Making Public Markets visible!

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.


> Increase education on the role of the Public Market in city building.

> Celebrate Public Markets and the people & businesses involved.

> Promote the various forms of Public Markets our city.

Filling in the Missing Middle for Food Retailing

Thanks, Glen Miller and Spacing Magazine, for writing about this important issue! We look forward to further collaboration and helping more planners, decision-makers and residents understand why we must support public markets.

Photo: Farmers Market at the Ontario Food Terminal, 400 farmers market tenants sell directly, and another 1,500 Ontario farmers sell indirectly through warehouse

1st Toronto Interactive Public Market Map

The International Market Cities Program began working with the Toronto Food Policy Council and Marina Queirolo, lead for the public market initiative, along with the two other pilot project cities: Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA, in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. 

In light of the pandemic, the Toronto partners' top priority was advocating for farmers' markets an

Let's support Winter & Holiday Markets!

We have created the first Winter Market Map! Check these places to visit and shop locally from November to May. 

As the cold and short winter months approach, it's essential to highlight the upcoming Winter and Holiday Markets. These

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

Get in touch ->

Marina Queirolo
Public markets & food systems specialist