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Street Food Vendor Program

Council of the Corporation of the Town of Petawawa have endorsed a pilot Street Food Vending program in order to properly accommodate, register and regulate a variety of food vending opportunities within the Town.

In order to be considered within the Street Food Vending program, interested vendors must contact with the Economic Development Officer at 613-687-5536 ext 2021.

Program details
Petawawa does not currently have a street food vending program and as such any entrepreneur operating under this type of business model is treated under our zoning by-law as a restaurant, required to meet all those industry defined obligations.  They also fall, by default, under the Transient Trader By-law which does not adequately classify, accommodate or consider municipal licencing opportunities or viable locations for vendor establishment.  The Town also does not currently permit any commercial enterprise on municipal property save authorization by the Town as noted in Parks and Open Space By-law 359/06 section 4.1.c.  This is a clear restriction that limits food service outside of event designation programs.  Other communities have successfully implemented a street food vendor program to accommodate viable street food vendors on limited municipal properties, in parks and parking lots and within commercially designated private properties.  In some of these communities, similar programs are commercially successful and have resulted in the creation of food truck courts or food alleys which have become neighbourhood identifiers and destinations.

Planning and Development staff receive a number of requests to accommodate street food vendors; however, due to lack of a comprehensive program many of these unique food service opportunities have been lost to other communities.

Our 2018 Economic Action Strategy supported additional limited service food options and identified a need to support boutique entrepreneurial development and to develop commercial retail outside the linear strip of Petawawa Boulevard.  Street food vendors can bring new innovative food/beverage services to the community, provide employment and training and have the potential to become a tourism draw of their own right.  Staff feel that implementing a pilot program could address many of these strategies and provide an opportunity to assess some initial street food vendor candidates under this pilot program. 

A street food vendor would be defined as:

  • A mobile refreshment cart – a hand-powered or pedal-powered vehicle from which food/refreshments may be cooked, carried or offered for sale to the general public (ice cream carts or hot dog carts).
  • A refreshment stand – any temporary structure from which food/refreshment products are cooked and prepared elsewhere but carried and offered for sale to the general public.
  • A mobile refreshment vehicle – any motor vehicle/trailer/temporary structure where food/refreshments may be cooked, carried or offered for sale to the general public.

As part of this pilot program, staff would look to identify and evaluate private commercial and municipal locations.  Street stalls and any neighbourhood applications will not be considered under the pilot program.

To address private commercial options, staff will work with vendors to seek suitable locations based primarily on support from the property owner and then to ensure that appropriate setbacks, parking requirements, vendor licensing, inspections and insurance are provided and that service is feasible at identified sites.  Under the pilot program, the food vendor will be considered an accessory use to the established commercial enterprise and the two parties would negotiate rental fees and services amongst themselves.

Select municipal properties test sites include:

  • Petawawa Point (2)
  • Municipal parking lot (Kin Hut) on Volunteer Way (2)
  • Parking lot at Norman Behnke
  • Centennial Park

Considerations for setbacks, parking, vendor licensing, inspections, insurance and vulnerable sector reference checks will be required.  As the spots available would be limited, suitable vendors would be evaluated on the unique food service and product selection. Priority will be given for food types not prevalent in the current marketplace.  Additional considerations will include vendor requirements for utility services, consideration of water and grey water system needs and garbage collection requirements.  Municipal locations will be leased on a first-come, first-served basis in season one of the pilot program and under an application process for second season.  Term lease rates will be established at a minimum of $500.00 per month plus additional service fees as required per vendor and detailed in the lease. 

An 18 month pilot, covering two seasonal operations should provide sufficient time for staff to evaluate the implementation of the street food vendor program, solicit community input and response to program and service, solicit vendor inputs, validate locations for their viability and determine the economic viability and tourism potential of this service model in our community.