By Ramisha Farooq
Until plans to develop are confirmed and expansion begins, the empty lot at the corner of Yonge and Gould streets will be a permanent home to an assortment of food trucks.
In the past few weeks, signs have gone up marking the space formerly occupied by the Empress Hotel as a “Food Truck Lot.”
“It’s a great spot,” said Frank Kocis, food truck trade association worker and event organizer for Food Truck Eats. “It’s close to Ryerson and we can’t serve off the streets, so until anything happens the trucks will be here.” Kocis and lead organizer Suresh Doss created Food Truck Eats as an organization dedicated to advancing food trucks in the Greater Toronto
Area. Last March, Food Truck Eats partnered with the University of Toronto.
The group also stopped by Ryerson last November.
Many students are also excited about the new food choices at the edge of campus.
“It being permanent makes getting lunch or dinner so much easier,” said Nadine Farhat, a first-year graphic communications management student at Ryerson. “There is more access to food on campus.”
There are very few unique on campus eateries for students many of which close on the weekend, limiting food choice.
“I’d rather them partner with Food Truck Eats than develop other areas of the school like the Mattamy Athletic Centre,” says Meg Chang, a third year fashion student.
“It’s just more relevant in regards to the student population.” Despite the advantages, some students are concerned that the permanent presence of the food trucks will impede their healthy lifestyles.
“Putting them into the equation doesn’t promote healthy options for food,” said Lia Richardson, a firstyear urban and regional planning student. Kocis assures that food trucks offer a variety of healthy options.
“People want more. They want eating at food trucks to become a part of their daily routine,” said Kocis.
“I’m waiting for the day where you’ll be able to walk to the corner for food. Making the lot permanent is a start.”
Although nothing is confirmed, Kocis says the organization is looking to create partnerships with other post-secondary schools in Toronto.