On April 28 1985, five hundred people gathered at the Kensington Campus of George Brown College (now the Kensignton Market Lofts) for the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s first Vegetarian Food Festival. The highlights of the event were the ten cooking demonstrations led by local restaurant chefs like and a screening of The Vegetarian World, a 1982 documentary narrated by William Shatner.

The Vegetarian Food Festival is the leading event of its kind in North America and one of the largest vegetarian events in the world. The event attracts over 40,000 visitors, 130+ exhibitors, and features over 30 hours of programming including cooking demonstrations, music, workshops, films, and presentations on a variety of topics. The festival has also been a launching point for many new products and businesses.

How should we celebrate our 30th?

We’re looking for your help to celebrate our 30th Vegetarian Food Festival this fall. Please send your ideas to happy30th@veg.ca

Some of the presenters we’ve featured over the years…

  • We’ve featured a who’s who of vegetarian advocates and authors such as Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur, ex-rancher turned animal activist Howard Lyman (The Mad Cowboy), feminist Carol J. Adams (Sexual Politics of Meat), biochemical researcher T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), and registered dietitian Brenda Davis (Becoming Vegetarian).
  • We’ve showcased some of the best vegetarian chefs in the world including Sarah Kramer (How It All Vegan), Terry Hope Romero (Vegan Eats World), Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Isa Does It), and Ellen’s personal chef Roberto Martin (Vegan Cooking for Carnivores).
  • We’ve also featured a new generation of advocates such as Breeze Harper (Sistah Vegan), Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows), triathlete Brendan Brazier (The Thrive Diet), Citizen Radio co-host Jamie Kilstein, and many more.
  • We’ve featured local chefs including Nettie Cronish, Arvinda Chaun, registered dietitian Beverley Edwards-Millerjae steele (Ripe from Around Here), and Doug McNish (Raw, Quick & Delicious).
  • We’ve also welcomed Elizabeth May (in her days as Executive Director of the Sierra Club), cartoonist Dan Pirarro, hockey player Georges Laraque, and world record breaking strongman Patrick Baboumian.