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.
Sole proprietorships (individuals), partnerships or corporations.
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.
Applications need to be submitted online. You cannot apply for this licence/permit in-person.
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. Licence application fees can be paid online or by sending a cheque.
If you have already submitted an application you may upload additional documents using your upload token.
You must book an appointment at the Licence and Permit Issuing Office, 850 Coxwell Avenue, 3rd Floor. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Please arrive 10-15 mins early to check in and be on time for your appointment or you may be turned away and asked to re-book for another day and time, subject to availability.
You must bring a complete application as applications will not be accepted unless all the required documents are provided. Bring hard copies of all required documents and forms, including a recent photo if required. Digital copies of documents will not be accepted.
Payment can only be made by debit, credit or cheque. Cash will not be accepted.
Non-Motorized Refreshment Vehicle Owner licence: $445.46
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 licence will expire annually on the anniversary of the date that the licence was first issued. A renewal notice, identifying any documents required to renew the licence, will be mailed to the address on file.
The renewal fee is $311.61
Existing licensees must renew their licences online. Licence renewal fees can be paid online or by sending a cheque.
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.
If you fail to renew your licence according to the bylaw, your licence will be cancelled and you will have to reapply.