Farmers Markets

Strike Goes On, But So Do the Farmers' Markets

As we all know, Toronto civic workers are on strike and the garbage is piling up, but those hardest hit may have been the local farmers who depend upon the city's farmers' markets to sell their fresh, local fruit and vegetables. As of Thursday (July 2nd), all farmers' markets at Toronto Civic Centres will be open for business, thanks to an agreement between city councillors, city staff and CUPE locals 416 and 79.

Farming is hard enough without labour disputes and those of committed to eating local count on our local markets, especially now that strawberries are coming in fresh daily and it won't be long before we see berries, garlic and the ultimate: tomatoes. With an end to the strike not in sight everybody involved would lose out without these markets, especially in the locations outside the downtown core where farmers' markets are a bit fewer and further between.

A special market for affected vendors will take place today, July 2nd, from 8am -2pm at Yonge-Dundas Square. Look for some fantastic strawberries along with some fantastic seasonal greens. The affected market schedule is below.

Thursday, July 2
Special market 8 am to 2 pm at Yonge-Dundas Square
Metro Hall: Thursdays, 8 am to 2 pm
North York Civic Centre: Thursdays 8 am to 2 pm

Saturday, July 4
Etobicoke Civic Centre: Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm

Tuesday, July 7
Scarborough Civic Centre: Tuesdays 8 am to 2:30 pm
East York Civic Centre: Tuesdays 8 am to 2 pm

Wednesday, July 8
Nathan Phillips Square: Wednesdays 8 am to 2:30 pm

The agreement allows the markets to continue but they will likely do so on a reduced scale as there will be no city support and the market organizers (vendors?) will be responsible for the cleanup. But that's a small price to pay to keep the good food coming.

The strike was definitely the hot topic at Monday's Sorauren Farmers' Market as vendors were happy to express their opinions about parks - common market locations - being used as dumping grounds and what market sales mean to their financial success. It's safe to say the affected farmers are breathing a big sigh of relief with this announcement.

Photo by Metrix X on Flickr


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