Toronto’s 30th Vegetarian Festival

The 30th annual Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival was held this past weekend at the Harbourfront Centre. The free event which runs for 3 days is dedicated to all things veg-friendly and is organized by the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA), a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization.

It was officially started in 1984 in Kensington Market and has since grown to become the largest of its kind in all of North America attracting over 35,000 people every year. This year the festival included over 130 vendors from restaurants to food shops, along with cooking demos, panel discussions, film screenings, and lot’s more.

We were very excited to attend this milestone anniversary as we host a food tour each month called “Vegecursion” which takes participants to a selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city. It was really wonderful see all the unique offerings at the festival and to see how plant-based foods have become increasingly popular.

Here’s some delicious photos of the festival as we happily nibbled our way through it.

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 Veggie spring roll and mock-pork skewer from King’s Café. The establishment is a well-known Asian vegetarian restaurant in Kensington Market but also has multiple locations across the city under the name “Zen Gardens”.

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Cinnamon buns and other sweet treats from Bunner’s. The bakery’s owners Ashley Wittig and Kevin MacAllister just released a new cookbook this year which features a selection of their best vegan recipes.

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Matcha green tea ice from Fumi Ice. Made from soy, the dessert is prepared locally and is lactose and gluten free. Although, they don’t have a permanent location just yet, they’ve been at different events and pop-up’s throughout the city.

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Cookie sandwiches from Apiecalypse Now!. The bakery is run by vegan activist Jennifer Bundock and just opened this year in Mirvish Village.

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Energy snacks by Kewaza which are made from raw, all-natural ingredients and include 5 different flavours.

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Selection of wellness teas from the Honest Leaf which are developed by Toronto based Nutritionist, Shelby Kroach. She’s also currently running a Kickstarter Campaign to further her business.

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 “Coconut Ba-con” that’s flavoured with tamari and maple syrup along with other spices from YamChops. Billed as Toronto’s first “vegetarian butcher,” they offer a range of vegetable-based protein dishes at their shop. Since their opening this spring, they’ve been extensively covered in the media including in the Globe and Mail and the CBC.

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Vegan chef and consultant Doug McNish demonstrates to an audience on how to make his popular mac and cheese recipe. He operates his own vegan and gluten-free restaurant called the Public Kitchen but you can also find him at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market on the weekends.

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A very happy volunteer from the TVA booth!

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Raw shelled hemp seeds from Hemp Hearts. Hemp seeds have become a popular superfood among the health conscious.

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Smoothie and mac and cheese from Green Zebra which offers vegan meal delivery services.

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Focaccia from Tori’s Bakeshop which is located in the Beaches and offers vegan, all-natural baked goods.

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