Changes to Booking the Betsy Swift Community Kitchen

At its May 2019 meeting, the Ralph Thornton Community Centre Board of Management approved important amendments to the Space Booking Policy and Procedures.  These changes, which came into effect at midnight on 23 May 2019 relate to the use of the Betsy Swift Community Kitchen for the sale of prepared food.

Recently, Toronto Public Health contacted the Ralph Thornton Community Centre regarding information that they had received about a group or individual who was using our Betsy Swift Community Kitchen to sell prepared food.

Following a series of conversations with Public Health, the Betsy Swift Community Kitchen has been placed on the list of facilities that will receive routine DineSafe inspections.  The first inspection took place on Wednesday 8 May, and the kitchen received a “Pass”.  Going forward, the centre will continue to be inspected, the results of which will be clearly posted in the kitchen.

As required, information sheets are now posted in the kitchen regarding food safety.  Users are encouraged to take some time to carefully review these.

New Requirement for Space Users

In addition, the Ralph Thornton Community Centre received direction from Toronto Public Health and Municipal Licensing and Standards on the requirements that must be met for any Space User to sell prepared food from the kitchen.  These requirements have been added to the Space Use Policy and Procedures.  The approved amendments are:

8.6    Any Space User renting the kitchen to sell prepared food must present a City of Toronto Business License and valid Food Handler Certificate(s), which will be copied and kept on file by the Centre.

8.6.1     Food handler certification is required for a minimum of one (1) supervisor who will be on site for the full duration of the booking.

8.6.2     The Space User must post in the kitchen a copy of the Business License and Food Handler Certification(s) for the full duration of the booking.

What does this mean for Space Users booking the kitchen?

For individuals or groups who are preparing and serving food at no charge, these requirement do not apply.  While it is advisable for someone supervising food preparation to have Food Handler Certification, it is not required when there is no monetary transaction.  So anyone preparing snacks during an event, a meal for a party taking place in the Centre, etc., and not charging a fee, will not be required to present either a Business License or a Food Handler Certificate.

For individuals or groups who are receiving payment for food prepared in the kitchen, these requirements must be met.  Please provide the Centre with copies of your Business License and Food Handler Certification immediately.  Any future booking that includes the sale of food prepared on the premises that does not have a valid license and/or certification will be cancelled and any paid booking fees refunded.  Any group or individual found to be selling food without notifying the Centre or providing a license and/or certification will have their booking immediately cancelled, will be asked to leave the Centre, and will forfeit all booking fees.

Questions and concerns

For questions regarding Food Handler Certification and food safety, please contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 (general enquiries line) or

For questions regarding Business Licensing in the City of Toronto, please contact Municipal Licensing and Standards at 416-392-6700 (general enquiries line).

For questions regarding how these requirements are being applied to bookings at the Centre, please contact Glenn Gustafson, Business Manager at or 416-392-6810 ext. 229.

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