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Taste of Lawrence 2019

Taste of Lawrence is a three-day food and cultural festival that takes place in the Wexford Heights BIA. As Scarborough’s largest street festival it boasts the most enticing flavours from every cultural community in the GTA. Locals and tourists alike come to the festival to experience the Taste firsthand as they celebrate their cultures and learn about the rich heritage of others.

The festival was founded 17 years ago by Councillor Michael Thompson and a group of community members who had a vision for attracting visitors to the vibrant community on Lawrence Ave that is now known as the Wexford Heights BIA. The first event was held in a local parking lot and attracted just over one thousand people. However, with diligence and vision from the councillor and the BIA, the festival population has grown to accept more than 200,000 people onto Lawrence Ave.

About Taste of Lawrence

  • Exceptional International Food Options! This is the place to be for a FOODIE! 
  • Over 130 street vendors
  • Midway rides and amusements on the street for family fun
  • Main stage with all day music and family stage with entertainment for the whole family
  • Constant support from Ward 21 Councillor Michael Thompson
  • Volunteer opportunities!
  • A true world festival.

Festival Details are as Follows:

DateJuly 5, 6, and 7, 2019
Location: Lawrence Ave. E. from Warden Ave. to Birchmount Rd. 

  • Friday July 5, 6:00 PM-11:00 PM
  • Saturday July 6, 11:00 AM-11:00 PM
  • Sunday July 7, 11:00 AM -7:00 PM


Acts Announced April 4th:

Friday, July 5 9:30 PMPractically Hip Tribute Act 

Established in Southern Ontario in 1997, “Practically Hip” wows their audiences with their passionate recreation of the Hip’s unique sound. They are the most sought after “Tragically Hip” tribute/clone act in Ontario and the U.S.

You’ll be amazed at the vocal ability of Dean Hughes! You will think you are hearing Gord Downie as Dean performs the songs, rants and stories for which the Hip is known for.
This five piece band gives their audiences the highest level of energy and musicianship. While playing songs note perfect and then adding jams the Hip is known for, is something their audiences constantly rave about.

Practically Hip has played various clubs, universities and colleges throughout Ontario and the U.S. To add to their list of weddings and private functions they have also played numerous festivals with recording acts like April Wine, Kim Mitchell, David Wilcox, Colin James, Big Wreck, Trooper, Gowan (in Styx), Sass Jordan and Honeymoon Suite to name a few.
The members of Practically Hip have seen over 75 Hip concerts! The devotion is one of the reasons why they deliver the highest level of accuracy, energy and enthusiasm.
Join them in their celebration of the Tragically Hip!


Saturday, July 6 9:30 PMSimply Queen Tribute Act 

Simply Queen is a world class act.

They have headlined theatre and outdoor festival shows to audiences of thousands (and even tens of thousands) all over Canada and the United States.

Simply Queen is fronted by Freddie Mercury impersonator extraordinaire Rick Rock. Guitarist Bob Wegner was hand-picked by Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor to play guitar in several productions of the award-winning "We Will Rock You" musical. Drummer Phil Charrette and bassist Mitch Taylor are veterans of the southwestern Ontario and Detroit circuits.

The band performs all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen's live shows, both musically and visually, with attention to detail capturing the live amazing live Queen experience that filled stadiums around the world. No backing tracks - it's all live, and "Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind!"


Sunday, July 7 5:30 PM – AC/DC Tribute Act - due to high demand from last year, encore performance


Featured Guest Performer

Snap Boogie

Snap Boogie will perform on both, the main stage and family stage on July 6 and 7!

Native to the city of Boston, Snap Boogie has been described as a "BEAST" on the dance floor. His career began by performing on the streets, to his impressive debut on NBC's America's Got Talent in 2011, where he blew the minds of the nation with his incredible energy and style. Not to mention, he landed a role in the movie The Way Way Back, starring Steve Carell and Maya Rudolph, in 2013.

Since then, Snap Boogie has traveled the world, performing at the top International Festivals, Fairs, NBA Halftime Shows, and rapidly gaining popularity at many NCAA schools around the globe.


Taste of Lawrence


Thursday, 02 May 2019 10:37


Unique project launches at Wexford Heights Plaza in July

As strip malls go, Wexford Heights Plaza is famous already.

It’s inspired a feature film, a documentary about its Wexford Restaurant, and an interactive walking tour.

Still, expect it to gain more notoriety this summer as it hosts plazaPOPS, an experiment in giving passersby something new to see and visit.

Launching at the Taste of Lawrence street festival in July, plazaPOPS lets the community comment on six potential designs — featuring a colossal loom, a stopover for birds, and a programmable community food truck, among other things — by April 12.

What’s chosen may be a hybrid, but plazaPOPS is a chance to try some possibilities for a retail model still common on Toronto’s suburban streets, says project co-lead Daniel Rotsztain.

Plazas are where small businesses set up in places like Wexford in Scarborough. They’re de facto community centres, places where people meet, he added.

Some plaza businesses are thriving, but others aren’t, and “blight is not good for anyone,” said Rotsztain, who has interviewed plaza owners, customers and business owners on what can be done.

Esthetic improvements were welcomed, he found, as long as they bring more people into the plaza. PlazaPOPS tries to do that, Rotsztain said.

“The whole ethos of the project is supporting small businesses.”

Co-lead Brendan Stewart, a landscape architecture professor at University of Guelph, had his students provide the designs, Rotsztain got financial backing from the city and advocacy group Park People.

He secured unanimous support from the Wexford Heights Business Improvement Area, and the project is starting to look like it could be replicated on other suburban streets.

University of Toronto students are creating economic metrics to measure its success, Rotsztain said.

Anthony Kiriakou, who owns the plaza and the family-run diner bearing the neighbourhood’s name, believes plazaPOPS is good for business.

“I like something that’s eye-catching,” he said.

“At least like this, you are on the map.”

The project will occupy eight to 10 parking spots, and while getting rid of parking can be “pretty tense,” Rotsztain said many business owners and customers would sacrifice a little.

Open houses for PlazaPOPS are coming to the Arab Community Centre of Toronto on April 12, from 4 to 8 p.m., and the Victoria Village Hub on April 13, from noon to 4 p.m.

Sunday, 10 March 2019 06:21


DATE: Sunday March 24TH, 2019

TIME: Noon til 3pm

LOCATION: Ellesmere Community Centre, 20 Canadian Road, Scarborough, ON M1R 4B4

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 16:00



Incredible Murals at RT Stations & Independent Projects in Scarborough

Nuit Blanche Toronto is this Saturday, September 29 in Downtown Toronto and lands in Scarborough for the first time this year! Thanks in advance for helping us to spread the word about the vibrant projects scheduled from sunset to sunrise.


Key event information:

  • Nuit Blanche Toronto is from 7 pm to 7 am in Downtown Toronto, Scarborough Civic Centre and Scarborough Town Centre. All free. All ages.
  • Find full program details about Scarborough projects at

Getting around:

  • At Scarborough Town Centre, Borough Drive will be closed between Brian Harrison Way and Town Centre Court starting at 8 pm, Saturday, September 29, until 9 am, Sunday, September 30.
  • Enjoy FREE, all-night service on Line 3 Scarborough (RT) from 7 pm on September 29 to 7 am on September 30.

Event highlights:

  • Curated by Tairone Bastien, the City-produced exhibition The things they carried has six projects in Scarborough—five murals at Scarborough Rapid Transit stations and a multipart installation sited at Scarborough Civic Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square.
    "Be sure to disembark at each station between Kennedy and Scarborough Town Centre to experience the vibrant work of five artists from Toronto’s graffiti and street-art scene," says Bastien. "The artists' large-scale murals visually translate the Tower of Babel legend and provoke a sense of wonder and surprise.”
    In addition, the exhibition has two projects in Downtown Toronto, the International Dumpling Festival with Ken Lum and On Flashing Lights with Brendan Fernandes. All projects are made possible with funding support from the Government of Ontario through Celebrate Ontario and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.
  • Enjoy 11 Independent Projects at Scarborough Civic Centre and Scarborough Town Centre: RebirthLong Distance RelationshipRISEAfroscannedah me dhatThe Faces of ScarboroughThe Scarborough SignYou're HereAn Atlas of ScarboroughInterlacingPortrait of a Street.
  • Curated by Alyssa Fearon, the City-produced exhibition STYLL has 10 projects at Scarborough Town Centre and Scarborough Civic Centre.

Project Spotlight: Mirrors of Babel: Kennedy Station – little g

The mural little g by Javid Jah at Kennedy Station is one of the five works in the stations along the RT, created by Toronto-based artists in response to eL Seed’s multipart installation Mirrors of BabelMore...


Project Spotlight: Mirrors of Babel: Lawrence East Station – Universal Language

Universal Language is the story of one woman’s journey across a divided land and her will to overcome the borders that surround her, says artist Shalak Attack. More...


Project Spotlight: Mirrors of Babel: Ellesmere Station – Am I Okay?

Tabban Soleimani’s immersive work, Am I Okay? employs figures that tumble across multiple surfaces and text that stems from a life-altering moment in the artist's life. More...


Project Spotlight: Mirrors of Babel: Midland Station – Natural Love

Natural Love by Planta Muisca depicts an immersive jungle full of objects, figures and designs that reference the Indigenous cultural imagery of Central and South America. More...


Project Spotlight: Mirrors of Babel: Scarborough Centre Station – Mord'iim

Drawing the title for his mural, Mord'iim, from the Hebrew word for “rebel,” MEDIAH is deeply concerned with humankind’s experiments in the human genome, artificial intelligence and space colonization. More...


Be sure to experience 11 Independent Projects at Scarborough Town Centre and Scarborough Civic Centre created by cultural institutions, educational organizations, individual artists and producers.


Project Spotlight: Long Distance

Long Distance Relationship is an interactive, two-part light-and-shadow installation that will attempt to create relationships at remote distances by connecting participants in Downtown Toronto and in Scarborough More..


Project Spotlight: The Scarborough Sign

Scarborough-based multidisciplinary artist MEDIAH will paint live on the 36-foot-long Scarborough Sign to start off the evening on September 29. This street-performance-style public-art installation blurs the lines between post-graffiti art and dynamic abstraction. More...


Project Spotlight: Afroscanned

Afroscanned is an exploration of diversity and 3D scanning as a way to increase diverse representations of digital futures. The installation features 3D-scanned volunteers as digital avatars that are then project-mapped onto an artfully designed series of boxes. More...


Follow us at @NuitBlancheTO on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You'll find project photos on Flickr and check out our highlight videos on YouTube. Use the event hashtag: #nbTO18.