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Penalty Box
Dec 9, 2008
905 posts
23 upvotes
Toronto
Crazy how you can get this same food any other day of the year but people wait for this weekend so they can stand in line for 30+ minutes.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
11081 posts
1507 upvotes
Toronto
Here are some of the 2016 TOD free samples:

Dentine Ice Sub zero gum-Iceberg Mint flavour 2 pieces in a pack (3 pieces in my pack somehow, I guess I was lucky, lol)
Astro Yogurt was very generous, allowing everyone to try two free samples per person instead of just one. (two different fruit options)
Motts Clamato handed out free caesar drinks, promoting their new Motts Lime Clamato drink.
Pure leaf tea handed out a small cup of the tea of your choice (Lemon, Peach, raspberry or plain)
There were some free samples for hummis dip and tzatziki yogurt dip...possibly some crackers to go with that, but the crackers were all gone by the time I got there.
There were also some Nature bars, but I forget what brand. They actually handed out FULL sized bars too, not just pieces of bars...

There may have been other free samples too, but I've forgotten what they were.
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Dec 13, 2002
2876 posts
449 upvotes
I'll post a review of my visit later but first I wanted to respond to some comments posted Saturday, above:

'rjones416' five hours ago:
rjones416 wrote:
Aug 6th, 2016 7:28 pm
Crazy how you can get this same food any other day of the year but people wait for this weekend so they can stand in line for 30+ minutes.
'rjones416' FIVE YEARS AGO:
rjones416 wrote:
Aug 4th, 2011 8:15 pm
i'll go but only because i live close by. i dont get why people stand in huge lines for food that they could get any other day of the year.
5 years passed and you STILL haven't figured it out yet?!

I posted a few food-based reasons in Post#96, in response to 'Canada7' asking a similar question - and in addition there's the atmosphere (although some attendees like 'gh05t' below apparently don't like to spend time in the company of others enjoying themselves), the freebies handed out, the ToD store sales, the live bands and activities, and so on. We COULD go any day of the year, but most of us don't. ToD is a pretty good reason to come to the Danforth once, if not annually.
gh05t wrote:Another year I won't be going. Too crowded with gapers and wild folks trying to show off in public. Waiting in line at Astoria for 20 mins for gyro with fries. Lol
Instead of making the same complaints every year here, why not try going at a different time? This was my 4th time going on, all on early Saturday afternoons - and once again, crowds were perfectly manageable. No "wild folks". No showoffs. Only problems were 2 or 3 people txting while walking and exactly 1 blatant line cutter. Went by Astoria at about 2:15PM today - there were maybe 10 people in line, a 3 or 4 minute wait, tops. Most places we stopped at had 6-12 people in line max, and they were moving nicely. A few had more, many had less. Nice sunny warm day, not humid, no threat of thunderstorms or anything so attendance was as good as could be expected.
gh05t wrote:Less freebies than yesteryear. Not that I go for freebies, but many do. Only freebie I ever opted for was vitamin water one year and free starbucks iced coffee one year.
When you went, you didn't go for the freebies and didn't even take advantage of many of those on offer, so how is this a reason you're not going, again? As it happens, there were plenty of freebies to be had again today (some were mentioned by 'playnicee1' in the post above this one and I will list the ones I saw when I post my review)... without checking my previous 3 ToD review posts in this thread, I'd say there were likely as many if not more than at least some of those previous years. I'll take your word for it that there are less freebies than "yesteryear" (8, 10 or 15 years ago) --I can't say as I didn't go then-- but this year's first-timers and returnees like me have no reason to complain.
gh05t wrote:Plus no coconut cake and fewer places with spinach pies.
Spinach pies are still available at various vendors and although I can't say I've ever seen it, there are enough bakeries along the route that I'm sure at least 1 of them has ravani (Greek coconut cake). But even if they don't, that's a pretty weak reason why you're not going, again.
gh05t wrote:Those who go do enjoy though. It's better than nothing.
Both statements are almost certainly true. I'm sure event goers who go this year and went last year thank you for staying home - we go to ToD to have a good time, not wait in line behind sour-pusses who don't really want to be there.
kingfencer wrote:i'll pass, there's not much there buy[sic] souvlaki or gyros.
"buy"="but", I assume. Regardless, "not much there" is a complete and utter falsehood - but thank you (see my last sentence to 'gh05t').
JayLove06 wrote:
Aug 6th, 2016 3:32 pm
I heard it is JAMMED! Seems to grow each year.
Having now gone 4 years in a row, my experience is that this is not true. A lot of restaurants have closed over the years, and not reopened as restaurants, meaning fewer food vendors and it being less jammed and more spread out. Fewer food vendors and a similar number of attendees should mean longer lines, however this also is not true, in my experience.
Photo is from 2013, if not earlier [source]. Even if it had been from this year, my point once again, this time in reaction to 'JayLove06' replying "No thanks" - is ToD is not jammed all the time, all weekend long. I realize some people can't make it in the early afternoon due to work or other commitments but it's a disservice to fellow RFDers (and to the ToD) for people to suggest or share their belief that ToD *IS* an overcrowded nightmare that is best avoided. Perhaps dinner time on Friday and Saturday is jammed and is to be avoided, or some other specific time+day, but if that's the case, nobody in recent time has actually said that here!
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
18648 posts
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Toronto
I can already see you are going to rave about this big time, judging your responses to others' postings
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
6716 posts
698 upvotes
Toronto
"Instead of making the same complaints every year here, why not try going at a different time? This was my 4th time going on, all on early Saturday afternoons - and once again, crowds were perfectly manageable. No "wild folks". No showoffs. Only problems were 2 or 3 people txting while walking and exactly 1 blatant line cutter. Went by Astoria at about 2:15PM today - there were maybe 10 people in line, a 3 or 4 minute wait, tops. Most places we stopped at had 6-12 people in line max, and they were moving nicely. A few had more, many had less. Nice sunny warm day, not humid, no threat of thunderstorms or anything so attendance was as good as could be expected. "

I know many people come out later in the day when it's cooler.

I did it yesterday despite saying I would not go.

I went in the afternoon after 7PM and it was pretty terrible.IMO

The lines at Messini and even the lesser places were ridiculous.

I turned around and headed back West on the subway and did some grocery shopping instead.

Even people there with their kids, strollers etc were having regrets, women were fighting with their SO's, had that exasperated look on their faces etc, seemingly for taking them down there, or not being able to jump the lines etc.

I understand some people don't mind it and it's just a nice relaxed, chill time.

Maybe I'm just too uptight.

To each their own.

I'm sorry if I came across as negative to you but based on what was up on offer it was not worth it to me, so I'd continue to stay away at the risk of being called names.:)
Deal Addict
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Nov 20, 2010
1150 posts
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It's a total rip off, but I still go almost every year mostly for people watching and because I can walk there.

Got my traditional 2 favorites from the TOD which was 2 BBQ quails ($4 each) from Louis' Meat Market and across the street got a pork souvlaki stick (with a tiny piece of bread) from Astoria's for $4 as well. Ate my yummy food and left the food festival early in the afternoon.

I will return again tonight after I finish watching all of the live Olympic swimming events on Sunday night. Hoping some vendors will reduce the prices (in previous years a few vendors did this) of the souvlaki sticks to $2 bucks in the last half-hour since the event is over. See you next year and give us some cheap souvlakis (pork,chicken.lamb etc.) for $1 this time! LOL
Deal Fanatic
Jul 10, 2003
6698 posts
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The only time this festival is enjoyable is between 12pm and 1pm when it first opens for the day. I went today at noon and it was nice and quiet. After about an hour, all the people from the GTA show up and then it's so crowded that you can't walk.
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Dec 7, 2012
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GTHA
Festival on Toronto’s Danforth not so Greek anymore
Yes, you can find souvlaki and gyros at Taste of the Danforth. But, in its 23rd year, the party has gone global.
Taste of the Danforth started in 1994 when merchants decided that, rather than advertise individually, they would set up tasting tables selling souvlaki on a stick, and other then-exotic dishes, for a maximum $5 per item.

Some 5,000 people turned up. That jumped to 100,000 the following year and kept rising, necessitating street closures, to a current expected 1.6 million over a full weekend that ends Sunday at 10 p.m.

The enforced $5 maximum is a rare festival constant, along with the fact that net proceeds from sponsorships and vendor fees go to charity.

The Danforth, once home to cafes full of men talking politics while swinging komboloi worry beads, and butchers displaying skinned rabbits, has gentrified and diversified, and so has the yearly taste of it.

“The festival very purposely is a multicultural festival with a dollop of tzatziki on the top,” says Howard Lichtman of Greektown on the Danforth BIA, the merchants’ group that organizes it.

“It’s by design and it represents the changing face of Canada, the changing face of Toronto and the changing face of the Danforth. We have Greek programming but we intentionally don’t want it all to be Greek.”
Deal Addict
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Aug 9, 2013
2083 posts
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Scarborough
Went there today, every one around me was either eating the roasted corn on the cob or chicken souvlaki on a pita, the need for these $5 samplings to otherwise be paying more on a regular day is a joke. The lineups for the free yogurt was by far the most pathetic thing I've ever seen. It just goes to show you that people aren't into trying new things even for $5, I would rather have my pita on a calm Wednesday afternoon than have to suffer walking through the massive heathing of people breathing next to you.

The only reason I attended was because the in-laws wanted to go I was already on the way. If I wanted free samples of Yogurt I would head to Costco, seriously I cannot get over that. /rant.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
11081 posts
1507 upvotes
Toronto
OrangeBerry wrote:
Aug 7th, 2016 9:48 pm
If I wanted free samples of Yogurt I would head to Costco.
Nope. @ Costco you'd be lucky to get less than half a container-a spoonful maybe.
They handed out two full containers (100 ml each) to each person @ TOD.
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Mar 9, 2007
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How much these free yogurt cost? 2 bucks?

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Aug 9, 2013
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Cheapo-Findo wrote:
Aug 7th, 2016 11:08 pm
How much these free yogurt cost? 2 bucks?
There are like a million brands out there, yogurt isn't something I'd dive to get my hands on it's accessible everywhere not sure what the hype is.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
11081 posts
1507 upvotes
Toronto
OrangeBerry wrote:
Aug 7th, 2016 11:09 pm
Cheapo-Findo wrote:
Aug 7th, 2016 11:08 pm
How much these free yogurt cost? 2 bucks?
There are like a million brands out there, yogurt isn't something I'd dive to get my hands on it's accessible everywhere not sure what the hype is.
You don't care but others do. The fact that two were handed out per person. No stingyness. Astro is an amazing company. (or the promo company acting on their behalf)
Now I buy Astro when I think Yogurt. Good for me eh? lol

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