Food Trucks & Mobile Vending

Operating on City Streets or City-Owned Property

Mobile vending licences may be issued by the City in accordance with the City of Nelson Mobile Vending & Sales Policy [PDF] subject to the following fees:



Application fee (first-time/new applicant)


Application fee (annual renewal)


Application fee (food or beverage service applying to be part of a special event on City property)


Licence amendment fee (change of location only)


Electrical service (unmetered)

$320 per month, or $52 per day of the week, per month, whichever is less

Installation of permanent meter to allow for metered electrical service


Connection or disconnection of metered electrical service


Location rental fee: downtown core

$500 per month, or $100 per day of the week, per month, whichever is less

Location rental fee: all other locations

$250 per month

To apply, complete the Mobile Vending Application form [PDF] and submit it to Development Services along with the application fee.

Despite what is contained in the policy, on February 9, 2021 City Council passed a moratorium on mobile vending licences in the downtown core for 2021. The downtown core is defined as:

  • Victoria Street (Falls to Hall) and Lake Street
  • Stanley, Ward, Josephine, and Hall Streets (adjacent to non-residentially zoned property only)
  • 500 block of Falls Street
  • The 100 and 700 blocks of Baker Street

In 2021, mobile vending licence applications will only be considered for spaces outside of the downtown core:

  • Railtown (public streets)
  • Cottonwood Falls market location (when the farmers’ market is closed)
  • Lakeside Drive, including the parking lot portion adjacent to the soccer fields at Lakeside Park
  • Lower Hall Street parking lot

Questions can be directed to Development Services staff.

Operating on Private Property

Food trucks are permitted on most commercially-zoned private property, subject to permission from the property owner and a Fire Department inspection. Mobile vending is permitted in zones where "Mobile Food Vendor" or "Mobile Retail Vendor" is listed as a permitted zone in the Zoning Bylaw. Mobile vending vehicles with cooking facilities must be at least three metres from a building. Mobile vendors seeking to operate as part of a special event or applying for a business licence to operate on private property must comply with sections 2a, 3, 4, 24, 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, and 38 of the Mobile Vending & Sales Policy. Fees required by the Fees & Charges Bylaw [PDF] are applicable.

If you are seeking to operate on appropriately-zoned private property, your first step is to contact the Fire Department to arrange for an inspection of your vending vehicle and to discuss your proposed location. The second step is to apply for a business licence.

Policy Background

A public survey was held in September and October 2020, receiving an overwhelming response of over 1,100 responses. Click here to view the results [PDF].

Council adopted the current mobile vending policy on February 9, 2021. The full report can be found here [PDF].