Best Toronto Farmer’s Markets 2022
There is nothing better than a farmer’s market to get into the spirit of an area. Wouldn’t you rather stroll the aisles of a fresh farmer’s market in the sun than roll a cart down the packed aisles of a grocery store? Farmer’s Markets show us the best of a region and a country, they are the cultural heartbeat of a place. From showcasing local produce, meats and lots of handcrafted goods to knowing exactly where your purchases come from. The local farmer’s market is the best place to experience local culture, learn about fruits and vegetables you may never have seen before and enjoy supporting the local community.
Top reasons to shop local at a Farmer’s Market
I have so many reasons why I love Farmer’s Markets. I can taste a wide variety of products and samples, I can buy the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables at their peak. I know my butcher and sausage maker and they know where that cow ate and if it was treated well. My eggs are free-range, even food I buy that is prepared is fresh, healthy and different from what I cook at home. There are many reasons to support Farmer’s markets in any county or city you are visiting or living in, here are just a few.
1. To feel part of the local community
From buskers to fancy popcorn I love the feel of a market. The warm feeling that we are all shopping as a community and supporting local producers is a great reason to shop at a Market. I can meet my friends both new and old, learn about different ways to serve the produce or meats on sale. Find really interesting prepared foods that I would never have had to chance to taste before. I can listen to the buskers, grab a bunch of beautiful fresh flowers and treat myself to a hand made cupcake or Maple Syrup from a local woods – who wouldn’t shop at a farmer’s market?
2. Taste Real Flavors
I know that the fruit and veg I buy at the farmer’s market is locally grown and in season. I can get “organic” cheaper than at the grocery store and I learn about the methods the farmers use to produce their products. There is no trucking in of unripe fruits, gassing the vegetable to get a longer shelf life. There is not a ton of plastic packaging that goes into the environment. The farmer’s market allows me to make good decisions about what the family will eat and enjoy.
I know the food I buy is in season, yes there may be tomatoes in December but my local farmer’s market lady warns me that they will be mushy and to try to locally grow hydroponic tomatoes which are far tastier. I know in the winter months I will be buying cabbages, brussels and all that hearty food that works in deep dark delicious casseroles and stews. In the summer months, I look forward to the fresh tomatoes, baby lettuces and an abundance of fruits and vegs I can harvest from the market and turn into jams, jellies and chutneys to last the winter.
4. Supporting local Family Farmers & Producers
Small producers and family farmers have a difficult time competing in the grocery store chain business and corporate food companies. They are often not competitive and can only supply limited amounts of product. This is where we the consumer benefit. We get the pick of the crop and we get to support our local economies, family farmers and local arts and craftspeople. It’s the old adage shop local and supports your community.
5. Markets are environmentally friendly
Not only do you have to bring your own shopping bags (cutting down on plastics) most markets don’t plastic wrap the food. Food in Canada travels on average around 1800 miles to get to your local grocery store. This shipping takes a lot of carbon offsets to manage its environmental footprint. Corporate agriculture also uses a lot more resources than locally grown food, more pesticides more gas and oil to harvest with massive combines. Farmer’s market produce is produced in smaller easier managed farms and market gardens reducing the environmental impact of corporate farming.
6. Promoting Humane Treatment of Animals
At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture. Our local Mennonite population in Ontario is well known for their meats both cured and uncured. These farmers know exactly what cow the meat came from, what field it grazed in and how it was treated humanely throughout its life. That stuff is important to me.
7. I know where my food comes from
A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people who work hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.
Those are just a few simple reasons why I love Farmer’s Markets. In Ontario, we are really lucky to have many fine markets but I also get to travel the world and experience farmer’s markets in many other areas. I love that part of travelling because I get to try things that I have never seen in a Canadian farmers market and experience the local culture.
16 of the best Farmer’s Markets in Toronto
Here are the best farmers’ markets in Toronto from the TO Blog, one of the best sources of Toronto information on the internet.
When: Sundays until Oct. 31.Times: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Location: Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. This market at Queen and Church has a vibrant mix of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, plus bread and other baked goods, jams and jellies, preserves, honey, eggs, meat, coffee and more.
When: Wednesdays until Oct. 13.Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W.Shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, flowers and more from local farmers and vendors at this downtown farmers’ market near Toronto City Hall.
When: Saturdays year-round.Time: 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.Location: St. Lawrence Market, 93 Front St. E.Find fresh fare at the St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers’ Market’s indoor area from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at the seasonal outdoor area on Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
When: Wednesdays until Oct. 6.Time: 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.Location: Fairmount Park, 1725 Gerrard St. E.You can find farm-fresh produce and a range of products that reflect Toronto’s diversity at this east-end market.
When: Tuesdays until Oct. 26.Time: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.Location: East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey and more items and products from Ontario at this market that also boasts freshly made smoothies and baked goods.
When: Saturdays year-round.Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. The largest farmers’ market in Toronto, Evergreen’s Saturday Farmers Market is open year-round, connecting people in Toronto to local Ontario farmers and producers. Outdoors from May to November, indoors from November to April.
When: Sundays until Oct. 3.Times: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Location: Green P Lot, 1531 Eglinton Ave. W.Shop an array of fresh foods and artisan vendors at this market in Little Jamaica that features a taste of the Caribbean islands and continental African countries with fresh produce, bread, baked goods, juices, preserves, sauces and more.
When: Thursdays until Sept. 30Times: Noon to 4 p.m.Location: Stonegate Community Health Centre, 10 Neighbourhood Lane. You can find fresh produce at affordable prices at this cash-only market with a small fresh produce stand.
When: Sundays until Oct. 31.Times: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.Location: High Park Village Market, 255 Glenlake Ave. There are fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, along with fresh meats, cheese, preserves, honey, eggs, prepared foods and more at this market that is just steps from High Park.
When: Saturdays until Oct. 30.Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Baird Park, 275 Keele St.You can find fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, desserts, coffee, flowers, prepared food and more at this market that has moved to a new location this year.
When: Wednesdays year-round.Time: 2 to 6 p.m.Location: Montogomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas St. W.This year-round market has farm-fresh produce along with fresh bread, eggs, honey, cheese, baked goods, prepared foods and more, plus a virtual farmers’ market option for pick up orders.
When: Tuesdays and Fridays until Oct. 8.Time: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.Location: Church on the Queensway, 1536 The QueenswayShop fresh fruits and vegetables from Blyleven Farms at this twice-weekly market.
When: Saturdays year-round.Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St.You can pick up fresh local fruits and vegetables at this market, along with prepared food, baked goods, artisanal products and more.
When: Tuesdays until Oct. 26.Times: 3 to 7 p.m.Location: Trinity Bellwoods Park, 790 Queen St. W.Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, preserves, cheese and more at this market with a focus on local, sustainable and certified organic food.
When: Saturdays until Oct. 30.Time: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.Location: Artscape Weston Common, 34 John St.You can find farm fresh produce, dairy, meats, eggs and finely prepared foods at this market on John Street that also features live entertainment and items from local artisans.
When: Thursday until Oct. 28.Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St.Stop by this market to pick up fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, baked goods, artisan meats, speciality cheeses, honey, maple syrup and more.
Worldwide farmer’s markets
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