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History of The Taste of Lawrence

History of the Taste of Lawrence

The Taste of Lawrence Festival (TOL) is the brainchild of Michael Thompson, City Councillor in Scarborough Centre Ward 37 where the event is held. Believing the festival would be a good way to build community spirit and raise money for local charities, Councillor Thompson worked with local businessmen Tony Kiriakou and Riyaz Kara of the Wexford Heights BIA to establish and stage the first Taste of Lawrence Festival in 2004. The organizing team, which expected 3,000 visitors, were delighted when than 12,000 attended. Since then, TOL has evolved into one of Toronto's signature events, attracting over 150,000 people from communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. TOL celebrates the cultural diversity of Toronto and the GTA by showcasing the unique cuisine, music, performers, vendors, retailers and community groups. People come for the food, the entertainment, the party atmosphere, and to have a great time with family and friends, making the street festival one of the most colourful and diverse events in the city.