Summer is a great time of year to explore outdoor markets in Toronto. Usually referred to as Farmers’ Markets in Canada, these markets are an excellent way to purchase delicious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Below is a list of markets in Toronto to get you started. Please be sure to mark the dates and times of each market.
Dufferin Grove Organic Market
Located in Dufferin Grove Park, at Dufferin Ave. and Bloor Street, this market is open on Thursdays from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. It’s also one of the few markets that operates all year round, relocating to the nearby park rink house during the cold winter months. This is an excellent market to sample local organically grown food from Ontario vendors.
St. Lawrence Market
Though technically not an “open air” market, St. Lawrence is an indoor venue for food vendors, and a very popular one at that. St. Lawrence is the birth place of the Toronto Farmer’s Market where the very first markets were held, on this exact location, over 200 years ago. St. Lawerence is another year-round market that promotes local growers and locally grown food. Although organic produce can be found in numerous booths, the focus of St. Lawrence is not strictly organic, and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meat, fish, spices, and crafts can be found. St. Lawrence Market is found at Front St. and Church, and the hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Fridays, and 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays.
Withrow Park Farmers Market
Responding to concerns over the quality of foods found in Toronto, the Withrow Farmers Market features locally grown food only, and can be found in Withrow Park, just south of Danforth and Broadview Aves. This is a seasonal market that opens on May 23 and closes on October 31. Hours of operation are Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Nathan Philips Square
Every Wednesday from July 15 to August 16, Nathan Philip Square (at Bay and Queen St.) hosts a farmers market featuring locally grown fruits & vegetables, honey, bread, and other savoury dishes. There is even free live music at noon!
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Be sure to head to Trinity Bellwoods Park, on Dundas St. West and Shaw, every Tuesday, during July and August for a variety of booths featuring locally grown and prepared foods. The market opens at 3:00 PM and closes at 7:00 PM.
The Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market
Held every Saturday throughout the summer, this unique market opens its doors to local farmers selling fruits & veggies, milled flour, baked goods, meats, fish, and cheeses. Hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Just head to the Prince Edward Viaduct (at Bloor St. and Danforth) and Pottery Road.
Riverdale Farm Organic Market
Now in its tenth successful season, the Riverdale Farm Organic Market operates from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM each Tuesday from mid-May to the end of October. All vendors feature locally grown and prepared organic foods.
Stonegate Farmers Market
Come to the Stonegate Community Health Centre (150 Berry Road) every Tuesday from June to October for a variety of locally grown edibles. Hours are from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, rain or shine. Stonegate also operates a large community garden, where residents are free to work plots of their own land.
The Village Market
Open Saturdays, all year round, from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM, this market’s focus is organic food, and features booths from around 25 vendors from the surrounding townships of Toronto. Live music is often featured, and a food court is available for those who just can’t wait to cook their purchases when they get home.
When shopping in Toronto’s farmer markets, it’s good to remember that haggling is possible, but not a widely practiced activity in Canada. It’s also a good idea to bring your own sturdy bags for your purchase, a small act that is always appreciated by vendors.