From veggies, meat, grains to gourmet goodies, St. Lawrence Market is a one-stop shop for all your food cravings
Somewhere in Old Toronto, there lies a brick and mortar structure soaked in the rich history of the city, immersed in the sweet, wafting aroma of freshly produced eatables and delicious food. Apart from being the centre of the city’s food commerce for over 200 years, it has also been an integral part of Toronto’s heritage. In 2012, it was named as the world’s best food market by the National Geographic. If these words don’t make you fall in love with St. Lawrence Market, then a visit to this world-class food market in Toronto will surely change your perspective.
If you are new to the city and are wondering what’s the fuss about St. Lawrence Market, you have come to the right place. We’ll take you on a tour through the market’s rich history, its three different sections, the fresh food it has to offer among many other things that make a visit to St. Lawrence Market a delightful multisensory experience.
The origins of St. Lawrence Market date back to 1803 when the first public market was set up at the corner of Kings Street and New Street. A temporary market building was constructed in 1814 and a permanent structure, made out of wood, was built in 1820. In 1831, the wooden structure gave way to a quadrangular brick building with arched entrances. After the fire of 1849, the market building got divided into three sections – The South Market, The North Market and St. Lawrence Hall. Over the years, the market building has undergone a lot of changes with the most recent being demolition of The North Market building in 2015 where a new building worth over a $100 million dollars will be constructed.
The South Market
If you wish to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, dairy supplies and baked goods under one roof for a fair price, then The South Market is just the place for you. With over 120 vendors to choose from, The South Market is the one-stop shop for buying raw materials for all your culinary needs. The vendors are known for showing genuine care for customers’ needs, thus making The South Market all the more appealing for visitors. While the main and lower levels of The South market building are bustling with food stalls and restaurants, the second floor houses the Market Gallery that is used by the City of Toronto as an exhibition venue. The South Market is up and running from Tuesday to Saturday every week.
The North Market
The North Market is renowned for keeping alive the 215-year-old tradition of farmer’s market. Every Saturday, Torontonians throng to The North Market to buy fresh seasonal produce from Southern Ontario. The North Market not only provides a platform for local farmers but it also promotes antique sellers to put their collection on sale. Every Sunday, over 80 antique dealers pack The North Market with old valuables, attracting antique lovers from all over the city. While Saturday and Sunday are busy days for The North Market, it rents the space for exhibitions, public events as well as personal functions on weekdays. Since the North Market building is in the process of major redevelopment, the farmer’s market and the antique market is currently held at a temporary building on the southern side of The South Market.
St. Lawrence Hall
St. Lawrence Hall building has been the address of many offices of City Of Toronto since 1850. While the second floor houses city offices, the ground floor is occupied by retail businesses. In 1967, the third floor in the building was restored to build the great St.Lawrence Hall along with ancillary rooms. The hall is available for rent for public exhibitions, corporate events and private parties.
Restaurants & Cooking Classes
Shopping for cooking ingredients can make you hungry and no one understands this better than the St. Lawrence Market. Apart from food stalls where you can buy your food supplies, there are restaurants in the market that serve great food and delectable wines. Those who like to eat while they shop should definitely try fresh bagels, Portuguese churrasco and baked cookies to eat on the go. The market is not just a hub for food commerce but also a place for learning about food and cooking. Every week, the market hosts a handful of cooking classes that teach you ABCs of cooking and dining.
Why should you visit the St. Lawrence Market
If you wish to see the amazing amalgamation of food and culture, then you can’t postpone the visit to St.Lawrence Market for long. So, go ahead and add this place to your weekend plans, already!
Are you looking for more places to explore in Toronto? Well, here’s a list of 13 fabulous places to check out in Toronto.