Since I was in Toronto for three weeks, Claire and I had lots of time to visit different farmers’ markets around the city – another one of our favourite pastimes. I was there in late August and September and this was the perfect time of year for these markets. The produce stands were full to bursting with a rainbow of tomatoes, peppers, greens, fresh beans, zucchini, mushrooms, corn, and summer fruits like berries, peaches and nectarines.
In the summertime in Toronto, you could visit a farmers’ market nearly every day of the week. And, unlike Edmonton, which also has its fair share of farmers’ markets, all the ones in Toronto seem to be accessible by public transit.
This market, just a few blocks from Claire and Alex’s apartment, is small, but had lots of selection. It’s held in a parking lot every Saturday morning in the summer and early fall. This summer was the market’s first season – it was started to cater to the many young families that have moved into the area and are seeking local, organic food.
This bustling, lively market has a very community, hippie-like vibe. One of Toronto’s best-known markets, it’s in Dufferin Grove Park, a beautiful green space that is home to an active community of neighbours hosting events year round. On top of the market, which is held every Thursday evening year-round, there are outdoor yoga classes, dancing, a community bread oven, and lots more.
The market is quite large, with plenty of produce stands, some meat, cheese, and eggs, and lots of prepared food in a separate area. It was very crowded, however (as I imagine it is most weeks), and there is not that much space to manoeuver between the stalls over the sometimes-bumpy ground (we were hauling a grocery cart with us).
At this market I discovered a gluten-free stand called De-Floured, offering up cookies, loaves, tarts, and other goodies. I really enjoyed their chewy chocolate chip cookies and especially their flaky peach hand pies.
Claire splurged on some chanterelle mushrooms, one of Alex’s favourites. We discovered more of these beauties at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market (see below), where the mushroom vendor told us it was one of the best seasons for chanterelles in about 20 years – they were popping up everywhere.
A few days before we left Toronto, Claire, Jacques and I took a short trek over to this market, along with the babies and Alex’s brother Nick. Another year-round market, it’s in Sorauren Park every Monday evening. The park doesn’t have quite as much character as Dufferin Grove, but there was lots more space to move around, with many vendors’ tents in a circle around a large lawn. There was again lots of food to eat, though it was tucked away into a tight alley near the field house. We noticed many of the same vendors from Dufferin Grove. I had a delicious homemade corn flour tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese from a vendor called ChocoSol that also sells chocolate bars (you can see the tortillas in the photo above from Dufferin Grove).
Farmers’ markets are really the best. I love seeing the variety of local foods that come out of the region, and it’s a chance to get a great feel for the community. We are really lucky to have such great farmers’ markets here in Edmonton too.