toronto patty grad photos

That time a Toronto student took his grad photos with a Jamaican patty

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in Toronto who doesn't adore Jamaican patties (and also has strong opinions about where the best ones in town can be found).

Aside from perhaps roti and like, trendy ice cream, no food item is as universally beloved and ubiquitous — and yet, some Torontonians really do have a passion for patties that goes beyond the norm. 

Ali Patel will forever be remembered as one of those people thanks to the grad photos he took back in 2019.

The 23-year-old Scarborough resident graduated from the Retail Management Program at TMU (then known as Ryerson University).

Like thousands of other new grads in the city, he had a very important decision to make last week in regards to his future: What kind of prop to pose with for his obligatory scholastic photos.

"I was looking for a prop to use for my graduation pictures so I tweeted about it and one of my friends replied saying I should use a Warden Station patty," he explained to blogTO.

"I've always heard about how good the patties at Warden Station are but it wasn't until I moved to Scarborough in October did I really get to experience it," he continued. "And honestly it's been pretty addicting."

So, in the spirit of hilarity, Patel picked up a beef patty from Warden Station on his way to the grad shoot. 

"The patty is from Bakery On The Go located within Warden Station specifically between the bus platforms for the 17 bus and the 9 bus," he told blogTO at the time. "This is an important distinction as the other convenience store in the station also sells Jamaican patties."

"I'd say the ones at Warden Station are tied with Patties Express (Yonge and Elm) for my favourite patties," the grad continued, unintentionally wading into what might be the greatest debate of our generation.

Just two days after getting his grad photos taken, Patel posted a few proofs from the shoot online. They quickly took on a life of their own, thanks to Facebook, Instagram and everyone in this city's obsession with Jamaican patties.

"I've officially become a meme on Facebook," he joked at the time. "I guess you could say I'm famous."

Lead photo by

Lassman Studio Photography/Ali Patel. Writing by Lauren O'Neil.

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Toronto diner permanently closes after 71 years

Working from cafes in Toronto is totally out of control

Brewery announces it's closing its Toronto location

10 places to get hot chocolate bombs in Toronto

Toronto cafe that once had lineups for its Instagrammable ice cream shuts down

Michelin recognized restaurant opening first Toronto location

Milestones replaces restaurant embroiled in controversy in Toronto mall

Here's why Toronto just can't quit the McDonald's at Queen and Spadina