The Best Farmers Markets in Toronto
The best farmers' markets in Toronto offer more than just great food shopping. While the variety of fresh, natural, and seasonal foods is usually bar-none (and isn't even worth comparing to the typical big-box market), you'll often find a wealth of knowledge amongst the organic strawberries and hormone-free meats.
My best farmers' market experiences usually involve lengthy chats with local vendors about the international cocoa trade and merits of goat's milk ice cream, leaving me with a little "food for thought" to go along with the local ingredients I've brought home for dinner.
Here is the list of the best farmers' markets in Toronto.
Brick Works Farmers' Market
The farmers' market at Evergreen Brick Works offers so much more than produce shopping. Saturday morning visitors are treated to music, kids' activities, and special tastings and information sessions, all while they feast on an organic hot dog or sugar-free lemonade. The vendors offer everything from knife sharpening to naturally raised meats, with a focus on heath for body and environment. A foodie paradise from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dufferin Grove's farmers' market wins big points for accessibility. It's easily accessed by various forms of transit, open all year long (moved inside the rink house during the winter), and perfect for weekday nine-to-fivers. The market is held each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering shoppers the opportunity to pick up some Georgian Bay fish or local organic beef on the way home from work, and sheep's milk ice cream cones to enjoy while they shop.
St. Lawrence Market North
The farmers' market at St. Lawrence Market North is known for great samples, great variety, and great conversations with knowledgeable local vendors. Seemingly always up for a chat, you'll certainly get to know just what went into your Mouton Rouge cheese or gluten-free bread is you go ahead and ask. Open every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wychwood Park/Wychwood Barns
Technically called "The Stop's Farmers' Market," but known colloquially as "that awesome market at Wychwood Barns." This is another market that is open all year round, and usually packed with 30 or 40 vendors and operating each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Market favourites include Kurtis Coffee, Sugar Mammas Mini Donuts, and Bizjak Farms.
Sorauren Farmers' Market
Operated by the West-End Food Coop, the Sorauren Farmers' Market is somewhat no-frills, but definitely offers all of those farmers' market staples. You'll find a mix of vendors here including those known to make the farmers' market rounds (ChocoSol, Ying Ying Soy Food), as well as smaller operations (Baba Link Farm, deFloured). The market is hosted in Sorauren Park every Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Leslieville Farmers' Market
A newbie to Toronto's farmers' market scene but already drawing huge crowds to Jonathan Ashbridge Park. The Leslieville Farmers' Market has dozens of vendors offering everything from produce to meats to prepared foods, with a couple of familiar Leslieville faces (Hooked, LPK's Culinary Groove, Canadian Pie Company) setting up stalls for the Sunday event. Activities for kids, and the odd cookbook swap, too. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Junction Farmers' Market
From newbie to newest. The Junction Farmers' Market may still be in its inaugural year, but it has already garnered the attention of some 20ish vendors and plenty of west-end residents keen on local foods. Operating out of a Green P parking lot at Dundas and Pacific, the market is stocked with farm-fresh foods, specialty honeys, sustainable seafood, and handmade charcuterie. This one's a popular one, so come early. Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Trinity Bellwoods Farmers' Market
At the northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park, this market is somewhat small compared to others on this list but still manages to keep all the food basics covered. Ali's Fish Shack and Monforte Dairy Co. and definite stars here at the market, but so too is St. John's Bakery (a treat for Queen West) and Bona Fide Bean Coffee. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies as well. Hosted each Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
East Lynn Farmers' Market
Five years and counting, the East Lynn Farmers' Market is a favourite summer attraction for the Danforth and Woodbine community. While the kids seem to flock straight to the face-painting tent (and can you blame them?) the food-minded focus in on the farm-fresh fruits, organic veggies, and freshly cut flowers. And meats, of course. The market has also started to feature prepared foods by area business owners. Each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Etobicoke Civic Centre Farmers' Market
Etobicoke, too, has its own lineup of farmers' markets, and the Saturday event hosted at the Civic Centre is perhaps best of them all. The space is swarmed from market onset in June to its close in November, packed with people looking for farm-fresh eggs, meats, and produce. Fruits and veggies make up the bulk of the spread, but natural honey and maple syrups don't go unappreciated. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Recently relocating to June Rowlands Park at Davisville and Mount Pleasant, AppleTree Market has been offering the farmers' market experience to midtown Toronto for the last several years. Hosted spring through fall Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the market is packed with more than 30 vendors offering organic, naturally raised, and sustainable foods, as well as also plans to feature a new food truck each week. That's right; Ontario grown strawberries, and deli meats from a truck.
Riverdale Farm Farmers' Market
This market gives new meaning to the words "farm fresh" (though, of course, the spread comes from elsewhere...nevermind). Riverdale Farm hosts its own farmers' market just outside its main gates on Tuesday afternoons. There you'll find plenty of preserves, a good assortment of plants and flowers, and lots of organic Ontario-grown produce. Held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays during the season, extending farm operating hours.
To learn more about farmers' markets in Toronto, visit our Toronto Farmers' Markets Pinterest board.