Review and Photos by Marisa Filippo


What better way to celebrate local talent, food and fun than to have a festival in the heart of the city?


This past Saturday, hundreds of Torontoians gathered at the famous Yonge-Dundas Square to commemorate some of Toronto’s best. This included: food trucks, restaurants, wineries and breweries, local musicians and shopping at the Green Street Market. There were tents set-up everywhere within the square and on Yonge St. (Yonge St. was closed between Queen St. and Dundas St.). Delicious smells filled the air and the talent of local artists kept the party going.


There were workshops and demonstrations set-up on another stage for anyone interested in learning how to grow a pollinator-friendly garden, how to build a bee hotel, how to ferment foods and/or how to preserve and can different foods. Also, there were some fun activities for the kids to enjoy and partake in which included: face painting, meeting animal friends, yoga (for kids), nature arts and crafts and more!


Delivering an exceptional performance on the main stage was Okanagan Valley native Andrew Allen. Everyone gathered around quickly as soon as he strummed the first notes of “I Want You” – a hit single from 2011. Allen gave a very intimate performance, providing back-stories for almost every song played. For example, his 2012 single “Sooner” came to be after meeting a couple so in love that the man in the relationship asked Allen to write a song for his wife and he mentioned that he wished that he met her ‘sooner.’


Allen also performed fan favourites such as: “All That I Want” and “Maybe.” He definitely impressed me with his scatting solo at the end of “All That I Want.” He sure knows how to work a loop pedal.


Towards the end of Allen’s set it started to rain but that sure wasn’t an obstacle for him or anyone because our love for his music just made us dance in the rain! He ended his set with his two most popular singles “Loving You Tonight” and his most recent one “What You Wanted.”


It was a fun-filled day with great music and delicious food. If you missed the Lovin’ Local Food Fest this year, then you definitely MUST check it out next year!