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Uniform Project: Hot Dog Vendors
Real street meat, real street style

This week city council approved a new list of items that food vendors can have on their menu. But, much more interesting is what they wear to work. For this week’s Uniform Project, photographer Sarah Blais biked around to capture Toronto’s hot dog vendors.

Cindy has been turning dogs at Dundas Square for 15 years! She likes to rock a comfy t-shirt and track pants to work, with sandals to keep her cool. Her uniform consists of an apron and visor on top (A homage to Alexander McQueen Ready-To-Wear 2013?). Apparently vendors must wear a hat by law, but the rest of what she wears, including her Chanel shades, is her choice. Cindy did note you can’t go naked…. it’s a bit dangerous with the grill and all. Her favorite hot dog? Veggie.

Elayna and her husband owned the next cart Sarah stopped at. Elayna has been working summers and falls for the 17 years now. At work she likes to keep things comfy– particularly when it comes to shoes. She’ll keep her hair up in the heat, which can get pretty bad behind a grill in Toronto’s 30-plus degree weather. Elayna shops Sears and The Bay for her uniform, depending on what sales are happening. That day she was rocking a vintage Bebe rhinestone tee, khaki pants, and some metallic sandals.

Down near Church and Queen, in the park by those chess players that seem to have become part of the scenery, sits another hot dog vendor named Habib. He’s 48-years-old, but has only been vending for one year. He has beautiful eyes, and is a man of few words. Habib’s uniform consists of khaki shorts, a golf shirt, a baseball cap, and a really great smile. 


Sarah Blais shoots Toronto Standard’s Uniform Project. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahblais_. 

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