One day in Toronto: The Great Canadian Baking Show's Ann Pornel

GCBS host Ann Pornel walks us through her favourite places in Toronto

Between Canadians’ increased desire for culinary content and the dramatic rise in home baking brought on by the pandemic, Season 4 of The Great Canadian Baking Show already had the potential to be one of the most popular yet.

But following the announcement that award-winning Toronto-based comedian Ann Pornel was set to join the cast as a host, the buzz leading up to the February 14 season premiere reached its proverbial boiling point.

As a former member of both The Sketchersons and the famed Second City comedy troupe and a writer and performer on shows like the Baroness Von Sketch Show, Because News, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Pornel’s contribution to Canada’s comedy culture cannot be overstated. 

Since joining The Great Canadian Baking Show, Pornel has lived up to the hype. In addition to bringing a bright blast of colourful glamour through her costume collaboration with the show’s designer, Pornel’s infectious joy and lively demeanour seem to spread to everyone she comes in contact with. 

We recently had a chance to catch up with Pornel. Here, she dishes on her favourite places to eat and drink in her hometown of Toronto.



A post shared by FoodzDiary (@foodzdiary)

I love Tavoos for their Paneer Boroshteh. There’s usually a lineup on the weekends, but it’s absolutely worth the wait. From the lentils to the halloumi and eggs to the feta. It’s exactly what I want to eat immediately after waking up.

Pro tip: Ask for extra bread if you really wanna live a good life.


[My favourite place to have lunch is] Pacific Mall, hands down. I couldn’t tell you which stall, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. I will always have a deep appreciation for food that you can order by pointing to its picture.



A post shared by Gusto 101 (@gusto101to)

I spent the better part of my life absolutely hating mushrooms, but then I went to Gusto 101 for a work dinner a few years ago and had their Mafalde al Funghi pasta and it changed my life. I was also about three glasses of wine deep on the company dime, so that also probably helped shape my bias.

In lieu of drinks, more food recommendations!


A post shared by RAMEN ISSHIN (@ramenisshin)

I’m not much of a drinker so I’ll just take this opportunity to also shout out more food. Sorry, I don’t make the rules, but I certainly like breaking them.

Ramen Isshin and Dumpling House are two defaults I go to when I’m craving ramen or dumplings because they’re consistent in how delicious and satisfying they are.