Top 50 Restaurants in Canada: Constitution

Constitution for 2015 Voting

Our aim with this project is to promote hard-working chefs and inspiring food entrepreneurs in Canada — a culinary haven that is too often overlooked in global culinary competitions.

We are an unbiased source for where to eat in Canada. We do not promote specific businesses, nor do any of our judges have business connections with the restaurants they vote for — anyone associated with a restaurant cannot vote for said restaurant(s).

We aim to offer a completely transparent, fair and inclusive list of Canada’s best restaurants. We do not distinguish between price point, food genre or location. Every restaurant in Canada has an equal chance to be voted for and, if enough votes are received, be entered into the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada.

Through our Top 50, we also aim to promote tourism within Canada and show the world what culinary talents lay in store when they visit. This includes every part of Canada, from coast to coast to coast.

Any person in the world may vote for their top restaurant in Canada, as well as cast votes for prizes in our alternate awards that will be given along with the Top 50. Voting can occur only once and only one restaurant can be voted for per one person. The winning restaurant will be awarded the People’s Choice Award. For 2015, one voter will be named the Canadian of the Year and win a luxury vacation — contest details can be found here.

The formal judging will involve three different tiers:

  1. Up to 10 judges from each of 5 regions (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, The Prairies, and BC & the Territories) will be chosen for their specific expertise. Each regional judge will either be a food journalist, , a tourism expert in the area or an established food expert (farmer, food supplier, etc.). These judges will be chosen by the head judge from their region with the approval of the Top 50 executive.
  2. To qualify, judges must have travelled and dined in three of the four designated regions (Atlantic Canada; Ontario & Quebec; The Prairies; and BC & the Territories) within the eligible voting period. All meals experienced must be equivalent to a standard diner’s experience. Any off menu experiences, including special events (i.e. collaborative dinners, off-site catering, competition entries, etc.) cannot be included. Failure to adhere to these rules or ability to provide reasonable proof for qualification will result in exclusion of votes.
  3. The head regional judge will be appointed by the Top 50 executive. They will be chosen from top food experts within the region and will be responsible for a) choosing the (up to) ten judges from their region, b) arranging meetings and managing the judges in all their endeavors and c) allocating funds as is necessary (with approval from the executive). When the time comes to vote, the head regional judge will collect the votes for top restaurants from their region and will then send their results to the executive.
  4. The executive is made up of’s Managing Editor, Food Columnist, Deputy Editor and the Top 50 Restaurants Director of Operations. Their job is not to just judge, but to tally the final votes and aid the head regional judges in any way. They are also responsible for the fair allocation of funds to the head judges and will act as rule enforcement. The executive will be responsible for the final release of the Top 50 and will write congratulatory letters, as well as help organize parties, and distribution of individual prizes.

The judging itself will involve a points system:

  • The judges from each region will have a total of 100 points to allocate to between 5 and 10 Canadian restaurants. They must have eaten at their nominated restaurants at least once since January 1, 2013.
  • Judges can vote for a minimum of 5 restaurants and maximum of 10 restaurants; however no more than 80% of their votes can be within their region.
  • In the end, whichever restaurant receives the most points will be the winner. In this way, we can accurately judge the position of each restaurant.

Judging rules:

  • Each judge must submit a list of any/all restaurants and businesses they are associated with. This will be published along with their biography on the Top 50 website to promote transparency.
  • Judges cannot vote for any restaurant they are associated with professionally in any way. This rule will be highly regarded and checked by the Top 50 executive.
  • Any judge found to be supporting a restaurant they are professionally associated with will be excused from judging in any future Top 50 lists.
  • Restaurants are permitted to promote their restaurant for our Top 50 in any way they see fit. Our judges, however, must refrain from promoting one restaurant/person in particular throughout the voting process. After the Top 50 has been released for public viewing the judges may speak freely (positively) about any restaurant/chef/foodie they choose. Alluding to a certain restaurant(s) is permitted but will be monitored by the Top 50 executive.
  • This constitution is freely available to be read by anyone and will remain posted to our website.

Visit the Top Restaurants In Canada website to follow the competition and learn more about the history of the rankings.

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