Ice Cream Truck Wars
The jingle in the far off distance, chugging down the street, creeping ever closer to your house, and your mouth starts to water because you know that in just a few short moments, heaven will be found…in a Fudgesicle. There are few sounds that can awaken childhood memories as profoundly as the jingle of an ice cream truck. It screams summertime and freedom, for children and adults alike. Unfortunately, for all of us, that sound may become obsolete if city officials have their way.
Many municipalities in Canada are restricting, and in some cases, banning ice cream vendors from cruising the streets because of noise complaints and fear that children could potentially get hit by oncoming cars. Though the concerns may be warranted to a certain degree, are we really ready to abolish such an integral part of our history and culture?
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The current vendor licensing for ice cream trucks are extremely restrictive in some areas and have vendors screaming foul play. It’s illegal to infringe upon the constitutional mobility rights to pursue a livelihood, and that’s exactly what it seems city officials are doing.
Ontario has ten licensed ice cream truck vendors but they’re not allowed on city streets, many of them residential where the most money would be made. Kitchener doesn’t allow licensing for the trucks over concern for public safety and health department compliance. West Kelowna city council banned all music from ice cream trucks last year because of noise pollution, but that didn’t last long. After fielding dozens of angry letters, emails and phone calls from residents, the city reinstated the licenses and now vendors turn the music off when they’re parked.
It seems that Toronto is the only city that hasn’t turned Machiavellian yet and in fact was recently one of seven North American cities that partnered with Uber - an app developed for iPhone and Android phones that delivers on-demand ice cream truck for whenever you feel the urge. So it appears that Canada hasn’t completely lost all of its marbles, yet.