Feast of senses – food, culture and entertainment – at final day of Krinos Taste of the Danforth
It was a feast for the senses on the third day of the 23rd annual Krinos Taste of the Danforth festival, Sunday, Aug. 7.
The event had barely begun just after 11 a.m. and yet the crowds were already growing quickly, as were the lineups for authentic Greek dishes.
In the middle of bites of her chicken hero gyro – fresh off the barbecue compliments of Asteria Souvlaki Place just east of Chester Avenue – Antonietta Gaveri said today was her first visit to the popular street festival.
“It’s great. This is exactly what I wanted,” Gaveri said referring to the gyro.
She and her family had heard about the Taste of the Danforth for years, yet this one was the first they could make it out to. The Woodbridge resident said she was looking forward to immersing herself in Greek culture.
It was Brigitte Pelkey’s first visit to the festival as well. She was there with a group of girlfriends that included Francesca Castiglione, who revealed she went to the Taste of the Danforth as a kid, but has little memory of it.
“The food, it’s delicious, absolutely delicious,” Pelkey said as she bit into her chicken souvlaki.
They both agreed the food is what drew them to the festival.
A ‘celebration of taste and culture,’ the Taste of the Danforth closes the street from vehicular traffic between Broadview and Donlands avenues. While the food is one of its biggest draws, the festival this year featured a kids’ fun zone and an ‘It’s All Greek to Me’ section in which visitors were invited to take part in Greek customs such as breaking plates; the ancient Greek tradition saw dinner guests breaking plates and throwing them into the fire as opposed to washing and reusing them. The practice in Greece was banned in the late 1960s, however, festival-goers were encouraged to revive the tradition.
They were also invited to test their archery skills in an archery range powered by Battle Sports. Or learn an easy Greek Folk dance.
Toronto’s professional sports teams, such as the Maple Leafs, the Raptors and the Argos, had a presence at the festival in its official sports zone. Not only did it feature interactive activities and challenges, but also appearances by some of the city’s sports heroes.
Musical and dance entertainment on three stages had yet to begin Sunday morning, but there was no shortage of performances to check out throughout the afternoon and evening. It all kicked off at noon, featuring everything from a stunt show to pageantry, Flamenco and belly dancing.
Festival volunteers stood outside of subway stations that spanned the length of the festival to hand out programs to the steady stream of people who had taken the TTC to the event.
As a result of the festival, Danforth Avenue from Broadview Avenue to Jones Avenue is closed in both directions until 3 a.m. Monday, Aug. 8 at 3 a.m. The TTC is also diverting:
• 72 Pape bus will operate from Donlands station and will divert in both directions to/from Donlands station via Carlaw Avenue, Gerrard Street East, Jones Avenue, Danforth Avenue and Donlands Avenue.
• 300 Bloor-Danforth bus will divert both ways via Danforth Avenue, Donlands Avenue, Mortimer Avenue and Broadview Avenue.
• 325 Don Mills bus will divert both ways via Pape Avenue, Mortimer Avenue, Broadview Avenue, Gerrard Street East and Carlaw Avenue.
Visit tasteofthedanforth.com/ for details.