Attendees wait in line to buy food at the Veg Food Fest on September 9.

45,000 expected to try vegan at Veg Food Fest

32nd year of Toronto vegan celebration set to be biggest in North America

It started 32 years ago as a single-presentation program with about 100 participants.

Now the latest edition of Toronto’s Veg Food Fest promises to be the largest in North America.

From Sep. 9 to 11, the Toronto Vegetarian Association has launched the event at Harbourfront Centre, where over 45,000 attendees are expected.

“It’s way bigger than what I expected,” says show visitor Mary McCusker, 24. “There are so many [vegetarian] products. I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Special events coordinator Alyssa de Hoop says, “This year we have over 140 vendors, so it’s our biggest festival yet. It has grown tremendously.”

The ultimate goal of the Veg Food Fest is “to promote veganism, enjoy vegan food and have a great time,” de Hoop says.

“It’s one of the best weekends in the year, where you don’t feel crazy or an outcast for not eating meat or dairy,” says Doug McNish, a vendor vegan chef and writer of three cookbooks.