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The infamous Chick-fil-A chain is having the grand opening this Friday for its first Canadian location. Located near the intersection of Bloor and Yonge streets, this fast-food restaurant has already attracted a fair amount of controversy for a purveyor of chicken sandwiches. These guys are not new to the spotlight.
While the group Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBTQ equality, is still preparing its Corporate Equality Index for 2020, Chick-fil-A received low scores in previous years as a reflection of corporate inequalities; especially when it comes to LGBTQ individuals in the workplace. Aside from those inequalities, members of the Cathy family, which owns Chick-fil-A, have been known for their vocal anti-LGBTQ stance and hefty donations to organizations with similar beliefs.
With the new storefront just a couple of subway stops away from campus and Toronto’s gay village, Toronto’s LGBTQ community and its allies are outraged that this business has opened in our nominally liberal city.
Liberation T.O. will begin protesting on Friday morning and plans to continue the protests throughout the weekend, urging locals to boycott the fast food chain. They are expected to be up against a long lineup of excited first-time Canadian patrons.
If you don’t want to compromise your integrity by eating fried chicken on a bun, there are quite a few options for a clucking good time close to campus. Here are some of Ryerson’s student favourites:
- The Thrifty: Tim Hortons Chicken Sandwich
Why support a problematic American chain when you can support a problematic Canadian chain? Kevin Taghabon, a second-year master of journalism student, who happens to be on the Ryersonian and simultaneously passionate about chicken sandwiches, always goes for Tim’s: “The thing I like about it is that it’s cheap but doesn’t taste like cardboard… When I’m negotiating the mouthfeel of the chicken in my mouth, I’m also thinking of all my savings.”
2. The Hot: Wendy’s Spicy Chicken
Slightly different than the conventional, the spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s is a favourite of Jordan Bossy in media production: “It’s reasonably priced and tastes better than any other chicken sandwich out there.” It’s a bold assertion to be sure, but if you can handle the heat, head over to Wendy’s.
3. The Chubby: A&W Chubby Chicken
Yet another Canadian chain to support, the A&W chubby chicken also gets a lot of love from Ryerson students, with three locations close to campus (much closer than certain other American chains opening up, cough cough). Mirza Custovic in sport media says it’s his all-time favourite for a reason, “It just tastes the best to me…The chicken’s nice and moist – it’s not dry. It’s properly made.” The classic lettuce, mayo, and tomato toppings help make this one a winner in Custovic’s eyes.
4. The Juicy: South St. Chicken Burger
The third Canadian option on our list can be summed up with one ideal adjective: ‘juicy,’ says Amer Salehnia, also in sports media. Part of what contributes to the glory of this choice is that the chicken is grilled rather than deep-fried, making this a good option for health-conscious and justice-conscious patrons alike. Come one, come all!
5. The Option That’s Not An Option
If you’re up to date on your chicken sandwich news, you’ll know that another contender for most controversial chicken sandwich is one from Popeyes. Sadly, Canadians recently learned that this option will not be served at Canadian outlets. We’re talking about the same sandwich that caused someone to pull out a gun upon discovering that they were sold out at a location in Houston, Texas, last Monday night. Steer clear of this one, unless you’re willing to risk it all for a quick jaunt across the border.
Now that you’re informed, you can enjoy one of the chicken sandwiches on this list and know that you made the right choice. Warning: you may find yourself wondering (as we have) why nothing is simple anymore — not even a chicken sandwich.
Hopefully, this will not cause an existential crisis. Happy first week of school!