Marina Queirolo, Public markets & food systems specialist

Currently, the steward of Market City TO, an emerging initiative supported by the Golden Horse Food and Farming Alliance, is focused on working with and collaborating with market managers, operators and the City of Toronto to strengthen Toronto Public Markets. And build the mid-size food distribution infrastructure rural and urban entrepreneurs need, and Toronto residents deserve.

Marina is a community builder and entrepreneur by nature and a designer and marketer by trade. Less than two years after moving to Toronto, she started her own business in the food industry and joined the Toronto Kitchen Incubator housed at FoodShare Toronto. As part of her business plan, she started selling the product at farmers’ markets. Being part of that weekly community ritual of bringing people together around healthy local food and activating a public space helped her realize she had found “her tribe.” A place where her passions and approach matched the values of other small entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations in the food sector.

In 2010 she joined the Evergreen Canada team as a Food Program Manager. This work provided an opportunity to have a more significant impact on the local food community. In that role, she developed the food and public market strategy and action plan for the site, resulting in a portfolio of programs that promote food literacy, community development, local entrepreneurship, and placemaking. This role included managing a year-round weekly farmers market, that under her leadership, was recognized as the City’s largest and most highly regarded market. Furthermore, she developed the public market program with a combination of revenue tools contributing to Evergreen’s Brick Works social enterprise. Promoted to Evergreen Senior Program Officer and part of the consulting services team, she led projects in urban innovation and community economic development in Toronto.

A member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) since 2013, she created the TFPC public market working group in 2015. In that role, Marina collaborates with city staff and sector stakeholders to strengthen public markets in the City. In 2019, Marina spoke at the 10th Public Market Conference in London, UK, organized by Project for Public Spaces, representing Toronto’s Market Cities project.

In 2017, Marina received the Canada 150 Outstanding neighbour award by MP Carolyn Bennet for her community work. Marina has a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master of Environmental Studies and Planning at York University, Toronto, Canada.

In early 2020, as TFPC public market project lead, Marina secured Toronto’s role as one of the three pilot project cities in the Market Cities Initiative led by Project for Public Spaces. In partnership with HealthBridge Foundation of Canada and Slow Food International, the initiative aims to advance a new vision for public markets systems at the scale of cities, regions, and beyond. Under her leadership, she coordinated the research and engagement that resulted in the first City of Toronto public market map, an international report and the Market City TO action plan soon to be released in the City.

In 2021 she joined the St. Lawrence Market Precinct Advisory Committee at the City of Toronto. Currently, as part of sûrkl inc, an organization focused on projects that advance urban innovation in the areas of placemaking, public markets and food systems, she collaborates with a range of food and public market organizations, charities, and businesses to co-design solutions that enable a more robust and equitable regional economy and inclusive public space.

We work with Toronto’s intrepid market managers, vendors, city staff and policy-makers to activate the power of markets.

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Marina Queirolo
Public markets & food systems specialist

Project For Public Spaces' Market Cities Network is a global forum for markets of all kinds and the people committed to their success. We’re honored to join as a Founding Member, a role where we can connect and advance leaders in the public markets field.

Supporting partnership from the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and Hypenotic.

International partners with Project For Public Spaces.

Project partners with City of Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, Greenbelt Markets, Scarborough Farmers Market, and Canadian Farmers Market.

We respectfully acknowledge that the work stewarded by Market City TO takes place on many Indigenous nations' traditional territories.

Tkarón:to has been cared for by the Anishinabeg Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and its current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Now home to many First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities, this territory is subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to share and care for the land and resources in the Great Lakes region peacefully. The dish with one spoon reminds people we only have one dish, one mother earth we can take from. Therefore, we should take only what we need, leave something for others, and keep the dish clean. It also demonstrates our collective responsibility to share equally. This area had been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples for centuries before colonization; they hosted the original markets.

The relationship between food, culture, land, and communities informs our work on Toronto public markets. As we work towards collectively reimagining Toronto as a market city and mobilize the partnerships to make it happen, we prioritize finding ways to support Indigenous food sovereignty in their territory. We respectfully acknowledge that the work steward by Market City TO is on traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations.