Jamaica Tourist Board Celebrates ‘Jamaican Patty Day’ with Free Patties in Toronto

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is set to celebrate Jamaican Patty Day on February 23 by giving away thousands of free beef patties at Toronto’s Union Station. The event, in its 39th year, aims to honor the city’s Jamaican culinary heritage and the contributions of the Jamaican Diaspora to Toronto’s food scene.

Beef Patties Photos by: Eden Hagos

On February 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors to the Jamaica pop-up space at the Bay Union Samples Kiosk inside Union Station can enjoy a complimentary Jamaican beef patty from Patties Express and learn more about the island destination.

In addition to the free patties, the JTB is hosting a contest offering a trip for two to Kingston, Jamaica, courtesy of Flair Airlines and Spanish Court Hotel. Food enthusiasts can enter the contest at visitjamaica.com/patty-day until February 25 for a chance to sample authentic Jamaican patties at their place of origin.

(L to R): Flair Airlines aircraft; Devon House bakery beef patty in Kingston, Jamaica; Spanish Court Hotel Jamaica Photos by: Eden Hagos

Jamaican Patty Day commemorates a significant event in Toronto’s culinary history. In the mid-’80s, a dispute arose between Toronto’s Jamaican patty vendors and local food inspectors over the use of the term “beef patties” to describe their offerings. The conflict, known as the Patty Wars, culminated in a ruling on February 23, 1985, allowing the use of the term and establishing the day as Jamaican Patty Day in Toronto.

Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board, expressed excitement about the event, stating, “Each year, Jamaican Patty Day celebrates a unique part of Toronto’s history while acknowledging the important contributions that the Jamaican Diaspora has made to the city’s culinary identity.” Torontonians are encouraged to visit Union Station on February 23 to partake in the celebration and savor the taste of Jamaica.

Angella Bennett