The Toronto Ten

I’m sure all of you have heard of the “Freshman Fifteen.”

Or the “Sophomore Twenty.”

How about the “Newlywed Thirty?”

Then how come no one ever warned me of the “Toronto Ten?”

Okay, honestly, I kind of suspected it might happen. In fact, I actually feared the idea of gaining weight once I moved here almost four months ago. But I thought anything noticeable would be unlikely. I exercise. I eat healthy.

I was wrong.

I did not expect exactly how bombarded I would be by delicious food in Toronto. Nor did I know that I was still lacking in many foodie experiences. New Brunswick is a fabulous place. Its culinary culture however, is severely lacking.

Toronto has Thai.


The spiciest Indian food I’ve ever had.


Boats and boats of sushi.


Cute and colourful French desserts.


An area of town devoted to my favourite food ethnicity – Greek.


A Dim Sum place on every other corner where white girls such as myself say they want the chicken feet and end up spitting it out.


It’s a city that takes its brunch very seriously, offering never ending choices of morning themed dishes on weekends.


Including a traditional Jewish brunch. Blintzes, challah French toast, beets, hummus and smoked fish.


In New Brunswick, I had to get in the car if I wanted to go to a grocery store or restaurant. In Toronto, I am just a hop away from homemade sausage.


A skip from a gelato place.


And a mere jump from the city’s best cinnamon buns.


And no matter where you are, there is a  street meat stand ready and at your disposal.


Including at the entrance of the park I run in. You have no idea how tempting hot dogs smell after running 6 miles.

Toronto is also known for some signature dishes. Ones I can’t help but try out.


When Bobby Flay says it’s the best peameal sandwich he’s ever had, you eat it.


I can’t say if we actually have the best Italian food outside of Italy as some claim. However, it saved me from a pricey trip to Naples just to try the pizza.

Toronto is home to food I could have never even imagined.


A lot of bacon has been consumed in the name of foodie curiosity and adventure. Things that I know won’t be any good… but have to try just to make sure ;)

I know what you are thinking. In such a big city, it must be at least easier to find healthy food. You are correct. Produce is cheap and bountiful. There are a gazillion types of seedy breads and organic meats in grocery stores. But be careful. Not all “health” food is healthy for your waistband.


I was initially easily lured into the never ending options for juices here in the city. Every place specializes in some immunity boosting concoction. Fine. But not when paired with a full-sized meal.


Toronto loves its raw vegetables.


As well as its nut and calorie-dense raw desserts.

It’s not just restaurants to blame. The food markets and grocery stores carry so many foods I was never exposed to in New Brunswick. And so many foods I now want to try!


Including every flavour in the Whole Foods nut butter aisle.

I am of course forgetting a main contributing factor here. The beer.

My goodness. The beer.


As I’ve confessed before, I am a GWLHB. “Girl Who Loves Her Beer.”


Being a more populated province, Ontario has way more microbreweries. Also pulls in way more kinds of imported beer I’ve never been exposed to.


We can’t just blame the beer though. There’s been the odd jagerbomb as well ;)


Yesyes. It seems the change in location and lifestyle has taught me all about the Toronto Ten. Something no longer feared. Definitely not loved. But perhaps embraced.

It’s recently been decided that my time in this great city is limited. So I am open to experiencing it for all it is worth. Bacon adventures and all. I thank my lucky stars I work in a gym and running store. Otherwise, we may have to invent the Toronto Twenty.

Posted on October 25, 2010, in Restaurants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you can make light of your Toronto Ten. You won’t be moving any time soon, so take your time and try all the foods…just not all at once. :-)

  2. I love Fruli! It’s Juice beer! But Nowhere in Halifax has it on tap. I am also a GWLHB. I’m drinking a tall boy of Bavaria right now in fact!

  3. Haha – such a great post! Glad you’re able to embrace it and take it for what it is. You’re my hero:)

  4. I don’t know what it was called but I was introduced to the 10kg weight gain while I lived in Germany. I think I lived every day like it would be my last and oh boy did I eat.. a LOT! now, after 3 years I really think I did it the right way even though I gained (and then lost the weight when I came home) weight during that time, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any of those foods so I think you really have the right attitude :)

  5. Gosh. I love your attitude. I REALLY wish it were mine, but I’m just not there yet. And honestly, I don’t think I’m going to get there before I get married…which according to The Knot is like, 240 days away.

  6. what a great tribute to food, to adventure, to eating new things!!!

    i actually felt the same way when i moved from the middle of no where in South Carolina to Southern California 7 years ago. There was no yoga within 2hrs and suddently, there were 10 studios within 10 blocks.

    There was no vegan food, everything was fried. To there is tons of options I would WANT to eat.

    The 1st yr I lived in CA I swear I did yoga and tried food. That was about it :)

  7. Um that isle of nutter butter looks like heaven! Are you moving again?! x x

  8. it is sooo hard to say no when you have so many fabulous options at your finger tips!

  9. Haha this is so true!! You can pretty much find any cuisine in Toronto. I only lived there for 4 months and they were in the winter, so I didn’t really get to experience Toronto’s foods to the extent that you have (mainly because I was lazy and not yet a blogger). I can’t wait to find out where you’ll be in the next few months – and I bet you’d like to know too! ;) Have a great day Susan!

  10. I LOVE this post. It makes me want to visit Toronto and give some of these foods a go (and of course go through a training session with you again)!

  11. First. Oh Susan- you’re gorgeous – with or without 10 extra pounds.
    Secondly, all of that new foodie love must also cost a pretty penny!! I think I’d go broke!
    Thirdly, I think any chef or foodie would agree that what you’re doing is experiencing the culture and not only is it OK, but it’s appropriate ;)
    Lastly- what is this limited business?! You’re doing so amazing getting so many new clients. Whatever it means, I hope it only means good!

    • Paige, if you look hard enough you can actually find some pretty cheap places to eat in Toronto. You just have to be creative ;) And yes, my lease is up next summer and I want to experience living in another place!

  12. haha I loved this! And I feel ya… that Toronto ten was VERY easy to come by when I first moved here… and not so easy to shed come wedding time!

    But it is worth it, in so many ways… i love food culture!


  13. Ooh I am also a girl who loves her beer, and I love trying new foods so I completely agree this should be embraced!

  14. Yesss wow this was a great roundup of Toronto food experiences!

    Trying new cuisines is so fun. I still have a lot of tastes to try in Toronto, and I’ve lived there on and off for 21 years!

  15. I can’t imagine any better reasons to embrace the Toronto Ten. Everything looks amazing! Enjoy!!!

  16. I think this post was icing on the cake – Toronto has been on the travel list for over a year now, and I haven’t paid Canada a visit in yearsssss. There were plans to either go NY/skiing in the NE or SF/Tahoe, but tonight I may have to convince the BF we have it all wrong…Thanks for the great post – looks like so much fun!

  17. Ah, the fun chub. I’m not gonna lie- it’s a lot of fun acquiring it! But hey, you live such a healthy life and take care of yourself and you’re only young once!

  18. umm i want to go to toronto and experience all of the delicious food!!

  19. oh YUUUUM… all of this looks GOOD, except the chicken foot and the Jager. ;)

  20. i cant believe your worried about 10 lbs, think about all the incredible experiences you’ve had. don’t stress lovely!

  21. I would be absolutely doomed! All that amazing bounty to try. Holy moly! Yes, you have the right attitude- you work out and enjoy life- you are balanced- go Susan!

  22. I love your attitude! I honestly can’t tell you’ve gained a “toronto ten”

    hmm. that cinnamon bun looks yummy. and I think I could spend hours in that nut butter aisle. Just sayin’.

  23. For all you know, it could be ten pounds of muscle (lets just go with that theory). I had no idea Toronto was a foodie’s fantasy!
    I’m dying to try fruli!! I cant have alcohol cause I have liver issues but its the first thing I want to try once I can have alcohol again!

  24. ten pounds in 4 months of eating like that….i’m thinkin you have done a great job! i believe i gained about 2 just reading your post. yummmmm! you are moving again in 7 to 8 months? wow! what a fabulous adventure you are living! :-)

  25. all that food looks so completely worth it. holler to the toronto ten. and like i said, if you want to make it the scotland sixty, we can eat our weight in haggis. together.

  26. It truly looks like every single one of those 10 lbs was worth it. It all looks fantastic.

    will you not be staying in toronto? Have I missed something?

  27. Good for you! Sounds like all the foods have been delicious and worth it! Life’s too short:)

  28. Oh my gosh, can I PLEASE come visit you in Toronto?!?!?! I love food. Not ten, but food. Although, I’d be right there with you to create the Toronto Twenty.

    So….I am a GWLHB too. Yum. :) Looks like you’re loving life and embracing all the new/different/amazing foods there. I love it!

  29. Ahahahaha, this post rocks. I really am jealous of all the great food and drink you’ve been loving in Toronto!!!!

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