licence renewal fees must be paid online.
Please have all required documents ready to upload before starting the renewal, as it requires 10-15 minutes to complete and cannot be saved. Download a step by step guide on how to renew a licence or permit.
You must continue to provide proof of $2,000,000 in Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance. The completed Certificate of Insurance must be signed and stamped by the insurer. The Certificate must be sent by email to MLSroadallowance@toronto.ca directly from the Insurance Representative.
If you fail to renew your permit according to the bylaw, your permit will be cancelled and you will have to reapply. Find your outstanding business licence or permit renewal invoice.