News / Vancouver

Hungry? Surrey’s getting a food cart program, too

Street food trucks are getting more popular, and Surrey doesn’t intend to miss out on the tasty trend.

Surrey city council was set to endorse a report on Monday recommending a food cart program in the growing metropolis, similar to programs in Vancouver, Calgary and Portland.

A successful 10-day food cart pilot in spring 2012 along with a two-month pop-up park in Surrey’s city centre with rotating food carts this summer inspired the city to pursue permanent food cart infrastructure, Coun. Linda Hepner said Monday.

“We’ve gotten emails saying, ‘This is great, why don’t we continue this beyond the summer?’” Hepner said.

City staff studied systems in other cities to see if Surrey should introduce food cart clusters or let the trucks roam to find hungry diners, but there needs to be consultation with business owners and potential vendors to work out a made-in-Surrey program, Hepner said.

An increase in street food will “contribute to the invigoration” of Surrey’s city centre area, according to the report.

As the area strives to become a regional hub second only to Vancouver’s downtown core – and massive condo projects are slated to bring more residents – Surrey needs vibrancy and diversity in the city centre, Hepner said.

“Our city is so diverse, and we’re growing so quickly,” she said, adding that food carts will be an initiative that helps people feel connected. “It has certainly proved successful in Vancouver… we always like best practices,” she said.

While Surrey is one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities, it has had a few image problems due to gang and gun violence. T-shirts reading “Better Safe Than Surrey” so irked the city, its legal department sent a cease and desist letter in January.

The city didn’t pursue any legal action against the T-shirt maker.

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