Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day 6 – Staycation – in Toronto, Ontario

Well. I said I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend, and I was serious. On the bright side, the weekends are a beautiful time to enjoy the city I do live in.

arrived back in toronto at union station

So what happens in Toronto on a Saturday? One of my favourite things in the city, the St. Lawrence Market! While other farmers markets are closing shop (because it’s getting pretty chilly out) this one can keep on keeping on. It’s a great place to pick up heirloom tomatoes (and carrots!), fresh herbs, unique spices (that I’d have a hard time locating elsewhere), fresh bagels, & raw creations from Cruda Cafe. And yeah, I know it’s open throughout the week, but Saturday is my favourite!


I briefly wandered around the Distillery District this afternoon with a couple of friends, I have to make a note to check out the farmers market there next year. It is a national historic site, with the most amazing Victorian industrial architecture, full of arts and culture. I must go back, and I must go back soon. There is this amazing juxtaposition between modern arts and culture, with this overwhelming feeling of HISTORY, like I stepped back into a time long ago.

I’ve been told that Balzac’s Coffee Roastery (Distillery District, 55 Mill St, Toronto, On) is THE place for coffee in Toronto. There I was in the neighbourhood, and did I pick up a cup? Sadly no. Shamefully (really, I’m ashamed) my belly was already full of a venti chai latte. Did I mention Balzac’s has micro-roasted fairtrade beans? Damn it. Yet another reason to step back in time and visit the Distillery district again.

My friends have been wanting me to try Mela (7 A Yorkville Ave. (at Yonge)),an Italian vegetarian cafe, ever since I first arrived in Toronto at the end of August (uh… when I was still on vacation…) but at the time it was closed. So today we made a special trip out there, and while I might not have loved it as much as my friends do, I still enjoyed the atmosphere quite a bit (and the cheesecake!) It’s more of a vegetarian place than a vegan one, but there are quite a few options. The menu changes daily, and they label the vegan options on the chalkboard, BUT not everything they have is on the menu, so ask!

Mela - cauliflower and soy protein pie

I ordered the Sweet Potato and Rapini pie, and it was interesting, but not quite what I expected to taste when I bit into it. Kind of sour, and totally the ugliest picture ever so I’ll spare you. My friends both ordered a very delicious dish, the cauliflower and soy protein pie. Boring name, tasty dish, and pictured above. Also not beautiful, but certainly yummy.

Now, the most important part of the meal, dessert. The cheesecake was phenomenal, possibly even better than the one I’ve had from Sweets from the Earth (and that has been my acting point of reference for the deliciousness of cheesecake since I had the pleasure of eating it.)

Mela - vegan cheesecake

Tomorrow will be yet another lovely day in the city. I’m hoping to check out the final day of the Day of the Dead festival at Harbourfront Center… and maybe the International Luxury Chocolate Show at Roy Thompson Hall… hmmm.

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