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What to Expect in the Trinbago Toronto Festival

Trinbago Toronto Festival

What to Expect in the Trinbago Toronto Festival

With its two iterations so far, the Trinbago Toronto Festival is the largest celebration of Trinidadian and Tobagonian culture in North America. It features a variety of cultural performances, music, dance, and food.

Planning to go to the next one? Learn more about the event and what to expect, especially when it comes to traditional food and exciting activities.

What to Expect in the Trinbago Toronto Festival

What is the Trinbago Toronto Festival?

From: @MangoXCyanide

The Trinbago Toronto Festival is a celebration of the culture, history, and impact of the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora in Canada. It’s an annual event that was first held in 2022, attracting over 18,000 visitors. 

It was held for the second time on the last weekend of August 2023. The event is free for everyone and is a great avenue to learn about the culture of Trinidad and Tobago, such as their traditional food and music.

Where is the Trinbago Festival in Toronto?

From: @sweirsweir

The Trinbago Toronto Festival is held at Yonge-Dundas Square, which is located at 1 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 1G4.

Often referred to as “Toronto’s Times Square” due to its vibrant atmosphere and its many electronic billboards, Yonge-Dundas Square is a four-block square at the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street East.

How to Get There

To get to Yonge-Dundas Square, you can take the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line and embark on Dundas Station. You can also take the 501 Queen streetcar to Dundas West Station. 

The nearest bus stop is Bay St at Dundas St West. Going by car isn’t recommended since available parking spots might be too hard to find.

What to Do in the Trinbago Festival

Try Trinidadian and Tobagonian food

From: @blogto

The festival has a wide variety of food vendors serving traditional Trinidadian and Tobagonian cuisine. You can try everything from roti and curry to doubles and sorrel.

A different lineup of food vendors can be found at the festival every year. The final list is usually announced before the actual event. 

Watch cultural performances

From: @instabrowngyal and @cnzinc

Enjoy live cultural performances that involve folk dancing and soca music, some with traditional instruments like the steelpan and the tassa. There are also carnival presentations where people can let loose and have fun.

Visit the booths

From: @1ndividual

Visit booths where you can learn more about Trinidadian and Tobagonian culture. You can look for the booth of The Trinidad and Tobago Diaspora Association if you want to be involved in community events.

You can also explore other booths that feature Trinbagonian businesses and services to learn more about the local community.

Dance the night away

From: @method_moda

The festival is a celebration of Trinbagonian culture and their people love to dance. Take the chance to experience their culture firsthand; take in the vibes, enjoy the music, and dance your heart out.

What to Eat in the Trinbago Festival

Roti and Doubles

From: @collaborative_connoisseurs

Roti is a flatbread made from wheat flour, water, and salt. It can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as curried chickpeas, potatoes, or vegetables and is usually cooked on a griddle until it’s soft and pliable. 

Doubles is a sandwich made with two pieces of bara, which is a fried flatbread similar to roti. The bara is filled with curried chickpeas, potatoes, and chutney.

Curry Goat

From: @jamaicavybzfood

Typically served with roti or rice, curry goat is a stew made with goat meat, potatoes, and a variety of spices. It’s a popular dish in Trinidad and Tobago as well as in other Caribbean countries. 

The goat meat is typically slow-cooked in a curry sauce that is made with a blend of spices, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger. The potatoes are added to the stew towards the end of cooking to help thicken the sauce.

Bake and Shark

From: @rendelina_reviews

Bake and shark is a popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a fried fish sandwich made with a fried shark fillet, topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

The shark, typically a blacktip shark, is cut into fillets and then fried until golden brown. The sandwich is made with bara, and it’s often served with hot sauce.

Guava Duff

From: @thedufflegend

Guava duff is a traditional dessert from the Bahamas. It’s a sweet bread pudding made with guava and spices and is often served with rum sauce.

The bread pudding is made with flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter. The guava is diced and folded into the batter before being steamed or baked until it’s cooked through.

Coconut Drops

From: @evefamilyfoods

Coconut drops are a traditional Caribbean dessert made with coconut, sugar, and flour. They are a type of fritter that is often served with a sweet sauce or chutney. 

They are made by mixing grated coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder, and water until they form a dough. The dough is then dropped by spoonfuls into hot oil and fried until golden brown.

What to Buy in the Trinbago Festival

Clothing

From: @trini.biz

At the festival, you’ll find all sorts of traditional Trinbagonian clothing such as saris, sarongs, and kurtas. They are a big part of their culture and are often made with bright colours and patterns.

There are also other clothing options like calypso and soca costumes, Rastafarian apparel, and Caribbean beachwear.

Arts and crafts

From: @apanaki_apnki

Take the chance to learn more about Trinidad and Tobago’s art history through their paintings, sculptures, and hand-woven pieces. 

They are often made by local artists and artisans who dedicate their lives to making traditional crafts.

CDs

From: @psychophono

The Trinbagonian community is known for their diverse and unique sound. You can find CDs at the festival that feature calypso, soca, chutney, steelpan, and reggae music.

They have a rich history and a healthy relationship with music, as you can see with their passion for live performances and dancing. 

FAQs on the Trinbago Toronto Festival