toronto patty grad photos

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 his recent grad photos.

The 23-year-old Scarborough resident recently graduated from the Retail Management Program at Ryerson University in Toronto.

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 on Friday.

"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 said. "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 new-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. "I guess you could say I'm famous."

While amused by the attention, Patel is now focused on putting his degree to use. He hopes to land a marketing job but is working on his own retail consultancy called Renouv on the side in the meantime.

He's also waiting for his actual grad photos to come in (as you can tell by the watermarks, he's only yet been able to get his hands on the proofs).

You can follow Patel on Instagram here or, if you're a real conoisseur, watch the same patties sold at both Warden and Bathurst Stations being made at Fahmee Bakery in this mouth-watering behind the scenes video.

Lead photo by

Lassman Studio Photography/Ali Patel

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