On Wednesday, February 23, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will invite Torontonians to enjoy a delicious patty in honour of the 37th annual Jamaican Patty Day in Toronto. This annual food holiday recognizes a unique part of Toronto’s history, acknowledging Jamaica’s important impact on the local community, culture and food scene.
Toronto is renowned for its international culinary offerings and cuisines, and the city has an interesting history with the humble Jamaican patty dating back nearly four decades. In February 1985, Toronto’s historic “Patty Wars” took place when city food inspectors told several local Jamaican patty vendors that they could no longer use the term “beef patties”. Negotiations were held and the Jamaican patty vendors eventually prevailed. To celebrate the peaceful resolution of this delicious dispute, February 23 has been henceforth known as Jamaican Patty Day in Toronto.
“The people of Toronto are very passionate about this Jamaican staple; everyone has an opinion about who makes the best beef patty in town. It’s also a great opportunity to support your favourite local patty vendor,” said Angella Bennett, Regional Director – Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board. “We encourage all Torontonians to celebrate Jamaican Patty Day in Toronto and savour a taste of the island here at home.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory also shared an official letter of greeting with the JTB and Toronto’s Jamaican community acknowledging the importance of the annual food holiday. “The City of Toronto is home to a vibrant Jamaican population whose unique contributions to food, music, and art enrich our city’s diverse culture. As one of the world’s most diverse cities and home to people from all over the world, the valued contributions of diverse communities strengthen our society and contribute to our city’s motto, 'Diversity Our Strength'," the letter reads.
From savoury meat patties and juicy jerk to spicy peppered shrimp and rich oxtail stew, Jamaica’s vibrant culinary heritage makes the tropical destination a must-visit spot for foodies, or anyone simply looking to try something new. To learn more about Jamaican cuisine, visit visitjamaica.com/feel-the-vibe/cuisine.