Finding a bite to eat while enjoying your favourite outdoor park will be much easier starting this spring thanks to the convenience of food trucks.

Mississauga Parks and Forestry Division will be trying out a one-year pilot project allowing food trucks to service hungry park-goers in nine parks throughout the city. The pilot received the official go-ahead at the March 7 city council meeting.

The project starts May 1 and will continue through April 30, 2019. Food trucks will be permitted onsite during regular park hours of 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Before the pilot, availability of food for purchase at Mississauga green spaces was limited to food trucks at special events, four stationary park vendors at Mississauga Celebration Square, plus eight hot dog and 14 ice cream vendors in parks throughout the city.

Paul Mitcham, Community Services commissioner, sees the project as allowing Mississauga to “continue to grow and evolve with current trends and innovations.”

“The pilot gives the city an opportunity to determine if this movement resonates with our residents and visitors,” he said. “It will also create jobs while enhancing the park experience for all visitors.”

Mitcham notes that the park locations designated for the pilot were chosen strategically to provide effective coverage and availability across the city. The nine participating parks are: Jack Darling Memorial Park at 1180 Lakeshore Rd. West; Paul Coffey Park at 3430 Derry Rd. East; Erindale Park at 1695 Dundas St. West; Mississauga Valley Park at 1275 Mississauga Valley Boulevard; Dunton Athletic Fields at 6180 Kennedy Road; R.K. McMillan Park at 830 Aviation Rd. – adjacent to Lakefront Promenade Park; Syntex Green at 2180 Syntex Court; Max Ward Sports Park at 2380 Matheson Blvd. East; and Meadowvale Sports Park at 2255 Meadowvale Boulevard.

A bid package for vendors will be released in March, followed by a lottery process that will be used to award one permit per park. Interested vendors must submit their menu, pricing and estimated foot traffic as part of their lottery submissions.

Mitcham noted, knowledge gained from the pilot will help to develop future food truck strategies.

Photo: Mississauga Valley Park, one of nine parks that will have a food truck on site starting this spring. Photo courtesy of City of Mississauga.

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