If you were impressed by the Toronto resident who ordered 2,160 — or 180 dozen — bagels from St-Viateur, then prepare to be even more impressed, as Montreal's bagel war lives on. St-Viateur's rival Fairmount Bagel just delivered its biggest-ever FedEx shipment: 468 dozen. That's over 5,616 bagels.   

So who would order THAT many bagels? 

It was actually a Jewish youth group in Edmonton, Alberta called B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO). 

When Tamara Vineberg, an ex-Montrealer who sits on the BBYO board, posted an article about the massive St-Viateur bagel order to Toronto on her Facebook page, she said she was inspired.

"My friends who saw that story said, 'Oh, can't you do that for us in Edmonton?'" Vineberg told MTL Blog.

After successfully ordering 108 dozen for her friends and family, Vineberg said she was approached by fellow BBYO parent Stacey Leavitt-Wright about turning the idea into a fundraiser for the organization. 

They chose mid-September because it lines up with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Vineberg said.

Before long, on September 16, Leavitt-Wright found herself in her garage surrounded by thousands of Montreal bagels.

"People are really excited about it," said Leavitt-Wright.

"In fact, when the Fed-Ex guy dropped off the delivery he got a call from a colleague asking if he could get some bagels too so I told him to ring my bell later today."

Vineberg said she thinks the enthusiasm comes from Montreal bagels being a "novelty" in Edmonton since they can't easily access fresh Montreal-style bagels there.

"I've heard it's the water that's different," said Vineberg.

"No one makes bagels like that here. There's no wood-fired oven bagels at all in Edmonton."

Leavitt-Wright, also a former Montrealer, chimed in: "It's just that crispy outside. And something about how chewy they are when you toast them with the butter melting. It brings back wonderful memories and smells." 

Leavitt-Wright also noted that it's not just about buying bagels. It's for a good cause.

In addition to raising funds so the youth group can continue programming, Leavitt-Wright said the project has kept BBYO teens occupied helping with marketing and volunteering to organize contactless delivery. 

"When everything else is tenuous right now, it's just a nice fun thing to be part of," Leavitt-Wright said.

They are considering making it an annual event, said Vineberg.

Now, who's up for a bagel? We're grateful there are always fresh, hot Montreal bagels just within walking distance.

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