Toronto Veg Blog

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World

  Care of Florence McCambridge, TVA Volunteer I was introduced to killer whales in the same way that many of you were. The whales were performing at an aquarium, and I was mesmerized from the moment I saw them. Years later I spent an afternoon whale watching during a trip to Vancouver and was fortunate enough to see a killer whale up close in the wild, which was a profound experience that I will never forget. But other than being fascinated from afar, I’ve never really taken the time to learn more about orcas. That’s why I recently decided to read Mark Leiren-Young’s The Killer Whale Who Changed the World, a book I’d heard such good things about it since it was first released last year. And I’m so happy I did because this book taught me a lot. The Killer Whale Who Changed the World tells the story of how we stopped fearing these whales as “killers” and grew to respect them as “orcas”. It started in 1964 when a young killer whale was captured near B.C. and put on display at the Vancouver Aquarium. Crowds flocked to see the whale, who… Read More


Filed under: Animal Issues Front page post News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

Weekly Link Roundup – Vegan Ice Cream Is Not a Myth

Some of our favourite stories from around the web.   Humane Milk Is a Myth – Big news from the UK (BBC) where an ad with the headline “Humane milk is a myth” was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), despite complaints from the dairy industry. Beauty Lovers Rejoice – As more consumers look to plant-based personal care products, the market for cruelty-free cosmetics has increased around the world (Digital Journal), and it’s continuing to grow. Vegan Ice Cream Is Not a Myth – Vegan ice cream has never been better says the New York Times, and we couldn’t agree more. Keep an eye out for our roundup on where to get vegan ice cream in Toronto coming soon to veg.ca! Pork Is History – Pig news: while writing a book on the history of pork, archaeologist Dr. Pía Spry-Marqués decided to go vegan “I love Iberico ham. I love chorizo. But it’s just not worth it.” (The Independent) Wild for Veggie Burgers – Farming is the top threat to wildlife (Salon.com) and nearly one-third of tropical animal species face extinction if we don’t do something about it. Read More


Filed under: Food and Restaurant News News Toronto Veg Blog

Vegan Round-Up in Thornhill

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Updated June 2018 They say we all want what we can’t have. My parents complain that all the great vegetarian restaurants are downtown, but lately I’ve been finding that there are so many great vegan hot spots in the area where I grew up that when I’m home for a visit, I don’t have time to fit it all in. Places outside of the downtown core like Thornhill, Burlington, and Oakville, now have a large enough collection of their own vegan restaurants that more and more I’m finding myself planning day-trips (see my post on great hike ‘n dine day trip ideas here) instead of hopping on the subway or my bike to get to some of my favourite places. If you’re in Thornhill or Richmond Hill anytime soon, your problem won’t be finding a place to eat, but instead narrowing down your options to pick just one or two. Vegan Danish Bakery: No matter what part of the GTA you are from, the Vegan Danish Bakery is well worth the trip to the corner of Yonge and John Streets in old Thornhill. Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg Food and Restaurant News News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Restaurant Guides Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Book Review: The Skeptical Vegan

Reviewed by TVA volunteer Florence McCambridge Raised in a half-Italian, half-Swedish household, Eric C. Lindstrom basically grew up on meatballs and chicken Parmesan. He was a meat lover and proud of it. But after several of his friends in their mid-forties and early fifties died of heart attacks and after having his own health scare that landed him in the hospital, Eric was forced to reevaluate his diet. In his new book, The Skeptical Vegan: My Journey from Notorious Meat Eater to Tofu-Munching Vegan – A Survival Guide, Eric tells the story of how he went from an insatiable meat eater to a vegan, seemingly overnight. His decision to go vegan was influenced by Jen, his girlfriend at the time and now his wife. She was vegetarian and gluten free when they first started dating, and when she decided to go vegan for 30 days Eric agreed to do it with her. He writes honestly about the struggles he faced in those first few weeks. Even though going vegan wasn’t easy, he decided to keep it up when the 30 days were over and he hasn’t stopped since. He went all-in early on, giving… Read More


Filed under: News Toronto Veg Blog

Day-Tripping Around Toronto: Take 2!

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator A couple years back, we gave you some tips on vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants you could find in small towns around the GTA. We all know that plant-based dining options have been exploding since then, and it’s definitely time for an update. Some of the GTA’s best, most delicious vegetarian and vegan restaurants may seem a bit out of the way. But they are well worth the trip, and as it turns out, you don’t need to feel like you’re making the drive just for a quick bite to eat. Here I present to you some of my favourite summer (or fall) pairings of lovely hikes and suburban dining options. Lion’s Valley Park and Vegebitez: If you haven’t yet been to Vegebitez in Oakville, you are in for a mighty surprise. You’ll find things on the menu at this fully vegan joint that you just haven’t seen anywhere else, I promise. Like a build-your-own mac and cheese that starts with a smoked gouda sauce and ends with whatever your heart desires and can include BBQ or Buffalo soy curls, sour cream, crushed tortilla… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg Front page post News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

A Veggielicious Start to the Long Weekend

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Summer is pretty much here, which means it’s time for the office to get busy again! We’re excited to have our Directory Coordinator, Andrea, be joining us in the office for the summer, so we couldn’t resist ending off the magical two weeks that has been Veggielicious with a celebratory send-off lunch. With more than 40 restaurant locations participating in this year’s event, scheduling in all the specials we wanted to try was definitely a challenge. When Andrea came into the office last week, she raved about the Corned Beet Reuben Sandwich she had from Yamchops, and even more so about the cauliflower chocolate pudding it came with. Emily’s schedule allowed for both a nice, sit down, three-course meal at Southern Accent, as well as a morning pit stop at Rawlicious to enjoy their $4.50 smoothie bowl (DIVINE! was how she described it). David and I, never being ones to shun some good, old-fashioned, deep fried goodness truly delighted in Disgraceland’s mighty prix-fix menu of popcorn tofu, a butter “chicken” burrito, and deep-fried oreos and blueberry perogies for dessert. Yes, by this point in time,… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

Perks of the Job

Care of Emily Thompson, Festival and Events Coordinator It was just over six weeks ago that I arrived at the charming second floor office of the Toronto Vegetarian Association, ready to embark on my journey as their new Festival and Events Coordinator. I approached my desk to find an array of items welcoming me to the organization, including a delicious looking cupcake right in front of my eyes. I quickly learned that Barbi, our Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator, has a hidden talent in the realm of vegan baked goods, among other things. This was a dangerous finding especially as we were gearing up for the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off that both of us had signed up to be home-bakers for… Of course we were going to bring our test batches into the office! I have been lucky to work for companies and organizations revolving around good, healthy food (most of the time) and the TVA is no exception. The even better thing about it is the fact that absolutely everything I get to taste is vegan! Now I don’t want to make you jealous, but here’s just a few of the things I’ve had the opportunity… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Five Great Vegan Eats for Your Next American Vacation

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Disclaimer: This is not another vegan fast food post. While those articles are important (and we even have a whole fast food section here at veg.ca/fastfood!), they’re often meant to highlight what you can find if no other options exist. They’re often about settling for whatever cruelty-free food you can find, assuming you need to throw out any rules you might normally live by in terms of the ethics of supporting chains that profit from animal cruelty or in terms of your own personal health and well-being. But for me, the following four chains aren’t places I settle for when on vacation; they’re places I seek out. Even when travelling to a vegan mecca like Las Vegas or a relatively veg-friendly place like Tampa, I’m looking for a Tropical Smoothie to grab breakfast or a Whole Foods to stock the room with dessert. Next time you’re travelling to a city without a whole lot of explicitly vegetarian restaurants, fear not. Just do a quick search online to find out if the city or town you’re in has these four chains nearby and I promise you won’t be settling. Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Travelling Uncategorised

Meet David: TVA Staff Profile

What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? As TVA’s Executive Director, I work with our volunteer board of directors to set strategic priorities for the Toronto Vegetarian Association. And I work with staff to implement those strategies to achieve our mission – to inspire people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating. How did you become interested in vegetarianism? One of my friends invited me to see a presentation on factory farming, which really opened my eyes about animal issues. I decided that I didn’t want individual animals to suffer just for my convenience. So I sent away for a vegetarian starter kit and haven’t looked back! What do you like most about working for TVA? Working with amazing volunteers and dedicated staff! I got involved with TVA very soon after becoming veg. The people I met and events I attended helped me learn how to cook delicious, healthy plant-based meals and where to find the best veg food in the city. And there’s nothing quite like the positive energy that comes from helping organize North America’s largest Veg Food Fest. Do you have any hidden talents? Recently, I’ve had a lot of poems… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

Meet Felix: TVA Staff Profile

The Veg Food Fest is North America’s largest vegetarian festival. Having grown over the past 32 years to have more than 100 exhibitors and more than 50,000 attendees, it’s no longer feasible to have just one full time staff member devoted to planning it all during the summer. So each summer we’re fortunate to hire a Veg Food Fest Assistant to help Alyssa work with vendors and plan special events and promotions for everyone’s favourite day of the year. What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? I am the Festival Assistant! That means I help Alyssa, our Festival & Events coordinator, with planning our 32nd Annual Veg Food Fest this September. On the daily, I assist with planning logistics, marketing and communicating with vendors. On occasion, I will help Barbi with any administrative duties or helping drop-in visitors at our TVA office! How did you become interested in vegetarianism? I’ve always loved cooking and been passionate about sustainability and social justice. Until I reached university, it never dawned on me that the two were so deeply intertwined. After educating myself and meeting other veg people in  university, I knew that going veg was more what was on my… Read More


Filed under: News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised