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A Taste of Greece at 'The Taste' in Toronto

Published by Dale Myers

Country: Canada

The Experience

For a taste of all things authentically Greek, one doesn’t have to go all the way to Athens, or even to Europe. Instead, you can get your fill of Greek food in the Canadian city of Toronto during the Taste of the Danforth, held annually every second weekend in August. The Greek food festival, aka “The Taste,” is one of Toronto's largest and most popular street festivals, one which attracts more than 1.3 million visitors a year (which is a major leap from the 5,000 people that attended in its inaugural year), helping to make the city one of Canada's top tourist destinations. If you still doubt the authenticity of the festival (don’t let its name fool you, it’s called “The Taste of the Danforth” because it takes place on Danforth Avenue), keep in mind that the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has more than 200,000 residents of Greek ancestry, making it the third-largest Hellenic community outside of Greece. But you don’t have to be Greek to enjoy a Taste of the Danforth, as any visitor to the festival gets to be Greek for the day!

This celebration of Greek food and culture, which began in 1994, is comprised of a multitude of exhibitors featuring contests, prizes, and even free samples, not to mention a seemingly endless number of greek food booths. Certain Greek staples that you are sure to find in abundance include souvlaki skewers, pitas filled with all sorts of sumptuous Greek fare, and, of course, gyros. But the Taste of the Danforth isn’t just about food, as entertainment options also abound, including three outdoor stages (one of which focuses exclusively on Greek culture), music, dancing, activities, and a sports zone. If the crowds get to be too much, or you’re just too weighted down from all the food, relax on a licensed patio where you can just sit back and watch a sea of people roll by.

Tried, tested, and true “Taste” veterans would probably agree that the best tip for attending the festival is to arrive hungry and with hands unencumbered so you can eat and walk at the same time.

When to Go to Taste Of The Danforth

The three-day Taste of the Danforth takes place every second weekend in August. The festival kicks off on that Friday at 6 PM, and at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

Odds n' Ends

Many of the things you’ll likely be eating will be dripping with tzatziki sauce, so it is best to wear clothing you don’t mind getting a little messy. Other things to keep in mind is that Danforth Avenue is closed during the festival between Broadview and Jones Avenues, and the best way to get there is by subway (driving is not recommended), disembarking at either Broadview, Chester, or Pape Station. The festival itself begins at 6 PM on the opening Friday and around noon on the Saturday and Sunday.


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