Toronto·Video

Toronto celebrates the day it became okay to call them Jamaican 'beef patties'

You may know it as a spicy pastry snack, but at one time Canadian authorities had a real beef over Jamaican patties. It was on this day in 1985 that the community celebrated a win for local business owners. It's also how Feb. 23 officially became known as Patty Day in Toronto.

It's the 36th annual Patty Day in Canada's largest city

It's Patty Day in Toronto

CBC News: Toronto at 6:00

2 months ago
2:44
You may know Jamaican patties as a spicy pastry snack, but at one time Canadian authorities had a real beef over the name of what's now one of Toronto's favourite foods. On this day in 1985 the community celebrated a win for local business owners, and now Feb. 23 is officially Patty Day in the city. 2:44

You may know it as a spicy pastry snack that's popular in Toronto, but at one time Canadian authorities had a real beef with Jamaican patties.

Decades ago, the federal government claimed Jamaican patties did not match the technical definition of "beef patty" under the Meat Inspection Act.

But it was on this day in 1985 that the community celebrated a win for local business owners.

CBC Toronto's Talia Ricci spoke with one of the owners threatened with fines 36 years ago and explains how Feb. 23 officially became known as Patty Day in Toronto.


For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Talia Ricci is a CBC reporter based in Toronto. She has travelled around the globe with her camera documenting people and places as well as volunteering. Talia enjoys covering offbeat human interest stories and exposing social justice issues. When she's not reporting, you can find her reading or strolling the city with a film camera.

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