News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association

A Tale of 2 Vegan Cities: Toronto vs. New York

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator New York City, so I’ve heard, is famous for it’s cornucopia of vegetarian restaurants. So, when my partner suggested he’d like to take a vacation there with one purpose in mind, to eat, I was up for it (although it doesn’t take much to convince me to go on vacation anywhere). Veggie Cajun chicken at Red Bamboo I found planning our 5 night trip quite overwhelming at first. With literally over 400 listings coming up for New York City on Happy Cow, in a city so vast and huge, I had no idea where to start in terms of narrowing down restaurant options and selecting a neighbourhood to stay in. Enter the beloved Toronto Vegetarian Association Facebook group community. Suddenly I had reliable sources of people with like-minded food preferences making recommendations for their favourite places and even sharing their personal google maps to help me get a sense for where the hot spots were. Despite everyone telling me 5 nights is a long time to spend in New York and plenty of time to get in the best restaurants and popular tourist attractions, I STILL felt overwhelmed and quickly came… Read More

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Walking in a Veggie Wonderland

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Reuben sandwiches at Thomas Lavers Yes, I’m going to say it again. It’s really clear and obvious that vegetarianism has hit some sort of tipping point and Toronto is one the best examples of the increasing visibility and popularity of vegetarian options in the dining world. Want proof? Savour Toronto, a local company that does walking food tours of Toronto’s best restaurants, approached us last year for assistance creating the first vegetarian walking tour in the city. Savour Toronto has now run three of their popular Vegecursion tours which takes attendees to five vegetarian hot-spots (including the TVA Resource Centre!), and I was giddy as can be when they invited me along for a complimentary tour at the end of April. It was, of course, delicious. What else would you expect from Toronto which we all know has no shortage of supply of incredible vegetarian restaurants? I was expecting a little bite size sample at each of the stops and was surprised by the wide and large variety of different items we got to try! The first stop was Thomas Lavers. There was a spread of fresh baguettes to… Read More

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Worldwide Vegan Bake Sales in the GTA

The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is an international campaign to showcase how delicious vegan baking is. Visit a Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale from April 26th to May 4th to support the Toronto Vegetarian Association and other animal charities. Bake Sales for the Toronto Vegetarian Association Saturday, April 26th The Vegetarian Resource Centre’s Annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale! When? Saturday, April 26th from 1 to 4 pm Where? Vegetarian Resource Centre, 17 Baldwin Street 2nd floor More Info? Click here! Come out to get some great vegan treats and check out our library and vegetarian bookstore while you’re here. Monday, April 28th Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale for High Park Village residents When? Monday, April 28th from 4 to 6 pm Where? 66 Pacific Avenue lobby. **Note: this event is only accessible to residents of the Minto High Park Village rental complex** April 29th to May 1st Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale at Marni Wasserman’s Food Studio and Lifestyle Shop When? Tuesday, April 29th from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday, April 30th from 10 am to 1 pm, and Thursday, May 1st from 10 am to 5 pm Where? 510 Eglinton Avenue West More Info?… Read More

Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association

Losing my Bake-Off Virginity: A First-Time Recount from a New Vegan

Care of Dane McBurnie Any gathering of Toronto’s vegan community is an exciting experience, but none is as sweet as the Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off. I am not a veteran vegan (I went vegan in 2013), but for as long as I have been living this lifestyle, I had heard tell of this cruelty-free contest of cookies, cupcakes and confections. On the cool Sunday afternoon of March 23rd, Toronto’s finest vegan bake-smiths gathered to share their wares and compete for the right to proudly claim, on this day, that they were the very best. My wonderful girlfriend and I managed to fit six plates of baked goods into our daily intake of food, and we can confirm that, in every category, deciding who was “the best” was rarely an easy task. The afternoon was a delicious who’s-who of the vegan food community. Superstars such as Tori’s Bakeshop, Apiecalypse Now!, Bello Bio and Through Being Cool Bakery were represented in full force. The competition was also judged by prominent vegan chef Doug McNish, vegan blogger Lauren Toyota and councillor Michael Layton. I did not envy their position of having to choose best-in-show…except that they got… Read More

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A Green Surprise Amidst a White Winter

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator I can remember like it was yesterday the first time I received a phone call from Green Zebra Kitchen. It was a few summers ago, and they had listed their business in the Vegetarian Directory. They were phoning to say that the directory had given their business a huge boost and as a thank you to TVA, they wanted to bring us a sample of their food. The TVA staff were treated to a delivery of cauliflower mac ‘n cheese and soft and gooey lavender chocolate chip cookies. We were all floored by how incredibly delicious the food was. We immediately knew we wanted to build a stronger relationship with this amazing meal delivery company and soon we had them booked to cater our volunteer party after the Vegetarian Food Festival. Since then we’ve been thrilled to have them involved at the food festival, the vegan bake-off and more. Have you tried their “ice cream” sandwiches?! But I won’t lie…I’m perhaps even more thrilled that they continue to spoil us with surprise deliveries now and again! Two weeks ago they brought over some new items which once again, blew my mind. Read More

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Veggie Spirit with Bhakti Lounge: Special Members-Only Event!

Bhakti Lounge is hosting an evening for TVA members only on April 24th at 6:30. $10 gets you a vegan feast, yoga and the following presentation. Please register directly with Bhakti Lounge at You are what you eat – is it true or a bit of an exaggeration ? Most of us have been veg for a while, healthy lifestyle choices is the way to go. You know the health benefits of a clean, sustainable, earth-loving, and animal-friendly lifestyle. Indeed, thumbing through creative veg cookbooks and scrolling down recipe blogs can be an exciting thing. What am I going to cook up today? A holistic meal for my body – is there more to food than sustaining a healthy body? Explore with us the ancient Yoga texts for deeper insight into the power of food and its ability to transform the inner and outer environment. Can the quality of food change the destiny of the planet ? Deep dive into meditation with special Bhakti yoga cooks and discover the secret ingredient that can bring out the full potential of the meal on your dinner table. Discover the finer flavours of a consciousness cooking, and… Read More

Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association

An Act of Sweetness for Animals

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Us vegetarians like to poke fun at the pesky questions we get about our diet that seem so obvious to us. The biggest cliche we joke about of course is the classic “Where do you get your protein?”. But there are others too like “Do you eat yeast?” and “Can you eat pasta?”. I’ll give people credit. Although most dried store-bought pasta is vegan, fresh pasta made at a true Italian restaurant may very well be made with eggs. However I must say, when I get asked if I can eat bread I can’t help but chuckle and struggle to figure out how to even answer such a question. But have you ever been asked if you can eat sugar? Back in the day, yes, plenty of sugar was refined using bone char made from the bones of cows. It is what filtered the sugar to give it the bright white colour. That’s why you’ll find a lot of vegans using organic cane sugar, which functions just like white sugar in baking and taste but has a brown, caramel colour rather than white. However, in Canada we’re… Read More

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