Do the math: Pi Day and fresh pie a perfect equation

Wanda's Pie in the Sky combines baking and math for a nerdy celebration of a mathematical constant

Wanda's Pie in the Sky prepares for Pi Day, a celebration of a mathematical constant that has turned into the perfect excuse for a treat. Taylor Thompson/Toronto Observer

The scent of freshly baked pie wafts through the front door of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, enticing those who pass by to stop in for a slice.

And today — March 14 — people from all over the city are flocking to Wanda’s, not only for a piece of her famous home-made pie but also to join in a mathematical celebration. It’s Pi Day, a 24-hour period dedicated to celebrating the mathematical constant, pi, that has turned into the perfect excuse for a delicious slice.

“We’ve been doing it for a long time, six, seven years,” says Wanda Beaver, pie connoisseur and owner of the Augusta Avenue bakery. “We put out our signs that say, ‘Nerd alert! It’s Pi Day.'”

Wanda’s prepares to celebrate Pi Day with a sign reminding customers to partake. (Taylor Thompson/Toronto observer)

Beaver says she’s seen an increase in the popularity of the the event over the last couple of years, with staff preparing up to 150 pies for delivery and pick-up for this year’s celebration.

“The last couple of years it’s just exploded,” she says. “We’re delivering to some engineering firm that’s getting 35 pies tomorrow to celebrate.”

The pies are carefully hand-crafted, decorated with various numbers and mathematical equations. For a baker who’s always had a love for math, Beaver says it’s the perfect fit.

A warm welcome sign greets guests upon entering the bakery. (Taylor Thompson/toronto observer)

Diners can choose from a number of hand-made pies, baked goods, coffees, teas and savoury lunch options. (TAYLOR THOMPSON/TORONTO OBSERVER)

University of Toronto staff and students are no stranger to the official holiday, returning each year to Wanda’s to celebrate.

“The U of T math department comes in here; their profs come in and we have a competition of who can recite the most consecutive numbers of pi,” Beaver says.

Liam Hunter, a U of T calculus and linear-algebra student, is participating in the event for the first time this year. He notes how popular the day has become among students, saying the joy and excitement is appreciated at this point in the semester.

Wanda’s offers a variety of pies, all of them made daily. These include classic popular flavours such as apple crumble, cherry and banana cream as well as more adventurous ones — pear cranberry or mango cream with coconut, anyone?

A newspaper article showcasing Wanda Beaver’s early years as a business owner hangs in her bakery alongside decorations.  (Taylor Thompson/TORONTO OBSERVER)

Whatever your preference, Beaver wants her bakery to cater to everyone who walks through the front door.

“We want people to come here and when you walk into Wanda’s Pie’s, it’s like a warm blanket,” she says.

But it’s clear, if you have a love for math — and maybe a little pie — this is the place for you.

About this article

Posted: Mar 14 2019 1:22 pm
Filed under: News