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It’s been two years since Little Portugal has hosted the street party that kicks off summer in the city. But now, sporting a new name and renewed fervour, Do West Fest is back and is better than ever. Anyone who missed the amazing eats, joyful beats, incredible sights, shopping and fun, will want to head to Dundas Street West, between Ossington and Lansdowne, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a weekend to remember.
Presented by the Little Portugal Toronto BIA, Do West Fest is a place to enjoy music, dance, art, food, camaraderie and community. Formerly known as Dundas West Fest, organizers chose to change the festival name this year. The update reflects the name change coming to Dundas Street after light was shed on its namesake’s role in delaying the abolition of the slave trade in the British empire. “This change is significant to us as it marks a new chapter for the neighbourhood, of combined efforts in improving the area with true community spirit in mind,” reads the festival website.
With that, the Do West Fest aims to unite the city and those that call the area home with three days of exclusive programming ranging from live music at outdoor stages to art installations, buskers, and cultural performances historically linked to the Little Portugal neighbourhood. Got kids? Direct them to the Kid Zone on the grass at 1525 Dundas Street West, where bouncy castles are sure to tamper any tantrums.
Best of all, is the promise of food delivered from a wealth of vendors eager to sate the hungry and thirsty. The festival will feature 50 licensed patios along with an abundance of food trucks and tents hawking everything from well-chilled drinks-icles, at Fantastic Baby Café, and tacos from Rebozos Taquería to vegan street meat from Gia, and more. Fuel your stroll along the 14 city blocks with toutine, from Get Your Own Taters, and flame-grilled skewers, from Likos Hawaiian BBQ. Find Latin American favourites at Mis Amigos Catering along with Middle Eastern plates from The Haifa Room. Savour Brazilian and Portuguese dishes at Stop BBQ Chicken or Bairrada Churrasqueira.
On the sweeter side, Choco Churros and Courage Cookies will be on site enticing passersby with all manner of sugary temptations. Anyone looking to quell rising temps will need look no further than Death in Venice, for gelato in a range of surprising flavours, Fresh Pops, for fruit-forward refreshment, and Honey’s Ice Cream, for nostalgic flavours of vegan ice cream guaranteed to remind you of simpler times.
"After a two season hiatus Do West Fest welcomes back hundreds of independent and local businesses to bring an exciting, diverse mix of vendors to the most bustling and culturally rich event of the season,” reads the festival’s Instagram. Suddenly, your weekend is looking as entertaining, and delicious, as they come.