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The Best-Designed Food Carts at the Stop’s Night Market

Sixty chefs and three times as many designers join forces to raise funds for The Stop. Designlines’ jury weighs in on food cart form and function

By Tory Healy

Now in its third year, The Stop‘s Night Market is a hot ticket – 2014’s two night event sold out in less than an hour. Twenty-two hundred people will converge at Honest Ed’s to sup on street food prepared by the city’s top chefs. The Night Market raises funds for The Stop, a non-profit supporting various communities with a number of programs, including a food bank, sustainable food education and a drop-in centre.

More than a charitable event for gourmands, the Night Market is a true mesh of the design and food communities: each of the chef’s carts is crafted from upcycled materials by a mix of established and burgeoning designers. So impressive are these carts that The Stop invited Designlines to judge them for design excellence, creativity and effective representation of The Stop’s mission. The winning carts will be awarded guest passes to the 2015 Night Market, plus a specially-crafted blue ribbon.

We assembled a distinguished panel of judges including architect Janna Levitt, industrial designer and entrepreneur Joshua Brasse and restaurant designer and retailer Jason Stroud (see bios below). And you can judge, too, with a chance to WIN a first edition, designed-in-Toronto vinyl toy named Lethal Taco by Mindzai. Simply Tweet a photo of your favourite food cart at The Stop’s Night Market with the hashtag #DLTacoStop by midnight, Wednesday June 18.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at six of the carts that will be on site:


Inspired by a picnic basket, Patricia Joong, in association with bikeSauce, assembled donated bike parts and a discarded shopping cart to build its “mobile bike hub”. Sheltering the structure is a waterproof canopy made of woven inner tubes.


HOK‘s llama-shaped, sombrero-wearing Piñata wraps itself around the food cart. HOK invites the crowd to break apart the piñata by plucking away at its body – made of toilet rolls filled with herb and vegetable seeds – and starting a garden of their own.


Michael Gingerich’s and Adam Waliki’s Pump Cart is crafted from reclaimed metal, wood and mechanics into a four-wheeled pedal-powered cart. When parked, the pedals power a fan as well as LED lights to illuminate signage.


Lemon – by a collective of fourth year and OCADU alum – is a contemporary throwback to street carts and lemonade stands of yore. Made primarily of wooden wine crates, the mobile garden also makes use of recycled maple, rescued nuts and bolts, and chalkboard paint.


Montreal’s Falco Collaboration, a team made up of architects and designers, crafted the framework of its stand from 360 cardboard tubes that once held spools of paper. Laid horizontally, the tubes will house signage and fragrant seedlings.


Deconstruct is a celebration of the design world’s most basic tool at hand: simple geometry. This cart’s structure – made of recycled steel tube with a counter in reclaimed wood – nods to The Stop’s mission to demystify healthy food growing.

Meet the Jury


Clockwise from top left:

Janna Levitt (Principal, B.A., B. Arch., OAA, FRAIC) is a founding partner of LGA Architectural Partners. Her current projects include the new School of Architecture of the North in Sudbury for Laurentian University; the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library; and the Toronto Media Arts Centre, a media visual arts centre in downtown Toronto. Click here to see a recent residential project by Janna. With a keen interest in apiary culture, Janna is also a member of Ontario’s Beekeepers’ Association.

Q. If you were a chef what would you name your restaurant? A. Open.

Jason Stroud is the designer and owner of the Toronto studio/workshop Stroudfoot. Jason began his art career as a professional photographer, and then went on to building furniture, lighting and artwork. Most recently, he has focused on bar and restaurant design with a list of projects including King Street’s Origin, Ossington’s Yours Truly and the new County Cocktail and Snack Bar on Queen Street East.

Q. What is the best-designed kitchen appliance or utensil? A. Kobo Aizawa’s matte black cutlery set.

Joshua Brasse is an Industrial designer and the founder of ideacious.com: a product launching–platform allowing designers and non-designers alike to bring new products to market. Utilizing this platform, Brasse has successfully introduced a number of his own products, ranging from BBQs to motorcycle body modifications.

Q. What is the best-designed kitchen appliance or utensil? A. Well, to be fair, I’ll have to set aside the products I’ve designed (Element BBQ, Superhero Spatulas), and vote for… no, it’s my Element BBQ.

Tory Healy is the editor of Designlines, an award-winning quarterly published by Azure magazine. As Toronto’s ultimate guide to design, each issue features the work of established and up-and-coming creatives, top-notch architectural projects, and a curated list of contemporary furniture showrooms, galleries and restaurants.

Q. What is your favourite ingredient? A. Freshly cut pineapple. I also love it lightly grilled.

Categories: Expired Events

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