Founded in 1945, the Toronto Vegetarian Association is Toronto’s go to resource for all things veg.
Director of Operations
Denyse Mehta is the Director of Operations of TVA. She is a passionate long-term vegetarian and has recently transitioned to vegan. Her primary interest in vegetarianism emerged from her cultural upbringing and has continued to evolve primarily with her involvement with the TVA. Her interactions with the TVA strengthened her belief in compassion and the benefits of sustainable good health with a primary vegan diet. During her corporate life she advocated for vegetarian food to be offered at all events to respect and value each person’s individual choices. She loves living in the city of Toronto and was immediately attracted to the Veg Food Festival as a newcomer, leading to her volunteering with the Programs Review Committee. She has volunteered and continues to volunteer in various activities in Toronto.
As an experienced professional in management, consulting, governance and entrepreneurship and the holder of an Executive MBA from the Henley Business School, University of Reading, her expectation during her period with the TVA is to harness all of her skills, talents and passions in conjunction with staff, Board Members, volunteers and the wider membership to build and sustain the core initiatives and purpose of the TVA.
Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator
As Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator, Barbi is responsible for maintaining and enhancing communications and relations with TVA’s dedicated donors and volunteers. In this role, she edits TVA’s electronic newsletter, Toronto Veg News, and leads the TVA Volunteer Appreciation Team. She is also responsible for ensuring the efficient day-to-day operation of the TVA office, always keeping everything, and everyone organized and up to date.
Barbi graduated from York University, where she helped the York Animal Rights Group to introduce a Vegetarian and Vegan Directory for the Keele Campus. She has served as a dedicated member of community groups in her hometown of Thornhill, such as the Pomona Mills Park Conservationists the Thornhill Historic Society and the Markham Animal Care Committee. She currently leads the TVA social group, Vegetarians of High Park, and volunteers at the Toronto Humane Society and her local Tenants’ Association.
Festival and Events Coordinator
As Festival & Events Coordinator, Emily’s primary role is to oversee the coordination of Toronto Vegetarian Association events including the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, Veggielicious, and the Veg Food Fest.
Emily studied Global Development and Sociology at Queen’s University where she focused the majority of her studies and advocacy initiatives on the food industry, environmental sustainability and social inequalities. Her passion for travel has led her to many places, including the Netherlands where she worked with the Cities Foundation to promote sustainable food transportation by connecting local businesses to the Amsterdam Food Centre with solar powered e-trikes. She returned to Toronto at the end of 2015 to work with Real Food for Real Kids cultivating healthy eating habits among future generatons.
Emily has explored plant-based living in many cities across the world. She has spent the past year in Toronto indulging in the vegan food scene and networking with likeminded individuals to promote the benefits of a vegan diet. Plant-based living has enhanced all aspects of her life: nourishing her yoga practice and half-marathons, cooking for family and friends, and aligning with her role as an environmentalist. Emily is excited to bring her enthusiasm for all things veg to the TVA community!
Past Executive Director
Currently on Parental Leave, October 2017 – April 2018