Farmers' Markets in the Greater Toronto Area

Farmers' Markets in the Greater Toronto Area
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Many children do not enjoy grocery shopping, but somehow the farmers' market is not the same as the grocery store. It is one place they will gladly go to buy produce. We visit the farmers' market at least twice a month in the summertime and continue to do so until they are packed away for the winter. It may be fall time, but the markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are still open until the end of October and are a fun adventure for the kids on weekends.

Square One Farmers' Market

The largest open-air farmers 'market in the GTA is the Square One Farmers' Market located in Mississauga in the Square One parking lot. With over 150 participating farmers, you can find a variety of fruits, vegetables, homemade preserves, honey, maple syrup, baked goods, eggs, meats, and botanicals. Almost every vendor has samples of seasonal fruits and vegetables for people to try. Sampling is something the kids thoroughly enjoy and is a great way to introduce them to new flavors. While the kids may be picky eaters at home, at the farmers' market they try everything!

Parent Tips:

  • Go early to have the best selection of fruits and vegetables, but note that not all vendors are set up as soon as the farmers' market opens.
  • If you want the best deals, then visit the market near closing time when the prices are reduced.
  • Bring a cart or trolley to carry everything you will purchase. If you have an infant, then a stroller basket is also good to carry things.
  • Take hand wipes to clean up after sampling.
  • Avoid making a purchase at the first stall you visit. It may be tempting to buy those ripe and juicy fruits at the first stall, but take your time strolling through the market and see what everyone has to offer. You can always go back to the first vendor and make your purchase later on.
  • Buy fruits that soften quickly last. Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and plums are all fruit that will soften quickly in the heat. Purchase them last and do not leave them in the car too long.

St. Lawrence Market

I cannot have an article on farmers' markets without mentioning St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto. It is much more than a farmers' market, and includes over 120 merchants.

The farmers' market portion is included in the North building, but the South building (the main building labeled "St. Lawrence Market") has numerous stalls of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and meats. Visiting the St. Lawrence Market is more of a full day event. Parking is plenty in downtown Toronto at the corner of Jarvis and Front streets. There is a good underground lot on the east side of the market off of Jarvis Street. The market is also close to Union Station and easily accessible via public transit.

The market is full of various merchants selling everything from homemade dips to silk scarves. There are also numerous food stalls where you can buy lunch or snacks. It's a great place for sampling foods and trying new things. I highly recommend baked goods from Future Bakery and sandwiches from Carousel Bakery, both located on the upper level.

Parent Tips:

  • The market can get congested so a stroller may be a challenge at times. Consider bringing a baby carrier if you have an infant.
  • The upper level is only accessible via stairs inside the south building; However the Front Street entrance opens directly onto the upper level. The Jarvis side entrance opens directly onto the lower level.
  • If you do buy lunch, there are plenty of tables inside, and a nice arrangement of picnic tables outside the upper level surrounding the south building.
  • The area around St. Lawrence market, running east / west on Front Street is full of little shops and restaurants and is a wonderful place to simply take a walk and enjoy the city of Toronto.

Even though summer is fading, take advantage while you can and buy some fresh Ontario produce.



Source by R Agarwal

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