Toronto is known for its bustling downtown core, rich culture, and towering skyscrapers. But the city is surrounded by neighbouring counties with farms, pastures, and orchards that offer rich seasonal produce. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hosts a variety of farmers’ markets where local produce, fresh baked goods, and specialty foods are available.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the early harvest from spring planting, and buying seasonal produce can inspire new recipes. Farmers’ markets are a great way to eat healthy, live sustainably, and connect with your community.
Why does buying local in Toronto make a difference?
We asked Boomerang culinary host Chef Robert why buying local Ontario produce makes a difference. He told us that local produce is usually sold within 24-48 hours after being picked.
- Since local produce is often sold in local markets or roadside stands and doesn’t need to be transported across vast distances, it has a low carbon footprint.
- Not only is local produce environmentally friendly, but it’s also flavourful and richer in nutrients.
The 9 best farmers’ markets in the GTA
Toronto’s downtown has a myriad of markets to try, mostly hosted in nearby parks and green spaces. But there are also a lovely array of markets to check out in the GTA.
Here are nine of the best farmers’ markets to visit. Some are in downtown Toronto, while others are a TTC ride, bike trip, or short road trip away.
This is one of the biggest independent markets in the city, held in a beautiful historic building and surrounded by lush greenery. Fresh produce, preserves, sandwiches, and sweets make this a well-rounded market. Even in the winter, this market is light-filled and cozy. Many shoppers stay for lunch or explore the nearby neighbourhoods by foot.
Hours: Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round
Address: Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
This historic market is great for a regular grocery stop or a special trip when friends or family are visiting. This lively market features beautiful, towering ceilings and is easily accessible by local bike lanes or public transit. The market is on Saturdays, but make sure you check out the antique market on Sundays as well. Shop for poultry, fish, cheese, and delicious lunch options from Tuesday to Friday in the South Hall.
Hours: Saturday from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 92-95 Front St. East, Toronto
Located in Toronto’s trendy West End just off of Queen West, this tiny market is set up in the north-west corner of the park. Make sure you check out the seafood, fresh flowers, bakery items, and the pickles. You’ll find fresh produce here too, and seasonal goodies like oysters and berries.
Hours: Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., from May to October.
Address: 790 Queen St. West, Toronto
This summertime market is placed perfectly for a commute to work or when you’re on your way home from shopping at the Eaton Centre. Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables from Ontario farms, fresh butter tarts, apple cider, and treats like maple candy.
Hours: Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from May to October, 13, 2021.
Address: 100 Queen St. West, Toronto
This Bloor Street Market happens along a lively, central stretch of Bloor near the Annex. Stop by the market for fresh produce and specialty foods, and enjoy an afternoon or evening exploring the area’s bookshops, boutiques, and coffee shops.
Hours: Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., from June to October.
Address: 300 Borden St, Toronto
This North York market provides a lovely array of fresh fruit, wildflowers, fresh honey, seasonally farmed vegetables, baked goods, herbs, preserves, and more.
Hours: Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from July to October.
Address: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St, Toronto
This market connects the Cabbagetown community with nearby farms. Freshly baked bread, wild strawberries, artisanal cheese, great coffee, and a rainbow of vegetables are all on offer here.
Hours: Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., from June to October.
Address: Riverdale Park West, 375 Sumach St, Toronto
This market looks somewhat like a fairy tale in the summer months, with families enjoying picnics on blankets in the park, and a sea of colourful tents providing an appealing canopy under the towering trees. Locals ride their bikes here or walk from nearby Dufferin Station. From organic produce, smoothies and seafood, to Jamaican specialties and fresh-baked bread, this market has you covered. Come for the fresh kale, stay for the live music.
Hours: This market is temporarily closed, but you can shop the market’s fresh produce. Address: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin St, Toronto
This market fosters a rich culture of community-building and sustainable produce. With fresh fish, Jamaican specialties, artisanal Oaxaca chocolate, empanadas, wine and beer, and a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s something for everyone.
Hours: Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Address: Greenwood Park, 150 Greenwood Avenue, Toronto
Looking for more things to do in Toronto? Read our article on the best road trips for Seniors from Toronto and Rocketman’s article on the best day trips from Toronto on public transit.
Source more healthy ideas with Boomerang
If you love farmers’ markets, you’ll enjoy the community Boomerang offers. Pursuing your hobbies or rediscovering your passions has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 100+ online classes a month in areas of their interest. Our online classes are led by passionate instructors to help you explore your interests.
Sign up for Boomerang today.