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Food trucks get green light to roll into 3 Saanich parks this summer

Beckwith, Cadboro-Gyro and Gorge Waterway parks will host up to two trucks every day until 9 p.m.
A Hugs Donuts vendor makes a pandemic-friendly transaction during the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival in Chilliwack on March 27. (Black Press Media file photo)

Food trucks of all sorts will roll into three Saanich parks every day of the week this summer.

In December 2019, council unanimously agreed to temporarily welcome food trucks to Beckwith, Cadboro-Gyro, Gorge Waterway, Mount Douglas and Mount Tolmie parks for the summer of 2020. However, the pilot project – which staff estimated would cost about $40,000 – was postponed due to the pandemic.

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On April 26, council approved Beckwith, Cadboro-Gyro, Gorge Waterway parks for the pilot. Mount Douglas and Mount Tolmie parks were left out after residents and community associations expressed concerns about increased traffic, noise and litter in these natural state parks, Mayor Fred Haynes explained.

He said both parks are home to environmentally sensitive natural areas and stewards were concerned food trucks might increase traffic in an unsustainable way.

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The goal is to make parks more enjoyable and choosing the wrong sites could do more harm than good, Haynes said.

After the summer, staff will report back to council and the program could expand.

Saanich is accepting applications from food truck operators. Temporary use permits allow food trucks to set up from July 1 to Labour Day. Two trucks will be permitted in each Beckwith and Cadboro-Gyro parks and one in Gorge Waterway Park from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Staff will use a lottery to select trucks.

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