Reason For Celebration

Today (Feb. 23) is the day and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is inviting Canadians to enjoy one of the island’s favourite snack foods in celebration of Jamaican Patty Day.

Now in its 38th year, the annual food-focused celebration pays tribute to the legendary beef between Toronto’s Jamaican patty vendors and local food inspectors.

Back in February 1985, the infamous ‘Patty Wars’ took over Toronto streets when local authorities decided the city’s Jamaican patty vendors could no longer use the term “beef patties” to describe their offerings.

Following a series of heated negotiations, the patty vendors prevailed in a ruling on February 23 and the day has been known henceforth as Jamaican Patty Day in Toronto.

Almost 40 years later, Toronto’s Jamaican community continues to play an important role in shaping the city’s food scene.

Today, local patty enthusiasts are embroiled in delicious disputes over which patty purveyors serve up the tastiest meat-filled pastry pockets in the city.

From humble patty stands on the subway line to family-owned bakeries to trendy contemporary Caribbean restaurants, Toronto is home to an array of eateries where foodies can satisfy their cravings for authentic Jamaican patties.

Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board, said: “There’s no doubt Torontonians are incredibly passionate about Jamaica’s iconic snack food, and everyone has an opinion about who makes the best beef patty in town.” Bennett continued: “From the historic Patty Wars of 1985 to today, Jamaicans have been making their mark on Toronto’s culinary landscape for decades. On Feb. 23 we encourage everyone in the city – and beyond – to sample a true taste of the Caribbean and pick up some patties in honour of Jamaican Patty Day.”

From juicy beef patties to spicy jerk chicken, Jamaica’s signature cuisine makes the Caribbean Island a bucket-list destination for travellers looking to awaken their tastebuds.

For more about Jamaica’s vibrant culinary scene go to

Photo Credit: Eden Hagos