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Is Canada vegan friendly?
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Thread: Is Canada vegan friendly?

  1. #1

    Question Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Just curious if you guys consider it easy to be vegan where you live. I'm interested in quality of produce and veg foods and the what percentage of the population are vegan. Thanks in advance for any replies. I just found out about the "Patriot Act 2" that will basically take away every citizen's constitutionally protected rights if passed. So, I'll probably be making a road trip north soon.

  2. #2
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    well quality of produce depends on where u buy it from (i thought that was like any place u lived lol). but from mostly every grocery store, theres great produce. ive never had a problem. and no its not hard to be vegan here at all! i find tons of vegan and organic products all over the grocery stores. and natural products and organic produce sections. its great i love it here. sumtimes i get overwhelmed by the things to buy LOL.

    i dont know about the percent that are vegan, but must be alot cause vegan products go fast. (especially earth balance vegan butter!)
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  3. #3
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    There was an article in the paper today (Guardian) about the United States of Canada, apparently the East and West coasts are thinking of migrating...

  4. #4

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    There were Toronto restaurant reviews in the most current Veg News issue. It looks veg-friendly there!

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    I'm in Vancouver and find it very easy to be vegan here. There is lots of fresh, organic produce available, although at this time of year, I tend to see more and more imported items in the produce departments. We have some great natural foods stores, there are a few veggie restaurants and of course Beautiful BC has plenty of wonderful, natural outdoor areas that are just stunning and plenty of wildlife

  7. #7

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    Quote Roxy
    I'm in Vancouver and find it very easy to be vegan here. There is lots of fresh, organic produce available, although at this time of year, I tend to see more and more imported items in the produce departments. We have some great natural foods stores, there are a few veggie restaurants and of course Beautiful BC has plenty of wonderful, natural outdoor areas that are just stunning and plenty of wildlife

    Yes, it must be completely different in Canada compared to the US when it comes to wildlife and nature. Canada's just a little larger than the US but has waaay less people. Sounds like it would be so much more scenic. Here, there are just cars, cars, cars as far as the eye can see, even in the parks.

  8. #8
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    british columbia is really pretty. alot of people from other provinces have moved here, and everyone i know that moved to alberta moved back to british columbia because of its beauty. its not flat, its very gorgeous with mountains and trees everywhere. theres water everywhere where i live. its calming.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    It's getting easier, but in general we don't have even half of the vegan products etc. that Americans have. Our produce (at least where I am, in Ottawa) is very expensive usually, and quite often shipped in from Florida and California.

    It sucks what happened with your election, but definitely don't make the mistake of thinking Canada is some sort of vegan and nature-like utopia.

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Hi Meatless

    What kind of products are you talking about? Over here in BC (well in Vancouver anyway), we seem to be able to get most of the vegan products I have seen American people talking about here at the forum.

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    i aggree. i have more of a problem deciding which products NOT to buy to save money! i feel overwhelmed at my choices at the grocery stores and health food stores.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    Well, we don't have the tofurky slices here, or the tofutti cheeses. And I have never seen something called "korn," and a variety of other faux products like that. I can't think of many of the specifics, but when I posted at VB they were always talking about this product and that product and we didn't have most of them.

    I finally found seitan the other day, in a microwave dinner. Haven't tried it yet.

    I know a lot of vegans don't go for faux products, but a lot of people would find it very difficult to convert without them!

  13. #13
    ConsciousCuisine
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    [QUOTE=meatless]Well, we don't have the tofurky slices here, or the tofutti cheeses. And I have never seen something called "korn," QUOTE]

    I don't use the tofutti products for my family or for my clients (hydrogenated oils and chemicals etc.) but the Tofurky slices *do* go over well with transitioners and Omnis alike, I must say...very versatile and they have a texture and flavor that most transitioners and Omnis like, in my experience...

    I have never heard of "Korn" food products...do you mean "Quorn"? I don't use those with clients either as I can't find any that are Vegan...

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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    I don't use the tofutti products for my family or for my clients (hydrogenated oils and chemicals etc.) but the Tofurky slices *do* go over well with transitioners and Omnis alike, I must say...very versatile and they have a texture and flavor that most transitioners and Omnis like, in my experience...

    I have never heard of "Korn" food products...do you mean "Quorn"? I don't use those with clients either as I can't find any that are Vegan...
    Yes, I guess I mean Quorn, LOL. I must be fixated on another "Korn" we all know I wasn't aware they weren't vegan products, I just remember hearing about them on a vegetarian board and thinking "yeah, we don't have that."

    I am generally health conscious, but dammit, I really want pizza! I have vowed that I will not eat cow's cheese again, but my first (and only, so far) cheeseless pizza was an incredible disappointment. As was vegan gourmet. I have heard good things about Tofutti and would not have a problem with using it once or twice a month so i could enjoy pizza again.

    We do have Tofurky roast here, it is $25 though. I haven't tried it. But no slices. I have e-mailed them about it and apparently the exchange rate is a problem.

  15. #15
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote meatless
    I am generally health conscious, but dammit, I really want pizza! I have vowed that I will not eat cow's cheese again, but my first (and only, so far) cheeseless pizza was an incredible disappointment. As was vegan gourmet. I have heard good things about Tofutti and would not have a problem with using it once or twice a month so i could enjoy pizza again.

    We do have Tofurky roast here, it is $25 though. I haven't tried it. But no slices. I have e-mailed them about it and apparently the exchange rate is a problem.

    I made a home-made pizza last night for my sweeties and they loved it! It had "Gimme Lean Sausage" crumbled on top, roasted garlic pizza sauce, spiced sliced green olives and mozzarella "Vegan Gourmet" shredded very thinly. (*not* a "health" food, but it was paired with a large raw mixed greens, spinach, cucumber, red onion, carrot and beet salad!)

    I am sorry you didn't like "Vegan Gourmet"...Perhaps after you have been cheeseless for a longer time it will appeal to you more...I hope so

    My daughter loves it now, but didn't care for it immediately after becoming vegan...I think it's because she had "real cheese" to compare it to in her recent memory/taste...when I was desperate to please (years ago) I tried to give her the Tofutti slices. She hated them (said they tasted like chemical boxes) much to my delight...

    The Tofurky Slices are MUCH tastier than the "roast" IMO and in every client's opinion I have prepared these things for! I would try the frozen dinner with seitan and see if you like it before you buy the "Roast'...they aren't exactly alike, but the texture and flavor can be similar...


  16. #16
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    ive found all those things :\
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    Quote foxytina_69
    ive found all those things :\

    You're also on the other side of the country. I've heard that BC is much more vegan/vegetarian friendly.

    CC- i may try vegan gourmet again sometime, but for now I'm just not ready to throw away another $7! I've got some recipes for a cheese sauce type thing for pizza, but usually I'm so starving by the time I get dinner I hate to "chance" it on something I'm not sure about!

  18. #18
    ConsciousCuisine
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    UGH! $7! We pay nearly $4 and it is a "sacrifice" at that!

    I promised my daughter (who eats better than any adult, let alone any child I know!) that she could have home-made pizza 2 times a month as an indulgence...my giant man loves it too, I must admit, so they are happy with me for the decadent dinner...it's an occasional indulgence and one that, in the big picture is not devestating... (But I know it's *not* healthy at all! I balance it out by modifying the soy in thier meals the day before and after and increasing raw veggies and Superfoods...

    If you would like some Pizza ideas that don't include any cheezy sauce, spread or shreds, let me know...I make that more often (it's easier to make those kinds healthier!)

  19. #19
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    Quote meatless
    You're also on the other side of the country. I've heard that BC is much more vegan/vegetarian friendly.
    I have heard that we are the most veg*n friendly province in Canada. Although, tofurkey slices and the tofurkey sausages aren't all that easy to buy here either. I have to drive to a specialty food store 20 minutes away to get them - they are not sold in the regular supermarkets.

    A new Save-On-Foods opened up near my place recently, and I was so happy to see that compared to other Save-On's they stock more of a variety of vegan/organic foods, including goodies such as Silk non-dairy creamer, vegan cheeses, Amy's products and more.

  20. #20
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    i dont think its that easy to find tofurky slices here but in the section by produce, theres a whole stack of shelves in a fridge type caser that have all sorts of tofus and lunch meats and sausages, burgers. all meat replacements. than in the freezer theres all these kinds of frozen burgers and amy's products and vegan icecreams galore!

    save on foods here also has great selections roxy. it has a whole area of shelves dedicated to milk free milks and creamers and such!
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  21. #21
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    UGH! $7! We pay nearly $4 and it is a "sacrifice" at that!

    I promised my daughter (who eats better than any adult, let alone any child I know!) that she could have home-made pizza 2 times a month as an indulgence...my giant man loves it too, I must admit, so they are happy with me for the decadent dinner...it's an occasional indulgence and one that, in the big picture is not devestating... (But I know it's *not* healthy at all! I balance it out by modifying the soy in thier meals the day before and after and increasing raw veggies and Superfoods...

    If you would like some Pizza ideas that don't include any cheezy sauce, spread or shreds, let me know...I make that more often (it's easier to make those kinds healthier!)
    4 $ american probably would round up to around 7$ canadian cc!
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  22. #22

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    Quote foxytina_69
    4 $ american probably would round up to around 7$ canadian cc!

    Well, our dollar is work 83 cents right now, so not really.
    Plus, real incomes in Canada are about 70% of what they are in the States on average.

    But anyway.

  23. #23
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    hmmm ohwell. if i could find vegan gourmet cheese i would buy it! soymage vegan cheese is 6 $ anyway.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    Quote foxytina_69
    hmmm ohwell. if i could find vegan gourmet cheese i would buy it! soymage vegan cheese is 6 $ anyway.

    I was so excited to find Vegan Gourmet but then it was just awful (to my tastebuds anyway ) I have never seen Soymage here. I'd be willing to pay $6 for a vegan cheese I enjoy, just not for one that I hate!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I can't speak for the whole of Canada, but the Toronto area makes it easy to be a vegan. Lot's of places to eat, lot's of places to shop, lot's of people to network with who know what a vegan is!

    I'd probably just suggest that you stick closer to urban areas or areas with a lot of Indian or mediterannean people are living -- they tend to have more options for vegans and are more conscious of vegan needs.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Really depends on where you live.. I grew up in Victoria and it's very "vegan friendly". Right now I'm in Kamloops and it isn't even close. There isn't a single veggie restaurant here but we do have some good health food stores and I can find vegan products without much hassle.

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Montreal is fantastic for vegans-lots of yummy health food stores and a bunch of vegan friendly restaurants (Aux Vivres and Commensal are both amazing!) I also found many vegan yummies in ottawa ( even a vegan bakery!) As for vegan slices etc, almost every grocery store here has a vegan/vegetarian section with quite a broad selection. My faves are faux feta tofu cheese (on salad, in filo or even on crackers), veggie salami(for sandwiches) and veggie ground round(for pasta and tacos) As for produce there is an interesting system here in Montreal - several organic farms are willing to deliver boxes of organic vegetables directly to your house (usually every two weeks )for a small monthly fee.

    I hope this info is useful.

  28. #28
    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Canada in general isn't too bad for vegan food as long as you stay in the main cities.... but its too damn cold up there!!
    “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Quote meatless View Post
    Well, we don't have the tofurky slices here, or the tofutti cheeses. And I have never seen something called "korn," and a variety of other faux products like that. I can't think of many of the specifics, but when I posted at VB they were always talking about this product and that product and we didn't have most of them.

    I finally found seitan the other day, in a microwave dinner. Haven't tried it yet.

    I know a lot of vegans don't go for faux products, but a lot of people would find it very difficult to convert without them!
    Hmmm, the Suprestores (RCSS) in Ottawa that I have shopped at have some of those products that you mentioned...

  30. #30
    songlife
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    Montreal is AMAZING for vegan food! It's kinda like Vancouver in that sense... vegan and vegetarian restaurants everywhere, especially in the core. They do have some things we don't have and we have some things they don't have. I think Van is slightly more vegan but it really doesn't make that much difference.

    Here in Montreal there are SEVERAL veggie restaurants (even a raw one) within a 2 block radius of my place, not to mention a wide variety of health food stores and a cheap organic locally grown student-run vegantastic produce co-op.

    Plus in Montreal there are middle-eastern restaurants *everywhere*, with tons of vegan options including falafel wrap sandwiches for 2.50 to 4 dollars each. Life couldn't be sweeter.

    Raw foods are easy to find here. Organic food is abundant even in our Pharmaprix's (Shoppers Drugmarts). It's vegan paradise, I still haven't tried even a tenth of the veggie places here, it's impossible.

    To top it all off, we even have tons of vegan products unique to Quebec, locally made.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I live in Ottawa and I find it extremely easy. Many vegan products can be found in big store such as Metro and Loblaws.

    When it comes to places to eat out, I would say there is a fair amount of restaurants/health food stores.
    I personally frequent this amazing place called Market Organics that has at least 10 vegan options to choose from each day, they label everything as vegan or non vegan (with big black on yellow letters) and write down the ingredients, they even keep it interesting by adding new recipes each couple of days.
    We have an all vegan bakery called Auntie Loo's Vegan Treats that distributes to many other shops and cafés around the city. It is amazing, and the owner is so cool, if you threw water at her it would turn to ice.
    There are many street vendors that sell vegan hotdogs. I even got a pretty amazing vegan meal at a steakhouse called The Keg . All I had to do was ask what they could do that was vegan and I got this amazing spiced rice platter with almonds, spinach and fried asparagus (I was impressed that the waitress even knew what vegan meant).

    My only complaint would be that vegetables and fruits are extremely expensive compared to where I used to live (Mexico) and during winter the prices go up and nothing fresh can be bough locally.

  32. #32
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I would think it would be. I have been to Toronto many times, it is one of my favorite places to be, and I have not had any problems finding good vegan food. Loblaws is a wonderful grocery store, just loved it!!!!! Everything is so green and clean there, I am always at peace when visiting Toronto.
    Tanya

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Given that the original poster has not logged on to the forum in the last 8 years, she is probably already there...

    Best regards,
    Andy

  34. #34

    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    Given that the original poster has not logged on to the forum in the last 8 years, she is probably already there...

    Best regards,
    Andy
    That's true, but maybe someone else looking at the forum might find this thread helpful?

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I guess so ...

    but ... wanting to understand the original poster's request, I followed a link in one of the first answers that was no longer working. When I looked closely, I saw that it was a news article from 2004 ;-)

    Best regards,
    Andy

  36. #36
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    hahaha ur right Andy lol
    Tanya

  37. #37

    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    I guess so ...

    but ... wanting to understand the original poster's request, I followed a link in one of the first answers that was no longer working. When I looked closely, I saw that it was a news article from 2004 ;-)

    Best regards,
    Andy
    Understood.

  38. #38

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I live in southern Ontario, in Hamilton. At first glance, you wound't think the 'steel-city' would be very vegan friendly, but once you dig around you will become pleasantly surprised with the amount of vegan options.

    The city is very multi-cultural, so it's easy to find vegan alternatives at the many different cultural restaurants. There are also plenty of bakeries, and coffee shops with "vegan offerings," as I like to say.

    McMaster University in Hamilton even has an award winning vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Bridges Cafe. The general public can go to the restaurant, and it's great for vegan students on the schools meal plan.

    Hamilton also has a farmers market right downtown (Attached to Jackson Square Mall) with many different local vendors selling local produce and products. Also Ottawa St. North has a local market, I believe once a week, with strictly loca, seasonal produce from farms in the area.

    It is VERY EASY to be vegan in Hamilton, Ontario.

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    Overnight, in every store that I shop at, there are cheese alternatives, milk alternatives, meat alternatives, whole grains from A-Z, hemp and chia, heat-and-serve vegan Indian dishes, and if I'm unsure about a bakery good they slap an ingredients list on it for me like I just asked for the price of it. When I eat at restaurants, I email them or research them in advance and if they don't have what I need, I take it with me. Even those "no outside food or drink" places change their tune when you tell them that by excluding your dietary requirements that they are causing a possible medical issue that hopefully won't turn into a legal issue. In general, this is a great place to live and eat in. Even high-end fashion stores often have alternatives that they don't usually advertise. Some vinyl COACH bags are more expensive than the same style in leather, but they exist! My favourite footwear is Blowfish and you can find it anyplace. The absolute hardest thing I've had to deal with is people with good intentions who feel offended by my refusal of spontaneous coffees or chocolates, cakes, etc. I called a roller skating place to ask about their menu and said I don't eat animal products, so they suggested I let the snack bar know to set aside a cheese pizza for me *blank stare*. I went to the CNE for the first time in years and was overwhelmed by the selection of foods in the Food Building. There was a directory and it even lists vegan restaurant choices so I tried one and had the BEST salad I have ever had (and I eat a lot of salads). That's what I told them too on their Facebook page. Being vegan in the GTA in Canada is not difficult if you can manage to get to a regular grocery store, fashion mall or order online. One simple rule I learned early on is: If it's itchy, it's probably not vegan.

  40. #40

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    Default Re: Is Canada vegan friendly?

    I guess it really depends on what type of city / town you are in. If you are in the Toronto Area or Ottawa, it is definitely veg friendly there. But for the most part all grocery stores here are vegan friendly and offer good produce. I'd recommend stopping at an Independent grocer as they always carry organic produce as well as your conventional produce, but they usually have a health isle, where they carry other products as well some of which are vegan. Metro also carries organic produce as well but can be a little more costly from time to time.

    In the bigger cities such as Toronto or Ottawa, there are a lot more vegan friendly restaurants compared to where I live (Sudbury / Northern Ontario), but even here there is the odd one that can be altered to be vegan, or carries vegan food. You can also speak with your waitress if they can substitute their ingredients to make it vegan.

    I've never had an issue traveling within Ontario in finding food.

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