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We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let’s have a look at Toronto through the lens of Stephen Oung!
The Story of Farmers Markets
” Fresh, seasonal, and healthy — this is as good as it gets!
We’re continuing on our way to map the very best farmers markets in Toronto. This healthy trends that’s becoming very fashionable all over the world right now isn’t a completely new idea at all. As we already pointed out, it used to be normal to buy your food at markets set up on squares and streets in almost every bigger city. Farmers sold fresh fruit, veggies, meat, and other produce before the modern era of grocery stores, when large supermarkets came and took most of the markets’ customers. With the latest shift in consumer’s behaviour, people are turning back to organic produce and supporting local communities and family businesses, so farmers markets are on the rise once again. And this is good! They’re the perfect source of seasonal fresh food “with a face and a sense of place”.
We’re pretty lucky here in Toronto, as we have a long list of big and small markets catering to our neighbourhoods that you can choose from. We give you our favourite choices around the city in this Farmers Markets Photo Special.
Once a streetcar maintenance facility, the heritage building of Artscape Wychwood Barns has become a vibrant community centre that brings together Torontonians, artists, and local community groups and provides 60,000 square feet of space for its many activities throughout the year. You’ll find a beautiful park with sports facilities surrounding the barns, a greenhouse, artist studios, and offices — but most importantly, the Green Barn Farmers Market! Local farmers, bakers, cheese and honey producers — you name it, they all bring the best and freshest of their produce to you every Saturday morning.
Enter the crowd of regular customers, the newcomers, and the friendly vendors and explore new tastes and flavours. It’s a true social event for the whole family, not just a boring shopping errand. The big structure of the barns offers enough space for many vendors, so once you step inside, you easily spend hours talking to the vendors, getting cooking tips, and exploring new ingredients. With warm, fresh, homemade bread, mouth-watering smoked meat, fresh vegetables straight from the garden, exquisite jams and organic sweets, there’s something for everyone. After your first visit, you’ll definitely be back next week to taste some more!
Location: 76 Wychwood Avenue
Contact: (416) 392-1038
Open: Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
North York’s Civic Centre Farmers Market
Now let’s go a bit north and visit yet another great farmers market at North York Civic Centre. Since 1994, this market has provided the best of local and organic produce to the community, and it’s still a popular meeting place on Thursdays. The best thing about farmers markets is that they follow the natural seasonal pattern of fruit and vegetables, so you can be sure that they all taste great (unlike the watery strawberries you get during the winter). Open the summer season with tasty strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and cucumbers and wait until the late summer to get peaches, sweet corn, and apples from all over Ontario. The biggest advantage of farmers markets is that you get the best quality while supporting local farmers from your province!
Location: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
Contact: (905) 985-7493
Open: Thursdays 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
We’ve also featured an article about other great markets, the farmers market at the Riverdale Farm in Cabbagetown and Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market. What is your favourite market in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below.
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Meet the Photographer
Stephen is a freelance photographer currently based in the City of Toronto. He has lived in Germany and Japan, and has used photography as a means of sharing his view of the world to others. He loves traveling and photographing everything, particularly cultural and special events. All his work and travels can be found here on his impressively extensive flickr portfolio.