The Depanneur + The Bentway present: Communal Picnic
Following up on our successful 2019 Communal Table dinner series, The Depanneur & The Bentway have teamed up again to offer a new kind of shared culinary experience within the challenges we all face amidst COVID-19. Our new Communal Picnic is designed as a collective experience, including weekly surprise activities, that can be enjoyed safely and responsibly and take advantage of the unique opportunity The Bentway site affords.
On Sundays in August & September, The Depanneur will curate a selection of six different meals prepared by a diverse group of local chefs, packaged for contactless pickup. The Bentway offers a spacious, family-friendly outdoor environment that spans several square kilometres of urban space where these meals can be enjoyed.
Meals are pre-ordered online (see listings below) for pickup at The Bentway between 6-7pm on Sunday evenings. You are encouraged to bring your own cutlery, plates & beverages, and are invited to take your meals to any of the nearby tables, to enjoy them as a picnic on the abundant adjacent greenspace, or to take them home.
To help foster a spirit of inclusion and accessibility, Pay It Forward meals are also available. The Depanneur and The Bentway will work together to match Pay It Forward donations in order to provide meals to shelters and respite centres in the community.
Upcoming Communal Picnics
Upcoming Events › Bentway Communal Picnic
Upcoming Events › Bentway Communal Picnic
Paella is often thought of as the Spanish national dish, but it is really a speciality of Valencia, though it has countless regional variations. This classic rice dish has five key ingredients: short-grain rice, saffron, pimentón (smoked paprika), olive oil and the large, shallow paellera pan from which the dish gets its name. José Arato, owner and Head Chef of Pimentón, will be preparing his paella live on site in his giant 100 cm wide paellera!
Turkey has an ancient culinary tradition stretching back to the very beginnings of Western civilization. From these deep roots the Ottomans developed a sophisticated and aristocratic cuisine based on ingredients and influences pulled from an empire that stretched from North Africa across the Middle East and into Greece and the Balkans. The flavours of contemporary Turkish food emerge from this mix of cultures and traditions, and shine in Chef Tuba Tunç’s selection of traditional Turkish dishes.
Mexican culture has a profoundly long history, with settlements reaching back to 10,000 BCE, and a pre-Hispanic agricultural legacy contemporaneous with ancient Egyptians. This rich and ancient tradition, combined with centuries of Spanish colonial influence, has evolved into the full glory of contemporary Mexican cuisine. Tonight Chef Erika Araujo of Ixiim prepares a selection of classic Mexican dishes from Puebla, Veracruz and Mexico City, a colourful and flavourful picnic perfect for a warm summer night.
The food of the Philippines is complex, as diverse as the more than 100 ethnic groups that populate its 7600+ islands, and overlaid with centuries of Chinese, Southeast Asian, Spanish, and American influences. Tonight’s menu by Maria Polotan incorporates local ingredients into traditional Filippino recipes.
Chef Greg Couillard is best known for his unique and eclectic mix of Caribbean, Asian, Latin, and Indian flavours and ingredients. He has forged a reputation as a fearless culinary innovator, a kind of supercollider of food ideas, smashing them together with incredible force, producing novel and exotic new dishes for lucky diners to marvel at. Chef Greg’s 30+ year culinary legacy has left an indelible impression on fine dining in Toronto, opening eyes, minds & palates to the incredible culinary diversity of our city. For this dinner, Greg takes a journey down the old Silk Road, following the ancient trail of spices from Southeast Asia through India and Central Asia on their way to the Mediterranean and Europe.
Pay It Forward
At check out, you will be given the opportunity to either purchase a Pay It Forward meal, or make a donation (in $10 increments). For every Pay It Forward meal purchased, The Depanneur and The Bentway will work together to provide a second meal to double the impact of your generosity. All Pay it Forward meals and donated funds will be used to support a dedicated Communal Picnic for The Bentway’s neighbouring shelters and respite centres, scheduled to take place in September 2020.
Where is The Bentway and how do I get there?
The Bentway is located under the Gardiner Expressway on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site, running just east of the Fort York Visitor Centre (250 Fort York Blvd) to Bastion Street. > Google Map
Take the TTC:
- 511 Bathurst (note: Buses are currently operating on a revised route due to construction) )
- 509 Harbourfront (at at Fort York Blvd.)
- 121 Fort York-Esplanade at Gzowski Blvd (westbound) or Bastion St (eastbound)
Bike to The Bentway!
Use Bike Share Toronto’s System Map, or download CycleFinder or Transit app to locate stations and plan your route with real-time bike and station availability. The closest stations to The Bentway are Fort York Blvd/Garrison Rd, Strachan Ave/Princes’ Blvd, and Fort York Blvd/Bathurst St.
Paid parking is available at 800 Fleet Street, as well as in the Fort York Visitor Centre parking lot.
What if it rains?
Meal pickup will take place rain or shine; no refunds will be issued for meals not picked up.
Are there washrooms at The Bentway?
The Bentway provides accessible public washrooms, located in the middle of the site just west of the skate trail. Please note: Due to COVID-19, a limited number of stalls are available and masks are required to access these facilities. Please practice safe physical distancing protocols while visiting. Washrooms and site furniture are available for people to use until 8pm only.
Can I BYOB?
There will not be any beverages included in the meals, nor will any be available for purchase on site, though there are water fountains on The Bentway property. You are encouraged to bring a beverage of your choice, but be aware that City of Toronto by-laws prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public.
Can you accommodate special dietary restrictions?
As meals are prepared and pre-packaged off site, and the menus being prepared are for this event only, we are not able to accommodate specific dietary restrictions beyond the meat and vegetarian options that are available. The Depanneur will try and clarify any potential allergens in the event description. If you have specific questions about ingredients, please contact The Depanneur directly.
Why is it more expensive than last year?
As a result of the many challenges presented by COVID-19, we had to adapt in order to find a way to make Communal Table possible. This year, Communal Picnic pricing has been adjusted to support (the recovery of) local chefs and restaurants facing unprecedented times. Nevertheless, accessibility and affordability remain vitally important and we have done our best to ensure that we can provide Communal Picnic at the lowest possible cost.