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Vendor Opportunities

World Café
Rules and Regulations

Application Process

  1. Vendor must submit the completed application package including all required additional documentation.
  2. Upon revision of your application, and if requested by the Vendor Coordinator, vendors will go through a taste testing. Specific dates and times will be determined once your application is reviewed.
  3. All vendors will receive formal notification as to acceptance status in writing by email address and/or mailing address specified by the applicant.

Acceptance Criteria

  1. Your application package will be reviewed for the quality, uniqueness and salability of your product(s) and overall balance of the category your product(s) falls into.
  2. Vendors are accepted based on the menu proposed on the application form and may only sell the approved items detailed in the form.
  3. Taste testing must be passed.
  4. Food Vendors shall uphold the Health and Safety Standards as outlined by the City of Toronto and Department of Public Health.
  5. All vendors must have their Food Handler’s Certificate and proof of their Certificate of Business Registration.

Rules and Regulations Governing Food Service by Community User Groups, Commercial Caterers and Restaurants

As a public facility, Harbourfront Centre is responsible for meeting the Public Health Protection regulations set out by the City of Toronto, Department of Public Health. Therefore, we expect each vendor to comply with the regulations in the transportation, preparation and service of food products intended for sale at the Harbourfront Centre site. Failure to comply may result in loss of vending privileges without refund.

Harbourfront Centre will strictly reinforce these measures and will pass through the booths, controlling temperature, food handling and transportation.

Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to close a booth and request the food vendor to leave the premises if the vendor fails to comply with Public Health regulations.

The following are operational regulations for groups/individuals preparing food and/or serving food to the public on Harbourfront Centre premises:

  • Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to refuse booth space to anyone.
  • Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to cancel the vendor agreement or to eject any vendor from the premises who is behaving in an objectionable fashion and the vendor waives any right and all claims for damages or compensation by reason of Harbourfront Centre exercising this right.
  • Harbourfront Centre summer festival attendance and participation are dependent upon weather conditions, demographics and a variety of other factors. Therefore, Harbourfront Centre cannot be held liable for a lack of success for individual vendors and/or poor food sales based on attendance or customer preferences.

Temporary Health Permit

You will be required to complete an Application for Special Event Temporary Food Establishment Permit from Toronto Public Health, available here.

All person(s) involved in preparation and selling of food to the public must attend a Food Handler Training course offered by Toronto Public Health. A Health Inspector will be on site at the World Café during hours of operation and all food vendors will be inspected. Should a food vendor not pass inspection, they will not be allowed to operate until they are in compliance with the Health Department.

Food Handling

  1. Food must be transported, handled and presented in a clean, well maintained environment with food handlers wearing clean outer garments and maintaining a neat, tidy appearance. Hat or hairnet is mandatory for all food handlers.
  2. Food handlers must follow good personal hygiene practices by washing hands appropriately and as often as required.
  3. Food is to be prepared and served on a washable table surface. Use separate work tables or surfaces for the preparation of raw food and ready-to-eat food, to prevent cross-contamination.
  4. Glove use is not recommended unless the food handler has a minor cut or burn. GLOVES ARE FOR SINGLE-USE ONLY AND YOU MUST USE NEW GLOVES WHEN YOU ARE CHANGING PROCESSES (i.e. handling raw food to ready-to-eat food).
  5. Only personnel directly involved with food preparation and service or maintenance staff form Harbourfront Centre are permitted behind the food counter(s). No minors are allowed.
  6. Hot food must be kept at temperatures of 60ºC (140ºF) or over. Cold food must be kept at temperatures of 4ºC (40ºF) or under. Perishable food must be stored in mechanical refrigerators, coolers, or other acceptable means.
  7. Food must be protected from contamination by shields (i.e. plastic covers), containers, or other means (i.e. aluminum foil) if maintained and replaced as necessary.
  8. Garbage must be regularly cleared from immediate serving area and placed in containers provided. At end of day, all food must be cleared away and properly stored off premises; all utensils washed, and all equipment left in a clean orderly manner.
  9. Prepared food may not be kept on the ground in boxes or containers.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  1. All surfaces are to be cleaned after use with single-use paper towels and a sanitizing spray rinse. The following bleach and water mixture can be used: 5ml/1teaspoon of household bleach mixed with 1 litre/4 cups of water.
  2. This solution should be placed in a labeled spray bottle.
  3. Spray all surfaces with the bleach sanitizer after they have been cleaned.
  4. Allow the bleach mixture to sit on surfaces for at least 45 seconds, before wiping. Do not rinse surfaces after sanitizing. This concentration of sanitizer will not harm food or individuals consuming the food.
  5. All food must be an approved source and prepared in approved food premises such as restaurants, community hall kitchens and church hall kitchens. You cannot serve food that is prepared at home. Only single-service items (i.e. paper plates and cups) are allowed for serving the customers.

Food Protection Requirements

  1. Ready-to-eat and raw food must be transported in a manner that will protect food from contamination and proper temperatures must be maintained (i.e. coolers).
  2. Condiment containers are required to have self-closing lids and separate dispensing utensils.
  3. A probe thermometer is required to check the internal temperatures of hazardous food. Harbourfornt Centre staff will check the temperatures of your food throughout the weekend.
  4. A thermometer is required to be stored in all cold holding units. This includes mechanical refrigeration and coolers.
  5. All food must be protected from contamination at the event (i.e. covered and off the floor at least 15 cm/6 in.).
  6. Heat lamps are not allowed.


  1. Each booth will be equipped with natural gas. Vendors are not permitted to bring charcoal or propane.
  2. Each booth will also be equipped with the following: oven, stove, grill, deep fryer, multi-compartment sink, refrigerator, freezer, multi-compartment steam table and a hand-washing sink.
  3. One chalkboard menu for listing your items with prices. This is hung on the hooks outside your booth.
  4. Vendors will not need sneeze guards in this facility.
  5. Any additional equipment brought to the premises must be included in the application form and needs prior approval in writing from Harbourfront Centre. No additional freezers or fridges are allowed.

Food Vending Booths/Area

  1. Harbourfront Centre will provide one 16' X 16' food booth, equipped with the items listed above.
  2. Spent cooking oils and cooking grease MUST NOT be poured into our sinks. Harbourfront Centre staff are the only personnel that can remove and discard oil and grease. The vendor must contact our staff in order to be taken away.
  3. We also provide garbage containers and garbage bags for disposal of solid waste material. Failure to follow this procedure will result in additional charges for any damages resulting from incorrect disposal.
  4. Food vendors must provide their own hand soap.
  5. Decor: Harbourfront Centre requires each vendor to decorate their booth in a way that will complement the program. Decor items can only be taped or tied on inside the booth. Staples, nails, screws, or pins cannot be used. All decor items must be removed at the end of the vending contract. You may not place any décor or signage outside the confined space of the booth.
  6. Harbourfront Centre will not be responsible for decor left on site after the festival.
  7. Vendors may not exceed their booth perimeter in order to maintain safe traffic flow through the World Café.
  8. Food booths will be cleaned prior to vendor arrival. At the end of the weekend, vendors are expected to leave their booth and all equipment clean and the immediate area free of garbage and debris.

Electrical Supply

  1. Vendors will not be permitted to use any electrical equipment which is deemed faulty or unsafe. This includes equipment with frayed or improperly repaired wires.
  2. Harbourfront Centre staff will inspect all equipment upon arrival to site.
  3. Vendors are not permitted to use their own electrical power bars.


  1. Please note that you will only be allowed to sell the items you include in the application form under your menu list.
  2. An itemized menu of what you intend to serve from your food booth, including a price list for each item, must be supplied. We provide a menu chalkboard and chalk which is hung on the hooks outside your booth. You must use this Menu chalkboard. Nothing can be hung from, on top or over this chalkboard.
  3. The following is a list of menu items that are not permitted for sale:
    • Coffee, Tea and Lemonade
    • Any beverages that are not part of Coca-Cola Company products
    • Please note that this list of items may change without notice.
  4. Vendors are accepted based on the menu items approved as listed on the application form and may only sell approved items. If for any reason the food vendor requires to make changes or additions to menu items must be approved in writing by Harbourfront Centre at least four weeks in advance of the festival.

Beverage Service / Sales

  1. Food vendors are allowed to sell Coca-Cola products ONLY, at a minimum price set-up by Harbourfront Centre. Vendors are allowed to sell these products at a higher price if they choose to do so.
  2. Coca-Cola product purchase and storage are the responsibility of the vendor.

Indigenous Beverage Policy

  1. World Café vendors interested in selling beverages must include them in their application form. Only beverages that are included in the application and that are approved by the Vendor Team will be allowed to be sold on-site.
  2. Permitted beverages include only freshly prepared, unpacked, non-alcoholic beverages, that are part of a specific community and therefore are part of the menu offered by the vendor interested in selling them. Traditional or indigenous beverages that are bottled and/or imported are not allowed to be sold on-site.
  3. Once the application is submitted, the Vendor Coordinator will approve or reject the proposed beverage, making sure it does not conflict with any of our sponsors.
  4. Examples of these beverages are Mango Lassi, Sorrel, and Sour Sop Juice.


  1. Parking is responsibility of the vendor.
  2. We offer one discounted parking pass per day per vendor for our Rees Street parking lot.
  3. Vendor agrees to adhere to the Load-in and Load-Out schedule provided by Harbourfront Cente. This schedule will be sent the week of the festival by e-mail with the number and location of your booth.
  4. Load in/out access will be allowed for a short period of time for the purpose of delivering and re-stocking food and/or equipment only. Vendors are allowed a maximum of 30 minutes to park and unload their goods on Harbourfront Centre property. If vendors exceed this time they will be ticketed.

Promotion and Signage

  1. Promotion of a restaurant or catering business is permissible if done in a manner that is in keeping with Harbourfront Centre’s mandate as a cultural arts centre (business cards are acceptable, large neon signs are not). Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to remove any signage they deem unprofessional or unclear.
  2. Signs must look clean and professional.
  3. Signs/equipment which includes product logos are subject to approval by Harbourfront Centre to ensure they are in keeping with Harbourfront Centre’s exclusive sponsorship agreements.
  4. Hanging a flag of any kind is not permitted.
  5. Harbourfront will provide a sign designating the name of your booth and the region of the world your menu items originate from (i.e. Canadian, Indian, Latin, Caribbean, etc).

Insurance – MANDATORY

  1. Vendors are responsible for their own insurance; this is mandatory.
  2. Harbourfront Centre is not responsible and/or liable in any way for any claim by a third party made on them for their fault or deemed negligence. Harbourfront Centre will not be liable for any damage or theft of inventory.
  3. Each vendor is required to have proof of a Certificate of Insurance that includes the following:
    • Commercial General Liability Insurance with a minimum of $2,000,000 in coverage.
    • Products and Completed Operations, Tenants Legal Liability and cross liability should be included in the General Liability.
    • Please ensure that the Harbourfront Centre is listed as "additional insured Harbourfront Corporation (1990)."

Booth Operation and Conduct

  1. Facility Use, Public Safety: Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to intervene in terms of facility use and public safety.
  2. Interference with Performances: Vendors are asked to respect ongoing performances at Harbourfront Centre. No audio or video devices are allowed in the booths (portable stereos, radios, CD or DVD players, etc.).
  3. No balloting, give-aways, raffles or any form of contests or prizes are permitted. No collection of information from any of our patrons is allowed on-site.
  4. Hours of Operation: Vendors must keep their booths open and staffed for the entire duration of the operating hours of the World Cafe. World Cafe operates rain or shine. Vendors must be in attendance and booths must remain open during the designated hours. The Vendor must be ready for business at the designated start time and close promptly at the designated close time. Hours of operation will be strictly enforced. Not complying with these hours of operation may cause closing and or cancellation of your booth with no reimbursement.
  5. Closing Early due to Weather: If weather conditions call for potentially closing the World Café, the decision to keep the World Café open or to close it will be made with the Vendor Coordinator together with all Vendors on-site. The decision will be made by majority consensus. Said decision must be followed by ALL vendors on-site.
  6. Product Sales: World Café vendors may only sell menu items that have been agreed upon in advance by Harbourfront Centre. The Vendor must provide the products that were approved in the application form and can make no changes or additions. Harbourfront Centre will require vendors to remove items that have not been approved. If the Vendor needs to change the menu from the original application, these new items must approved by Harbourfront Centre at least one month in advance, before they are displayed to the public.

Damage Deposit

  1. A $500.00 refundable Damage Deposit fee is required. This fee will be refunded once your contract ends. This fee is not included in the weekend total price. In case there are damages on the booth, items within the check list go missing or the Vendor causes damages to Harbourfront Centre Property the Damage Deposit will be used to pay for repairs. If the repairs cost are over $500 the Vendor will be responsible for the remaining balance.

Vendor Agreement

  1. Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to refuse booth space to anyone. Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to cancel the vendor agreement or to eject any vendor from the premises who is behaving in an objectionable manner and the vendor waives any right and all claims for damages or compensation by reason of Harbourfront Centre exercising this right.
  2. Booth Permissions: Only vendors in possession of a valid, signed contract from Harbourfront Centre may occupy space at the World Café.
  3. Harbourfront Centre Centre assumes no responsibility for sales, inclement weather, no guarantees of attendance.

Cancellation Policy

  1. If the contract is cancelled by the Vendor due to any circumstance between May 17 and May 24, 2019, Harbourfront Centre will refund the money paid to date.
  2. If the contract is cancelled by the Vendor after May 25, vendor forfeits all monies paid.
  3. If the contract is cancelled by Harbourfront Centre for cause, vendor forfeits all monies paid.
  4. Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to evict anyone violating any of the outlined rules of this application.

Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to change, cancel or add any rule or rules at any time for any reasons whatsoever, and to move, relocate, suspend operating privileges or immediately terminate this agreement without prior notification to Vendor.

Harbourfront Centre reserves the right to evict anyone violating any of the outlined rules and regulations.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH HARBOURFRONT CENTRE RULES AND REGULATIONS MAY RESULT IN: a written warning; and/or loss of booth(s). Loss of booth(s) will result in all monies being forfeited. All decisions made by Harbourfront Centre are final. Vendors will not be allowed on the Harbourfront Centre premises until all fines have been paid.

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