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

Meet Barbi: TVA Staff Profile

What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? Everything under the sun! Communications, donor relations, volunteer coordination, fundraising, office admin, outreach coordination, help with events and the unexpected! How did you become interested in vegetarianism? As a teenager I was listening to punk rock and reading a lot of zines which spoke about vegetarianism. A book I came across in my high school library called Old McDonald’s Factory Farm solidified my commitment. What do you like most about working for TVA? Hearing exciting news about vegetarian restaurants and events, being inspired by the dedication of our incredible volunteers and writing up blog posts like these! What is a hidden talent that people might not know about you? I do cross stitch and quilting when I can find the time. I can also tell you an awful lot about cacti and desert ecosystems. What is your favourite healthy meal or snack? I love roasted veggies, especially cauliflower or brussell sprouts. What is your favourite indulgence? Savoury would be Through Being Cool’s sandwiches (any of them!). If I had to pick JUST one favourite (impossible) sweet, it might be the famous Ronald’s Donuts in Las Vegas. Read More


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

Meet Janine: TVA Staff Profile

You may have noticed some new places popping up on the Toronto Veg Card lately (check https://veg.ca/directory/list/discount-list for an updated list). That’s in part due to the fact that it’s veg directory season! We’ve got Janine in this summer helping to update the Vegetarian Directory and get it ready to go to print in time for the Veg Food Fest. What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? I am helping prepare the 2017 Vegetarian Directory. Much of my job has to do with communicating with businesses and updating their listings in the directory database. The second phase of my job is to present workshops to various organizations and businesses to promote a plant-based diet. How did you become interested in vegetarianism? It started at a young age for me. I have always been very health conscious and as I grew older I learned more about the (various) benefits associated with with vegetarianism. As I am now pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health, I hope to help educate more people about the importance of healthy eating. What do you like most about working for TVA? The staff here has really made my experience as a summer student something… Read More


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Meet Alyssa: TVA Staff Profile

Earlier this week we told you all about Annie, our graphic design assistant for the Veg Food Fest. Annie works closely with our Festival & Events coordinator Alyssa. We introduced you to Alyssa a few months ago but with the 32nd Veg Food Fest less than two months away, we thought you might want to get to know her a bit better! What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? I coordinate and plan  TVA’s annual events and marketing communication campaigns. This includes our annual   Veg Food Fest and Veggielicious . I also  collaborate with TVA staff and volunteers to assist in planning  and executing our annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off. How did you become interested in vegetarianism? I began reducing my meat consumption in first year University due to the amazing vegetarian and vegan options at the University of Guelph campus. I was looking to stay healthy and honestly, the plant-based food offerings looked much more appetizing! I’ve never looked back since. I feel healthier and know I’m making a difference in the world. What do you like most about working for TVA? Working with the dedicated and friendly staff and volunteers motivated to make a… Read More


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

Meet Annie: TVA Staff Profile

When summer rolls around at the TVA office, things pick up quite a bit. This year we’re lucky to have not one, not two but three summer assistants in the office. It’s a busy place these days! Over the next few weeks we’ll introduce you to our summer staff team so you can recognize the friendly faces you might encounter if you stop by on a weekday and at the very least, at the upcoming 32nd Veg Food Fest! This week we had a delightful Italian themed vegan potluck at our weekly staff meeting, to which Annie brought along an incredibly fresh and delicious homemade bruschetta. It turns out she’s a whiz not just at graphic design but cooking too! What do you do at the Toronto Vegetarian Association? I design all promotional graphics for the Veg Food Fest coming up this September! This includes a variety of advertisements, merch and social media banners!   How did you become interested in vegetarianism? Freshman year of university, I was thrown into an extremely fast-paced, competitive environment. The shock of it all drove me into an unhealthy lifestyle. I had no time to exercise, I barely slept and I ate terribly. So,… Read More


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

Transitioning to Veganism

By Janine Jivani, Vegetarian Directory Assistant One of the things that I love about the Toronto Vegetarian Association is that they offer a variety of ways to learn about eating a plant-based diet no matter if you’re already veg or not. I was recently hired as a summer student (to work on the 2017 Vegetarian Directory and facilitate workshops), and I’ve learned so much more in the past couple of months than I would’ve ever thought. I have been a vegetarian ever since middle school and tried going vegan quite a few times- but always found myself giving up because I didn’t have the right resources, know the right foods to eat, or what recipes I could use to help me transition (like vegan Mac & Cheese!). I decided that this summer would be a perfect opportunity to transition to a vegan diet. At TVA I’m surrounded by amazing staff members and other summer students that have helped me learn so much about being veg. On top of that, TVA has a wealth of books, pamphlets, online materials, and other great sources of information which is making my transition much easier. Through working on the directory here at TVA I’ve opened my eyes to the large number of vegan-friendly restaurants and other… Read More


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