The arrival of Spring is always welcome after a long Toronto winter. Soon, the grey and white of winter will give way to the green and gold of spring. Farmers will soon be peddling their wares at local farmers markets. While this is something to look forward to, you don’t have to wait another second to experience the fresh, local flavour. There are several farmers markets in Toronto that keep the barn doors open year-round. As winter draws to a close, it’s time to show these robust retailers some love.
Start the work week off right with a trip to the Sorauren Farmers Market at Sorauren Park (50 Wabash Ave). Hosted by the West End Food Co-op, this year-round market is open on Mondays from 3pm until 7pm. During the winter and early spring, the market is housed in the Sorauren Park Field House and provides local seasonal produce, meats, eggs, dairy, bread and baked goods — including gluten-free options. They also offer full meals and take-home dinners — because it’s Monday and you’re too tired to cook! There is also live music upstairs in the community eating area.
Montgomery’s Inn Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays from 2pm until 6pm, all year long. During the winter, the market is housed in the beautiful and historic 1840’s Inn. The kitchen and tavern are turned over to local vendors, offering fresh baked goods, organic produce, meats, cheeses, preserves, honey and treats of all kinds. There are often free tours of the museum on market days!
Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 3pm to 7pm. This market, located in the park across from Dufferin Mall (with free parking), offers fresh, local and organic produce, as well as meat, dairy, fair-trade and wild game options. The market was launched in 2002. It focuses on creating a connection between urban consumers and local producers.
The Toronto Botanical Garden Organic Farmers Market (777 Lawrence Ave East) also operates on Thursdays, from 2pm until 6pm, all year long. Find the freshest, healthiest foods, and meet the organic vendors behind them in one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. They sell fresh salad greens all winter long, plus veggies, free-range eggs, chicken, grass fed beef, pork, lamb, cheeses, maple syrup and more! Free parking is available.
You’ve got some options when it comes to Saturday shopping at Toronto Farmers Markets. Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market is open early, from 9am until 1pm. Featuring 25 local farmers and producers, they offer local produce, eggs, meats, cheeses and tastings. There is often live music too! While you’re there, be sure to explore the grounds and hike the nature trails.
The Stop Farmers Market, at Artscape Wychwood Barns, is open Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. This weekly community event features live music and local artisans, as well as loads of fresh, local, organic food.
Established in 1803, The St. Lawrence Market is a long-standing Toronto tradition, and one of world’s great markets. They get going early, with a market that is open from 5am until 2pm. It’s a great spot to soak up some local culture as well as stock up on local produce and products. Learn more about the amazing history of this local landmark in our feature article.
Eating seasonally and locally means a shorter travel time between your food and your table. Local food involves less energy and is more kind to the environment. Buying local is also a great way to support local farmers and producers, and there is no need to wait for summer to do it! For more information on local produce, and a full list of Toronto farmers’ markets, check out the Toronto Farmers Market Network.
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