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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Eating in Toronto 1830-1955 exhibit at Reference Library

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Stuffed from the holidays? Never want to eat chocolate and brie again? Got the “muffin-top begone” mentality?

Great! Then it’s the right time for you to visit “Local Flavour: Eating in Toronto, 1830-1955,” an exhibit currently on view at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Gallery.

Seriously though, this show closes January 11, and it is well worth seeing. So whether you’re sipping on a watery maple-syrup-clease concoction or a full-fat latte, do go take a look. As with the library’s much-praised circus history show, the highlight here is archival photographs depicting a specific segment of Toronto life. But unlike the circus show, everyone will be able to relate to the group rituals of growing, buying, cooking and eating food depicted in these sepia snaps. (Okay, old cookbook titles like “The Cook Not Mad, Or, Rational Cookery,” are also pretty great.)

It makes one wonder: What if Grocery Gateway used a horse and sleigh as Clayton’s Meats once did in the Beaches, or ice pedlars did in Parkdale? Or if we still bought our bananas from rickshaw-style pedlar’s carts? In many of these pics, there’s that storybook quality that’s really cool. Locavores will also dig the vintage seed packets and Victory Garden posters.

If you can’t make it in between pilates and cardio-box sessions, do check out the virtual exhibit.