Festival of South Asian Culture in Toronto in 2012
The annual TD Festival of South Asia returns to Gerrard Street on July 7-8, 2012, hosted by the local South Asian community of retailers and restauranteurs.
What to Expect from the 2012 Festival of South Asia in Toronto
The Festival of South Asia celebrates South Asian culture through music, cuisine and fashion.
As the picture shows, Gerrard Street is home to South Asian fashion retailers.
The musical performances start at noon on both Saturday and Sunday. Bharatnatyam opens on Saturday; starting at 9pm, the final act is Bollywood Dance Dhamaka! Then dancing resumes on Sunday at high noon, with Bengali Dances. The final performance of the weekend starts at 9pm Sunday: the Aakash Band closes the festival. A dozen other performances are scheduled for the intervening hours of this South Asian festival.
You Might Consider the Festival of South Asia as “Taste of Gerrard“
(Updated July 8th, 2012). Some of my running buddies in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood were comparing notes about the “Taste of Gerrard” this morning. Yes, they really meant the “Festival of South Asia“, which happens to be on Gerrard Street. If anyone knows of an official “Taste of Gerrard” festival at some other time of year, please let me know!
About two dozen restaurants plan to participate in offering South Asian cuisine. As Toronto has come to expect with the “Taste of Street” festivals, most will sell small servings from sidewalk stands. Check the official web site, below, for the full list of restaurants. I was going to play some background music from Sesame Street, “One of these things is not like the other…”; but actually two restaurants don’t have South Asian names. I won’t offer a prize for the first person to post a comment here with their names, but feel free to do so just for your personal sense of pride and accomplishment.
How to Find the Festival of South Asia
The area is often called “Little India”, but that name does not quite do justice to the multiple countries and ethnicities represented here. It’s not fair to call it an East Indian festival in Toronto for 2012; other South Asian countries are represented also.
The TD Festival of South Asia stretches west along Gerrard Street from Coxwell Avenue. The easiest way to find the festival is to take any 22 Coxwell bus south from the Bloor-Danforth subway station, and exit at “lower Gerrard” (the southern portion of Gerrard Street that heads west). You could also take the 31 Greenwood bus to Gerrard and walk east.
If you normally take the 506 Carlton streetcar, it will be diverting so as to leave the full street clear for pedestrian festival-goers.
Although the official festival site explains how to drive to this area, that would be a poor choice unless you plan to be the first to park several blocks away.
If they do not close Gerrard Street to cars for the South Asia festival this year, I will label myself a “monkey’s uncle” in an update to this article. [Updated July 7th: Gerrard Street did indeed close to vehicles; so I'm no closer to the simians than usual! See the image below for the street festival barricade separating Lower Gerrard from Coxwell Avenue].
The Official Site of the TD Festival of South Asia
The official TD Festival of South Asia site includes a page listing the restaurants and the full schedule of performances.
Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article about Toronto’s South Asian festival.
Thanks for reading about the 2012 Festival of South Asia in Toronto; another of our many annual events in the summer.