Food trucks are permitted to operate in New Westminster in certain locations provided they are licenced and adhere to the bylaw and guidelines.
In 2020 and in 2021, temporary measures were put in place related to the regulation of food trucks as a result of the pandemic. Changes are being contemplated by the City to update the Mobile Food Vending Bylaw (No. 7850, 2016) based on feedback from businesses, food truck operators, and residents since it was implemented in 2016.
The Bylaw and the temporary measures relate mostly to the regulation of food trucks who opt to take out an annual licence that allows them to vend on the street in designated areas, or what is referred to as “pop-up street vending”.
The City is seeing an increase in the popularity of food trucks for private and special events as people demonstrate a preference for outdoor gatherings, and ease for catering or offering food at events.
Responsibility for the regulation of food trucks can seem quite complicated. However, the easiest way to understand it is: the local health authority regulates the food service of the food truck, the local fire department regulates the safety of the food truck, and the local government regulates the business of the food truck.
The easiest and best way to become permitted to operate in the City of New Westminster is to take out an annual Food Truck licence. This is an annual licence that requires annual inspection by the health authority, fire department, and the business licensing division. To be approved, food truck operators need to provide proof they have passed these inspections, and provide a minimum general comprehensive liability insurance of $5 Million with the City of New Westminster named as additional insured.
The annual fee is $192.47 and allows a food truck operator to offer pop-up street vending at designated locations, participation in local, public special events without additional paperwork required by the City, and to offer catering services for private events. Note, a Street Occupancy Permit may be required if the truck is to be parked on a road right of way. Talk to staff about your unique scenario.
If you are an event organizer planning a private or special event, the City suggests contracting a food truck that has gone through the annual licensing process to be assured they are inspected, safe, insured, and licenced.
For food truck operators who do not wish to become annually licenced, we do offer options for one-time events. Depending upon the event, there may be different departments that regulate food trucks.
For food trucks who have an annual City of New Westminster business licence, pop-up street vending is permitted. However, there are guidelines related to hours, proximity to restaurants, disposal of waste, and operating self-contained that must be followed. Please see the Food Truck Guide for specifics.
Please note, due to construction or changes in parking regulations, some locations have become unavailable since the Food Truck Guide was written.
Current (2023) pop-up locations are as follows:
- Columbia Street
- Front Street
- Carnarvon Street - unavailable to due construction
- Ewen Avenue, between Jardine Street and Hampton Street
- East Columbia Street, between Sherbrooke Street and Braid Street
- East Columbia Street, between Keary Street and Hospital Street - unavailable due to construction
West End & Moody Park
- Twelfth Street between Sixth Avenue and Tenth Avenue
- Sixth Street between Fourth Avenue and Eighth Avenue - unavailable due to construction, new bike lane, and changes in parking regulations
- Belmont Street (in parking stalls - not the Uptown Plaza)
- Parking lot on Fourth Street
1319 Third Ave
- One parking space outside of Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Food trucks who opt not to be licenced annually have some options for how they may operate, depending upon who they are serving, where the event takes place, and how long the event is. Contact information for the various divisions is below.
There are three required basics that all food truck operators must obtain in order to conduct business in New Westminster: health authority approval, fire safety approval, and adequate liability insurance. No food truck may operate in New Westminster without these.
- Health authority approval: All food trucks require health authority approval in order to operate. Your first step is in contacting your health authority and getting inspected. Depending upon where your commissary kitchen is, it may be Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health.
- Fire safety: In Metro Vancouver all municipalities except Richmond and Vancouver participate in the Lower Mainland Mobile Food Truck Fire Inspection Program. You’ll need a current decal from that program in order to operate in New Westminster, even if you have been inspected in Richmond or Vancouver. You can get that decal through your local fire department (except for Richmond and Vancouver – they have their own programs). You can call your fire department’s fire prevention office, or you can contact New Westminster at 604-519-2004 or .
- Insurance: You will need $5Million in general comprehensive liability with the City named as additional insured to operate while parked on any public property in New Westminster, whether you are serving the public or a catering client. Again, we recommend getting an annual licence so that you only have to do this once a year!
The following forms and documents may be of use to you as you work through the steps to become licenced to operate in New Westminster.
The Food Truck Guide provides information about operating and participating in special events. It also includes the list of possible pop-up street vending locations.
The following documents are required to make an application:
The Mobile Food Vending Licence Bylaw provides the basis for the food truck program.