Toronto has more than 130 Public Markets (PM) built from the ground up by strong community champions or key anchor organizations. They embrace diverse models, audiences and mandates that respond to residents’ needs and often deliver programs that address municipal gaps.
Though long-treasured by city-dwellers as a way to connect to local growers and urban entrepreneurs while surrounded by a festive atmosphere, markets provide entertainment and access to arts, crafts, street food and fresh produce. Still, the widespread benefits of public markets need to be discovered and appreciated. As such, many public markets exist on the margins.
From the St. Lawrence market, the only municipal market, to seasonal Farmers and Flea markets, to semi-permanent markets like Market 707 or the Ontario Food Terminal (Canada’s only wholesale market), these public markets are drivers of our local economy. These forms of retail are part of the mid-size distribution infrastructure that enables regional supply, inclusive and diverse economies and promote social connections at a neighbourhood level.