Water From the Lake (Ontario)

While customers at Edward Levesque’s Kitchen in Leslieville ponder the menu, restaurateur Levesque makes his signature introduction: “Would you like San Peligrino, Evian — or Lake Ontario Water?”

Levesque is onto something: “Bottled water is the biggest scam,” he tells XYYZ, “and customers know it. Big business makes millions of dollars a year selling re-filtered, re-mineralized tap water. People need to know this.”

Believe it or not, drinking tap water is actually more reliable than bottled. The lake is cleaner than it has been in decades and Toronto drinking water not only meets, it often exceeds, the standards set out by the province. Plus, while bottled and tap water both must meet the Health Canada Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water, tap water us under closer scrutiny. Bacterial counts in bottled water have been shown to be much more inconsistent compared to what you’ll find in your tap.

Then there’s the environmental impact. A Sierra Club study found that 9 out of 10 bottles end up as litter or landfill. Then consider all the energy that goes into manufacturing and delivering bottle water. In short, bottled fouls the planet (see this NY Times article on the topic.)

But there’s still that stigma. Supposedly tap water is for unfashionable cheapos. Levesque’s aware of that stigma. “I don’t want my customers to be intimidated into ordering bottled water. Is it better for you? I can’t tell. I don’t think so,” Levesque laughs. “We can save on the exhaust from shipping bottled water and the waste of the bottles by drinking what comes from the lake.”

So hold your head high and join us at XYYZ in saying no to bottled water. Spend the money you save on a better bottle of wine.

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