east lynn farmers market

Questions swirl as popular vendor excluded from Toronto farmers market

As the warm weather slowly starts to move in, Toronto seems to wake up and so too do our city's farmers' markets. While some plowed through during the winter months, many kick off in the spring, like the East Lynn Park Farmers' Market.

However, one vendor will be absent this year. East of York Gourmet Food Co., announced on Facebook that it wouldn't be "allowed to partake" in the Danforth-area farmers' market this year.

"It is with a heavy heart that I inform our followers that we will NOT be allowed to partake in this years East Lynn Farmers Market, reads the note. This was not our decision. We loved having the longest lineups and weekly sellouts."

East of York makes pakoras, samosa, soup, curry and other Indian and seasonal fare. Co-owner Ashvin Gehani said he didn't have anymore information on why they were excluded, other than what was shared on Facebook.

"I don't have the luxury of time, nor do I beg for inclusion. So we just have to move forward as best as we can!" Gehani says.

In the post on Facebook, Gehani notes that they were the only business at last year's market "owned and operated by people of colour."

Commenters weighed in on Facebook sharing their disappointment and surprise in the news. "This is a shame," wrote Sue Mackellar. "Always saw your booth very busy."

"Not sure why Farmers Markets Ontario would want to exclude any business that enhance(s) the event and experience for the community," said Janice Lepper.

It seems Gehani and the local community is in the dark about why the business was excluded but answers aren't forthcoming.

Decisions about vendors come from the province-wide Farmers' Markets Ontario (FMO) organization and not the Danforth East Community Association, which runs the entertainment side of the East Lynn Park Farmers' Market. And FMO isn't talking.

When reached for comment, FMO's executive director Catherine Clarke said over email, "The decision to decline East of York’s application is an internal decision and cannot comment any further."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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