Excitement grows over Taste of the Danforth returning after three years

Street festival is back after cancellations due to pandemic and bad timing

Danforth ready for Taste of the Danforth
Welcome to Greektown, says banner over Danforth Avenue where Taste of the Danforth is to be held this year.(Maria Palacios Becerril/Toronto Observer)  

Along Danforth Avenue, businesses are excited for the return of A Taste of the Danforth.

Seven Numbers restaurateur Vito Marinuzzi shared the sentiments of many other shops along the street in hoping this year’s street festival will be “bigger than ever.”

It is expected to be different from festivals in past years, before the pandemic shut them down, and to give a boost to business along the area, merchants told Toronto Observer.

As Marinuzzi said, “It’s the rebound and update that we are looking forward to.”

After a three-year hiatus, the popular summer tradition in East York is finally returning — an event that, according to figures from the Greektown on the Danforth BIA, attracts up to 1.6 million people for the weekend of food, fun, and music.

Last year A Taste of the Danforth was cancelled because the BIA said it had too short a time to accommodate recent changes in the street, including bike paths and curbside patios.

After a three-year hiatus, the Danforth community is eager for its return. Picture by Maria Palacios Becerril

Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher announced on Feb. 28 via Twitter that the festival was coming back and that the BIA had voted to hire an event planner “to assist them to plan and execute this year’s Taste.”

Marinuzzi agreed the event planner is a good idea.

He wants to see business brought back to the Danforth, especially after the pandemic, “reminding everyone that we are still here,” he said.

Seven Numbers manager Vito Marinuzzi (left) and chef Rosa Marinuzzi are planning for this year’s Taste of the Danforth. (FaceBook)

The East York community is also excited to see the street festival’s return.

Jordan Dickie, who has been going to the festival for years, says he has very fond memories of the festival in earlier years.

“My friend’s mom would make us all go every year,” he said.

And while there are other festivals in Toronto that he enjoys, he can’t deny he had some good times at this one.

Crowds filled the Danforth before the pandemic — as in this 2019 photo from the Greektown BIA.

Dickie recalls that one of the years he got a haircut while attending the festival, and the barbershop had a live band outside.

For him, just having A Taste of the Danforth come back is what matters the most.

“Seeing the community get back together to put something amazing than can only be done in Toronto is what Taste of the Danforth is all about,” he said.

The festival is to take place Aug. 11 to 13.

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Posted: Mar 24 2023 9:23 am
Filed under: Food Lifestyle Music News