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Some Sicilian inspiration for #KioskTO

I have written before about how Lisbon’s kiosks both anchor and beautify the city’s public spaces. I have also written about how Toronto should have something similar — #KioskTO anyone?

Some of you might remember an expanded street food program that the city piloted many years ago. It was a complete and utter failure. In my opinion (and from what I can remember), it was too heavily regulated. The food ended up being far too expensive and, frankly, none of it was very good.

That’s not how this should work. The entire point of things like food trucks and street kiosks is that they are cheaper alternatives to a conventional physical location. You can also more easily place them in locations where demand is being underserved.

The one pictured here is in Catania, Sicily. I carried my beer over from a panini shop down the street and then we ordered three espressos for a total of 2€. I tried to sit on a crate they had lying on the ground but I ended up breaking it. Sorry, guys. So we stood instead. It was all rather civilized.

Let entrepreneurs figure out what to sell and where. It will be a boon for both small business and for our public spaces.

P.S. I tweeted this photo out earlier today and it elicited a good discussion on Twitter. Toronto wants this.


  1. doug pollard

    I lived in Ottawa for some years. They are even more retentive about this sort of thing. Forcing buskers onto a certain designated area, shooing hot dog vendors off the sidewalks and the market and fighting over food trucks etc. etc. They could really, really, really use some more street life like this. Of course in Canada we tend to sip coffee much more than many other countries which swallow an expresso quickly so sitting nearby and not on a casual crate would be important


  2. Scott MacKinnon

    Unfortunately, Toronto cannot be the same as Lisbon because we have a city council too narrow minded and self serving, to allow entraprenuers the freedom needed to create an economy. Instead of seeing how they can make positive change, they are elected to protect a very narrow constituency. Stephen Punwasi as Mayor would change all that…


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