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School of Continuing Studies | University of Toronto

Meals & Eating

  • In Canada, people drink fruit juice, coffee or tea at breakfast. They will often eat fruit, cereal or toast. On weekends, some Canadians eat “brunch,” which is a combination of BReakfast and lUNCH. These meals may include foods, such as eggs, pancakes and bacon.
  • Lunch is usually served around midday, and it is often a light meal with soup, a sandwich, a beverage and some fruit or yogurt.
  • For most Canadians, dinner takes place around 6 p.m. and it is the main meal of the day. Families often eat together at dinner. The meal may include meat or fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes or bread, and dessert.
  • Many Canadians enjoy eating different styles of food from around the world. They may cook these dishes at home or go to a specialty restaurant in the city.
  • There are supermarkets and markets located all over Toronto. A number of stores specialize in imported food from around the world.
  • If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you will find that many food stores and restaurants offer no meat or non-dairy foods.
  • If you want the attention of a server in a Canadian restaurant, make eye contact and nod.
  • Servers are assigned to tables. Only your server will respond to your request. If you cannot see your original server, you can ask another server for help.
  • To ask for your restaurant bill, you can try and get the server’s attention through eye contact. If the server looks at you from across the room, you can make a writing gesture on your hand to indicate that you want to pay your bill.
  • Canadians “tip” people who are servers, such as waiters in restaurants and bars, taxi drivers and hair stylists. The standard rate is 15% of the total cost of the bill before tax.

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