Mobile food vending is a great way for people to try out a business idea without making the capital investment of opening a storefront. As a means to encourage and promote the food vending industry in Downtown, the City of Whitehorse and Yukon Government make public sites available for vending during the summer season. Sites are allocated in the spring via a lottery process.
If you are a mobile food vendor and require space to operate, contact [email protected]
Mobile Food Vendor Program
In accordance with the City’s Lease, Encroachment and Property Use Policy, mobile food vending on public property is permitted only at designated sites. Sites are allocated to vendors each spring via a lottery process. Sites not assigned during the lottery are available over the counter on a first-come, first-served basis. Vendors who are not interested in this process may locate on private property, with the consent of the property owner and with all other applicable approvals, permits and licenses. All vendors must obtain a Development Permit prior to operation.
Mobile food vendors must obtain a business licence. Applications can be printed from the City website or can be obtained at the Land and Building Services office located at Calcite Business Centre, Unit #6 – 151 Industrial Road.
To encourage and promote mobile food vending Downtown, the City has designated seven sites based on their high profile locations and suitability for food vending. Sites are allocated to vendors on an annual basis. Vendors are not permitted to operate on public property other than a site that has been allocated to them.
The sites are distributed via a lottery process held in the spring of each year. Sites not allocated during the lottery process are available over the counter on a first come, first serve basis.
Application packages for the spring lottery can be obtained by registering through Bonfire on the City’s website.
The deadline for applications is April 26, 2023 at 3 p.m.
Applicants should review the Terms of Reference and conduct visits to the sites they are interested in. Vendors must submit a business plan with their application describing their vending apparatus, menu, operations plan, and financial goals.
Specific rules are in place regarding start and end dates, frequency of operation, hours of operation, use of electricity (if available), etc. These rules vary by site and are reviewed annually – up-to-date rules are in the application package.
In addition to a business licence, mobile food vendors operating on public property must obtain a development permit for temporary use. The applicant is required to submit proof of insurance in accordance with City policy.
Vendors not wishing to participate in the allocation process for sites on public property may operate on private property with the consent of the property owner, and with all other applicable approvals, permits, and licences.
Vending on private property is limited to zones in which “eating and drinking establishment” is a permitted use under the City’s Zoning By-law.
Mobile food vendors operating on private property must obtain a business licence and a development permit. The application for a permit must include written permission from the property owner to operate on the site.
Fees charged by the City are set out in the Fees and Charges By-law. Current fees are as follow:
- Business licence (6 months) – $100
- Development permit – $350
There is no fee to enter the lottery for sites on public property.
All mobile food vendors
- Register your trade name with the Government of Yukon Corporate Affairs
(if you are naming the business anything other than your name)
- Receive approval from Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
(if you have employees)
- Obtain approval from Environmental Health Services
- Obtain a business licence
Vendors on public property
- Obtain a Development permit for commercial – temporary; application to include the following:
- Completed application form
- Permit fee
- Proof of liability insurance in accordance with the City’s Lease, Encroachment and Property Use Policy (section 4)
- Proof of third party permitting or licensing, if applicable
Vendors on private property
- Development permit
- Written permission from property owner to operate on the site