Why I Love Toronto Reason #347
Taste of The Danforth
To me the taste of the Danforth is one of the first signs that the summer is coming to an end. Sponsored by Pilaros the Taste of the Danforth is celebrating 19 years of hosting Canada’s largest street festival along Danforth Ave from Broadview to around Pape.
Like The Taste of Little Italy this event is focused on Greek culture, which includes music, dance, festivities and cuisine. So get your stomach ready for Souvlaki overload! However, there is a variety of other international events that take place. This year there will be tributes to Elvis and Neil Diamond, as well Jamie Gutfreund of CP24 will be performing with his band – which I added there because I found that really interesting because he tell me the weather the everyday. Also there will be a stunt show and archery show in honour of The Expendables 2 and The Hunger Games. There is also an event to promote the films Paranorman and Resident Evil. There is a kid zone as well which means there will be little midway/ carnival rides and a sports zone which will no doubt be crazy popular considering the Olympics end today. The sports zone will include things like testing your athletic skills and meeting some cheerleaders.
The event for me is mostly about the food and the vendors. I always manage to eat too much or I always manage to buy too much from the street vendors who sell jewelry, clothing, accessories and CDS. Most importantly I go to experience Greek Culture or experience the way in which their culture has evolved and meshed into the Canadian landscape.
The area has a pretty simple history to it as well. The northern half was controlled by the Church of England, while the southern part was free of the churches power and was populated by farmers and brick makers. The area gets its name from Asa Danforth who was brought from the states to build portions of Kingston Road. However, Asa Danforth’s time in Canada was pretty depressing for he was in debt and had troubles with the city of York (now Toronto) who refused to pay him until the road was completed “properly” in their terms, (which deviates from the previous agreement which was to pay him in increments when he completed sections of the road). Anyways, he left Canada mad, disgusted and poor and ended up living the rest of his life in debt. Oh yeah and here’s another interesting tidbit – he didn’t even build Danforth Ave. So basically for some reason, which my Toronto Street book didn’t even tell me, they named an area after a poor disgruntle contractor who probably developed feelings of hate for our country- interesting. The Danforth did no flourish into the community it is today until the Prince Edward/ Bloor Viaduct was built giving Torontonians easier access to the Danforth from the downtown core. Also like many areas it was dubbed Greektown due to the large number of Greek immigrants who settled in the area.
All in all, I love this area. I’m not in the east end as much as I’d like to be, but overall I really like the Danforth. The blue and white colours that are displayed in windows or hang from outside in the form of the Greek flag, trying to pronounce the names of the restaurants in the area, seeing old people talking in their native tongue and most of how tight knit the is area.
That is Why I Love Toronto.
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