Festivals: Taste of the Danforth

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Taste of the Danforth 2008, 15th celebration of Greek cuisine in Toronto, looked more like a celebration of umbrellas than food. The rain, a frequent visitor this summer, made the starts of the show —souvlakis, sosaties and brochettes— almost invisible.

But it was only an illusion. Every time it stopped raining, people rushed to get their meals on sticks.

More than just a celebration of Greek food — these days you can easily find Cuban, Indian or Thai goodies— it is also an entertainment event, with singers, dancers and even yoga classes all over the place. Visitors enjoyed kebabs, skewers, souvlaki, sosaties, satays or brochettes; played on the volleyball fields or took pictures of their painted-face kids.

The Taste of Danforth started in 1994, with 5,000 visitors and 23 restaurants. By the third year the city started closing Danforth Avenue and the number of visitors grew to 500,000. Today, over 1 million people attend the annual event, coming from as far away as Quebec or the USA. It’s mostly about the food— but the atmosphere and the entertainment are important part of Toronto’s Greektown experience.

The Taste of the Danforth runs every second weekend of August for three days. So, if you missed it this time, just be patient and wait for next year. In the meantime it may be a good idea to start saving some space for all the food you can get at Toronto’s Greektown.

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