Toronto Veg Blog

Help us host our 2021 Veg Food Fest Popup!

Veg Food Fest is now officially one week away! We are SO excited to be back in person this year hosting our iconic festival. Like many other small organizations, and particularly as a non-profit, we were hit hard by COIVD19, and were unable to host any in-person fundraising events last year. We were only able to stay active thanks to the generous support of our loyal members and donors. Despite this challenge, we were determined to ensure this year’s Veg Food Fest still happened, while keeping it free and accessible to the public. This is because we value the community we’ve built through this organization, and want to continue to watch it grow. We know there are many different reasons people choose more plant-based options; whether it be for their health, the environment, animal rights, or the various intersectional social justice concerns around animal agriculture. Whatever your reason is, we want you to know we see you making a difference in the world, and you have a community of support here at the Toronto Vegetarian Association.  This is also why we’ve decided to keep VFF 100% free to attend… Read More


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March / April Veg Guide Updates!

Happy (almost) April! If you’re near Dundas West, you’re in luck; there are THREE new vegan places nearby! But there’s lots this month for everyone, including a new big chain offering vegan burgers, and some great places east of the city. Read on!   Fig Kitchen and Market 29 Toronto Street South, Uxbridge Fig Kitchen and Market features a market with all vegan goodies, produce, cheeses and so much more, plus a restaurant (with an awesome patio to come). This is brought to you by the owner of the Bar Cafe which closed recently to make way for this larger location. This is your place north-east of the city to get Vego bars, all the vegan cheeses, Loon kombucha, and so many more hard-to-find goodies. We can’t wait to try their patio out this summer! The cafe offers espresso drinks, smoothies, pizza, bowls, salads, sandwiches and more!    Harlem Bodega 1307 Dundas Street West Harlem Bodega makes amazing Harlem style Puerto-Rican food, and it’s delicious. We love their chopped cheeze and their fried pastelillos. And now west enders can enjoy their food, because they’ve… Read More


Filed under: News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Restaurant Guides Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised Veg Directory Updates

Farewell to Denyse Mehta, Executive Director

Care of Nital Jethalal, President, TVA Happy 2021 everyone! 2020 was certainly a challenging year, and one that I know we will not soon forget. On behalf of the TVA Board of Directors and staff, I want to thank you for your continued support not only of TVA, but of veg businesses and the veg community in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Thank you, thank you, thank you! While there have been many heartbreaking stories over the last year, there have also been reasons for hope — from so many people wearing masks and taking precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe, to new veg-friendly businesses opening up during the pandemic, and news that vaccines are on their way. We’re not out of the woods yet, but hope you share our enthusiasm about what 2021 can hold for all us. I’d like to update you on a few developments at TVA. First, after three and a half years with the Toronto Vegetarian Association, Executive Director Denyse Mehta has decided to leave the organization. Her last day with TVA will be January 15, 2021. Denyse has made many important contributions to TVA during her time with the organization. Read More


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Discount Profile: Valiant’s Modern Plant-Based Eatery

If you are ever in the Barrie area, or even relatively close by, a great place to stop by for a wonderful meal and some special treats is Valiant’s Modern Plant-Based Eatery. My partner and I were on our way back to Toronto from Muskoka one afternoon and had been looking forward to this stopover for quite some time. Valiant’s certainly did not disappoint! Being in the downtown area, near the waterfront and Heritage Park, makes it the perfect location for an after-meal stroll. The interior space is relaxing, casual, and inviting. They had some great music playing in the background which really created a genuine ambience of friendliness and community. The menu itself was very large and in fact a bit overwhelming! Of course, this is a good thing, since there are so many awesome options to choose from. It all sounded and looked so good, gluten-free and non-gluten free alike! Although the pizza was tempting, we decided to go for the burgers including the bacun cheeze burger…. doubled! This, as it sounds, included 2 patties, 2 bacun strips and 2 cheeze slices. As you can imagine it was extremely filling and tasted… Read More


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Plant Seeds and So Shall We Grow

As we extend into week six of this period of physical distancing, here is an update on how the Toronto Vegetarian Association is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and information about the new online programming we are offering to the veg community. First of all, everyone at the TVA is doing well. We hope that you and your family members are also doing well and practicing safe distancing. This pandemic was caused by a coronavirus of animal origin, which shifted to a human host and has spread rapidly, as there is no natural human immunity. In this context, we know that the TVA’s work has never been so important. We have been thrilled to meet many members of the community during our weekly virtual lunch club and the Instant Pot cooking demo that was held on Facebook Live. Our virtual TVA Facebook cookbook club has over 50 members who are eagerly sharing recipes and photos of the amazing dishes they have prepared. Our Instagram stories showcase food stories and news about open restaurants. At the beginning of April, we moved the Veg Spring Market online, showcasing online offerings from 13 veg businesses and non-profits, and broadcasting five free online workshops including… Read More


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Discount Profile: Sweets from the Earth

Sweets from the Earth is one of the longest standing vegan bakeries in the GTA and is famous for its delicious, well, sweets of course! Since social distancing became the norm in the GTA, they’ve added some savoury and bread items to their online store, and I couldn’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity to try them out! If the incredibly delicious quality of their caramel pecan bars or apple pie squares, that I’ve become accustomed to, was a sign of what to expect from their breads, I knew I was in for a treat. I ordered a sandwich loaf, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, and mini bagels, all of them in whole wheat. The sandwich loaf was surprisingly large, more slices than a typical loaf you’d buy in the grocery store. It had a nice slightly crunchy crust, but the bread itself was very light, soft, and fluffy. The mini bagels were nice and dense and chewy, just like you want a bagel to be. Next time I might give the apple cinnamon version a try! The hamburger buns were also very fresh and soft. In addition to using them as a hamburger bun, I absolutely loved simply toasting… Read More


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Vegan Meal Ideas for People Who Can’t (or just don’t want to) Cook

A lot of people have been talking about how the extra time at home in social isolation due to the Coronavirus has given them an opportunity to cook and bake. There has been no shortage of exchanges of recipes or online cooking classes going on. But what if you truly don’t know how to cook, or you just plain hate it, and suddenly you are cut off from the world of vegan restaurants and coffee shops you usually frequent? We’re here to help with some ideas for meals you can throw together right now without having to learn any new skills. Breakfast cereal with soy, almond, or oat milk toast with peanut butter (or your favourite other nut or seed butter), topped with some sliced bananas and hemp seeds for extra nutrition giant fruit salad: slice up oranges and apples and sprinkle with some nuts and/or seeds, and cinnamon already flavoured instant oats can be bought so that all you need to do is add boiling water or, if you don’t even know how to use your kettle, there are usually instructions for microwaving too! Thaw some frozen berries and mix those in for added nutrition, and/or add in some peanut or… Read More


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A Healthy Twist on Traditional Pasta

Care of Ayah Victoria McKhail, a TVA member who recently attended a vegan pasta-making class in Toronto! Cucinato, the Italian Culinary Studio, where Old World charm meets modernity, isconstantly abuzz with activity. Nestled in the heart of Corso Italia, it offers a range of cooking classes and specialty events. Its warm ambiance is open and inviting; everything from the red and white checkered tablecloths to the lettering on the front window are tinged with nostalgia and are reminiscent of an era where preparing and sharing meals were commonplace. It’s here where culinary professionals take the best from traditional techniques and combine them with their signature panache. That’s exactly what Giulio Muratori, the face behind Giulio’s Artisanal Pasta was doing on a chilly winter night. Specializing in the ancient grains of Einkorn, Emmer, Khorasan (Kamut) and Spelt, his sold out and interactive class provided students with an opportunity to experiment with two types of pastas: Spelt for Fettucine and Khorasan (Kamut) for Cavatelli. With students encircling him at a table, Muratori began with a demonstration, adding water to a bowl of Spelt. Rolling it into a ball and then letting it sit, he mentioned how his late mother would knead… Read More


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The Veg Holiday Market is coming November 24th!

As the days get shorter and colder, we’re all in need of a little pick-me-up. We have a remedy for that!   For the 3rd year, the Toronto Vegetarian Association is excited to host the Veg Holiday Market – a fully vegan market with gifts that give back! This year’s event features some great new features in addition to our usual offering of over fifty vendors and hours of programming in the Stop classroom:   • We are happy to welcome you for an extended day this year! Browse the marketplace from 11 am till’ 8 pm. There’s time for supper, shopping, programming, and everything you’d like to do. • Want an alcoholic bevy while you shop? You’re in luck! This year for the first time we’re having a licensed event! Sip on a local beer, wine or cider with your food. Have a seat in the heated courtyard and chat with your friends. • Vegan Marshmallows? Check! Fire? Check! Roasting marshmallows over the fire? Check! Come to the vegan marshmallow roast in the courtyard once the sun has set. It’s free with admission, and the marshmallows are donated by Dandies, proudly available at Organic Garage. • Want to make… Read More


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Raio: A Life Lived in the Moment

“Raio was graceful, full of peace and love right to the end. As she lay dying, I wept, and she comforted and consoled me, assuring me that it was alright. Then she was gone.” Many people will recognize Raio and her sister Maia as longtime mascots of Veg Food Fest and ambassadors for compassion and veganism. This is her story. Article care of Kenneth Butland It’s a sunny summer day in Nova Scotia, and Emre Uzun is enjoying a drive in the countryside with his new best friend, a one-year-old Golden Retriever named Raio. The year is 2005, and his heavy fog of depression—after many years of struggle and with Raio’s help—has finally lifted. A song by Nellie McKay comes on the radio: Yeah, it’s just me and my dog Catchin some sun We can’t go wrong “Raio looked out the window, soaking it all in, totally in the moment,” Emre recalls. His eyes well up as he recounts what happened next: “As the song played, I was filled with a profound sense of peace. I felt so alive and connected. It’s difficult to explain.” Emre also credits Raio with inspiring his decision to go vegan and become an animal… Read More


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