What is the Toronto Garlic Festival?

Chefs-Farmers4The Toronto Garlic Festival is the annual celebration of Ontario’s garlic harvest. The festival promotes awareness of Ontario garlic by featuring farmers, gardeners, chefs, home cooks, scientists and health experts from the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario. The festival also works year-round to highlight Ontario garlic through projects such as the Ontario Garlic Map, the Great Garlic Recipes brochure, and appearances at food events and fundraisers. Every fall the Toronto Garlic Festival gives away hundreds of garlic bulbs, including many rare and heirloom varieties, to community gardeners.

At the festival visitors learn about the many strains of local garlic. While stocking up on garlic they taste delicious garlic-themed dishes prepared by chefs and paired with Ontario craft beer; and try garlic-infused chocolate, fudge and brittle, and garlic ice cream, all created locally. Also available for purchase are black garlic, pickled garlic scapes, garlic jelly, garlic dill pickles, garlic soda, garlic braids, garlic bulbils (for planting), garlic pesto, and several types of Ontario-made condiments. Fascinating presentations on garlic history, health benefits and cultural secrets are featured throughout the festival day among other activities such as contests, a film screening and cooking demos. Admission: $5.00. Free for children under 12. Price includes FREE access to talks, presentations, film screening and activities, including The Garlic Breath Contest, The Garlic Shot Station and food cooking demos. Fresh Ontario Garlic, delicious food, the garlic braiding workshop, and craft beer and wine are for sale.

The festival was started in 2011 by garlic grower Peter McClusky. The festival advisors come from farm and business backgrounds.