St. Lawrence Market is an old building located on a historic site East of Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. Prior to being a market, it was Toronto's first city hall.
The market sells fresh produce, meat, and baked goods. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday.
There are walking tours that last 2 hours of the market and surrounding area held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10 am by Bruce Bell, the official historian of St. Lawrence Market. The tours cost $25 per person
My most recent visit to the city was to take a walking tour of St. Lawrence Market and the surrounding neighbourhood. I have to say that it was the most enjoyable walking tour I have ever been on before, and I've done my fair share!
Our tour guides name was Bruce Bell. He made the trip worth making for sure. He does the tour that we went on every Friday morning at 10AM, just meet in the St. Lawrence Market entry, rain or shine. He was very knowledgeable, but not in the kind of way that makes you think he sat infront of huge textbooks and read them over and over until he had it memorized....he has a true passion for the history of the city and could answer any questions we threw at him. He will also do custom tours....for example, CasaLoma only has automated tours so you can pay him to go through with you and tell you everything you could ever want to more and then some!
He plays a big role in preserving the history of the city too. He's on various commitees dedicated to the cause, and some of the historical plaques we saw said "A Bruce Bell History Project" He's done countless things, all of which you can read about on his website. He also has one book out already, and another scheduled for release this week...... overall I cannot say enough good things about Bruce Bell.....I'll never take another tour of the city with anyone but him.
The St. Lawrence Market is a huge old complex just off of Front St. in downtown Toronto. It's a mecca of fabulous fresh food, meat, fish, veggies, and tons of other food items. The selection of cheeses, condiments, various mustards, baked goods, chocolate is endless. There are stalls upon stalls of yummy goodness both very Canadian, and other worldly as well. You could spend hours sampling different foods and looking at various produce. 2 things NOT TO MISS, are the peameal bacon sandwiches, definitely a local favorite. There's usually a huge lineup at the stalls but definitely worth your wait. And if you go downstairs, just follow the masses of people, and your nose to the stall that has the fantastic veal parmigana sandiwches and eggplant sandwiches, you won't be disappointed!! Then next to that there's a chocolatier and bakery, I'm telling you, if you died and went to heaven, THIS would be it's local supermarket. :-)
As we end our tour of the St. Lawrence Market, I share with you a few of the scenes taken just outside of the entrance. You will first see the mural that is painted on the wall of the Annex that truly depicts the contents inside. Then, a pair of enterprising and very good muscians who entertained with pretty good sense of marketing from the male perspective. Next, there is marketing that is of lesser taste in my opinion. In a world where names to buildings are for sale, billboards and advertising on buses and taxis cover the sides, and every form of entertainment we pay to see comes with an additional price... we must suffer some promotion or advertisement. And so, here are two people walking around with flat screens strapped to their backs proclaiming the virtue of some new movie. Now don't get me wrong, but I enjoy a good movie as well as you, but I would likely NOT go see the one advertised simply because I view it as an intrusion and definitely not what I wanted or needed to see while being a casual tourist. Call me old! Call me un-hip! Call me whatever, but let me call or choose to find information about the movie or attraction I choose to see! Don't put it in my face and expect me to like it. Ok, I feel better now! Ahhh!
The last pictures are of a greater view of the Annex with those fortunate enough to live so close. I would think this may be a "high rent" district but compliment them for their location. Then, I simply included a picture of a fountain in a small park near the Market because I liked it. I hope you do too!
As we continue our shopping for a very special evening, a fragrant and beautiful flower arrangement is needed, da? Many colors to choose from, many choices to create a memorable night. Treated well, these colors will last long beyond The Moment...These colors will paint an everlasting portrait
I have to confess that fish have never been a staple part of my diet simply because my family either didn't regularly have access to them or it just wasn't a part of our particular tastes. But, I understand that fish are very good for you unless they happened to be swimming in lakes of mercury or other contaminants...
But, if fish is your thing, you don't have to wet a line and fetch a pole, they are waiting for you here! Enjoy!
Now that we have chosen our vegetables, we need something to build them around. I can't imagine that whatever your taste and desire for a main course that it is not readily available here! While you're at it, why not pick up some ham, brats, and more that we can use for our "carry out" lunches next week? And, the cheese looks good too!
Do I look fat in these jeans, Dear? They've become quite restrictive of late. Have you washed them in really hot water? I could swear they've gotten smaller!
If the visual stimulation of the many fresh vegetables & fruits displayed and available here can't convince you to embrace a healthy lifestyle, then I'm worried about you! I must admit that though I'm a "country boy" there were a few selections here that I was not familiar with, but would certainly be willing to try!
This selection of pictures were all taken in the Annex of the Market across the street from the previous ones, with the exception of the fruit pic taken inside the main building. There are exterior pictures of the Annex later, but for now just stroll with me and make your selections for the dinner we will prepare together... Ummm!
When Ryan (VT Member RSRaz) suggested a group of us visiting VT'ers might enjoy a trip to the St. Lawrence Market, boy was he right! Not only is the St. Lawrence Market near and in the midst of many other interesting destinations, but what an eye-opening experience for me, and I didn't get to see all!
In the short time we had here (45 minutes) my head was pulled in so many directions and my camera could not keep up with my eyes, but I tried my best to give you some flavor of the place and hopefully a greater incentive to make this a destination when in Toronto. You don't have to buy anything (I didn't), you can simply enjoy the diversity, color, and pagentry of a well-done market that works in many ways.
In this group of pictures you will see the exterior of this bustling market and that's not bad either! There is also a downstairs level to the main building and an annex across the street. I did not have time to visit the lower level, but I hope if you come here, you will and take pictures so that I can see what I missed! I won't miss it the next time, I promise!
I do have pictures of both the inside and outside of the annex across the street, so come along with me and enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and sensations of the St. Lawrence Market!
The highlight of the walking tour for me was a visit to the St. Lawrence market, an indoor food heaven with shops selling cheese, meats, baked goods and many other food items. If I had been on my own, I would have stayed here much longer and sampled some of the delicious prepared foods on the lower level and probably would have given into the urge to buy some of that horseradish mustard they were selling.
If you are there Thursday-Saturday, there is also a Farmer's Market across the street
St Lawrence Flea Market was just down the block from our final VT meal .... so a few of us wandered down there to see what there was to see. It turns out this is a vibrant, lively flea market with a combination of vendors ... antique sellers, middle eastern accessories, nepalese silver jewelry, to garage sale items .... this place has it all. There are murals, kiosks outdoors and tables inside ....... lots of 'stuff' to look at :)
Another plus is bargaining! I sometimes forget about this little tool of the trade ... but Stephanie - the mom of VT - wandered by as I was playing w/ a particular item, but not thrilled with the price ... as she wandered past she yelled out a lower price, the seller accepted it, and I had a new bauble to take home! Gotta love VTers on a roll!
The St. Lawrence Market is located in one of the oldest sections of Toronto. At one point the first police station and city hall of York was here. Now, it is a great place where the locals love to get fresh food, and the tourists are amazed to discover.
There are 2 buildings - the North building which on Saturday morning is a farmer's market with tables and rows of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and flowers, and other wonderful things. Sunday there is antiques/books. The South building is where the permanent stalls are, with more produce, near the doors, and butchers, bakers, cheesemakers, and even, I think downstairs candlestick makers! Get a back bacon on a bun there, or some other goodie.
I did discover on touring with the VT Meeting group, that one of the producers of maple syrup at the farmer's market was selling it for far less than anyplace in the South building. The lesson learned was to look before you buy, or perhaps find a regular SLM shopper who can direct you to the "best of" stalls.
Toronto is a wonderfully walkable city although, because it is such a large city, you will likely find it more reasonable to drive or take public transportation to one of the many interesting neighborhoods and then start your walk. Even though our hotel was located right downtown it was possible for us to walk to one of Toronto's oldest neighborhood attractions, the St. Lawrence Market.
Located on Front Street East at the corner of Jarvis Street, the St. Lawrence market is located in the 19th century home of the Toronto's City Hall. The market actually has four components: the South Market with permanent stands for vendors selling meats, seafood, fresh vegetables, baked goods and much more; the North Market which houses the Saturday farmers market; the Market Gallery above the South Market housing the Toronto Archives and; the St. Lawrence Hall housing retail businesses and offices.
We spent our time in the South Market amongst the smells and stunning displays of food and all sorts of goodies. The vendors were not the least bit put of by our request to buy tiny sample sized portions of all manner of good stuff.
One of the biggest markets in Toronto is St Lawrence's. It's not only big, it's also indoors. The market is opened every day except for mondays and sundays. On saturday the market opens as early as 5am.
You can find loads of goodies inside such as vegetables, bread, fish and meat. But also souvenir type things and things to use in your home. And right across the main building there's another market called the farmer's market. This one only has fresh veggies, meats and bread.
The building itself was established in the late 19th century, and was used as the city hall. It wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century, that St Lawrence turned into a market.
St. Lawrence Market is Toronto's most popular & celebrated public market. From 1796, a proclamation was issued and this particular area was designated as "Market Block." The current Market is actually an expansion and complete makeover of a former Toronto City Hall. Now it accomodates many farmers and retailers who are more than willing to sale their produce. From fresh fruits, seafood, vegetables to meat, this market has almost any every produce you could buy in a supermarket.
There are currently three buildings that form today's St. Lawrence Market. They are:
South Market - The main and lower levels contain over 50 specialty vendors, known for the variety and freshness of their fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, baked goods and dairy products, as well as for the unique non-food items on sale. On the second floor is Market Gallery, the official exhibition space for the City of Toronto Archives. Though few have survived, there still many interesting artifacts there, including the Mayor's chair.
Tuesday to Thursday 8 a.m. -- 6 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. -- 7 p.m.
Saturday 5 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
North Market's most popular component is the Saturday Farmer's Market, for farmers in Southern Ontario bring their seasonal produce here to sale. Experienced shoppers get to the North Market at 5 a.m. to buy the freshest food in town! On Sunday, this space accomodates over 80 antique dealers that sale anything from old rakes to vintage hockey cards.
North Market Hours:
Monday -- Saturday 7 a.m. -- 6 p.m.
St. Lawrence Hall (circa. 1850), houses retail businesses on the ground floor and City offices on the second floor.