Public Markets in Toronto

By Nicole Gottselig

If you’re looking for a truly local food and shopping experience, there’s no better way to get it than by mingling with makers and curators of one-of-a-kind goods, and feasting on local dishes at a public market. With everything from food and produce, to vintage clothes and local art, here’s a notable list of public markets to spend a day discovering. [Photo credit: Luis Albuqerque]

Public Markets in Toronto

Food and Farmers Markets

Toronto is teeming with food and farmers markets selling high-quality ingredients and locally sourced grub to fuel your inner foodie. There are more than 30 neighbourhoods boasting seasonal markets throughout the year. Check out these market must-sees for a literal feast of the senses!

St. Lawrence Market
Listed as one of the top 10 food markets by National Geographic’s book Food Journeys of a Lifetime, St. Lawrence Market boasts more than 120 vendors selling everything from fresh organic fruit and veg, to flaky filo spinach pies and grab ‘n’ go yam tempura. Stake your place in line at Buster’s Sea Cove for a halibut on a bun with golden fries dunked in tartar sauce or stroll the more than 200-year-old Saturday farmers market open 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

South Market Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Evergreen Brick Works
Toronto’s largest Farmers Market always makes the must-see list. Open Saturdays year round as well as Sundays in the summer, vendors carry farm fresh produce, wine, mustards, artisanal cheese and gluten-free goodies. Fuel up on the banana and Nutella waffles from local food truck fave Wafel Bar before roaming the aisles.

The Stop’s Farmers Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns
The former streetcar repair barn turned artist space and community hub also moonlights as a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Open year round, the farmers and their offerings change each season, with non-farm vendors like Earth + City (makers of the local fave Cowgirl Cookie) and handmade organic breads by the east end social enterprise St. John’s Bakery.

Leslieville Farmers Market
Food purveyors and aficionados of local high-quality fare fill Jonathan Ashbridge Park Sundays from late May to late October. This east end market carries all the seasonal fruit and veg staples, plus naturally raised meats and gourmet small bites perfect for noshing your way around the stalls.

Flea Markets

Rummage through these five meticulously curated flea markets for unique items and hidden gems. Dates, times and locations vary, check the official website for details.

The Junction Flea
From ultra-kitsch to ultra-functional, vendors here run the full gamut and have included The Button Machine’s Toronto swag and Newmies’ over-the-top cute sloth teething rings.

Parkdale Flea
A top spot to update your wardrobe with a signature piece. Vendors have included eight-year-old Leeloominai Monleon’s must have doodle T-shirts and killer upcycled garb by Revamped clothing.

Gladstone Flea
With a new theme each month, this culture hub’s flea is a quintessential West Queen West experience. Local vendors are handpicked to reflect the events happening in the Queen West community and have included FoldIT Creations, BeesButter Canada and Gypsy Sora. Check out more must-see monthly events here.

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea
Once a month, The Great Hall on Queen West hosts more than 45 vendors carrying everything from fashion, food, art and jewellery, with an additonal 10 or more vintage-only sellers. Vendors have included small batch soy candles from Citchen Candle Co., floral and plant design by Twig Weddings and Toronto branded clothing from 6ixside Clothing.

Leslieville Flea
This east end monthly curated flea specializes in vintage finds, furniture, clothing, jewellery and art, and handcrafted goods. With its all-inclusive vibe, you’ll have plenty of chats with both the makers of the items and the treasure hunters who flock here regularly.

Art Markets

Slip into FIKA Café, one of Kensington’s coziest spots, for a coffee to tote while strolling the Kensington Market Art Fair. The Market transforms into a curated outdoor art gallery on Pedestrian Sundays; the back streets lined with local artisans selling unique t-shirts, paintings, hand-crafted jewelry and mixed media pieces for your home.

With two locations in the east end and one in the west, Arts Market offers one-of-a-kind pieces from more than 175 local artists and designers. Browse pop culture greeting cards, paintings and clothing. Visitors can also hunt for upcycled vintage home accents from Blue Oliphant and the rustic recycled barnwood frames and fixtures from Wornwood Design.

Toronto Flower Market

Follow the lilac scented path from Queen and Ossington into Shaw Park from May to October when the Toronto Flower Market blooms once a month. Come here to chill out over views of fuchsia and lemony gerberas, whimsical pink and jade green palettes, and take home loads of farm-to-vase bouquets. Vendors have included Sterling Road’s Instagram favourite Blush and Bloom Flower Studio and Little Italy’s Pink Twig.

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