One of the best gems in Toronto is the St. Lawrence Market – yet too many of us never go.
Even though we really should.
This isn’t like heading to Sobey’s; this is So. Much. More.
Here are just 8 reasons why it should become part of your weekend routine.
1. It’s as Local as it Gets
You’ve sworn yourself off of processed food; eating local doesn’t more authentic than grocery shopping at the St. Lawrence Market. The Farmer’s Market (open 5am-3pm) on Saturday offers everything to make a dinner that would only be fresher if you produced it yourself that day. You have choices too; the market features 120 vendors.
2. The Conversations
A far cry from the banter with your grocery store checkout person, one of the best parts of the St. Lawrence Market is the enriching conversations with the merchants and farmers. You can learn all kinds of things from them; how to start your own garden, how to make bread without ruining it, or what cheeses pair best with the bottle of cabernet you picked up at the LCBO next door (an added bonus).
3. The Date Potential
We’ve said it before; the best dates – whether your first or your fiftieth – are the ones that facilitate interaction. And the St. Lawrence Market definitely does that, as you and your significant other (SO) or potential SO, navigate the isles for everything you need for the evening’s dinner, sample fresh food, grab some all-day breakfast (with a Caesar) at Paddington’s Pump, and chat up the vendors.
4. The People-Watching Opportunities
The St. Lawrence Market is a prime piece of people-watching real estate. It’s one of the few places in the city where you can find people from all walks of life – from small town farmer to urban hipster. If you’ve been, then you already know that the crowd is pretty much as mixed a bag as it gets.
5. The Classes
The St. Lawrence Market offers an assortment of classes in The Market Kitchen that will increase your stock in the dating department. That is, if you can get a spot. The classes – whether it involves macaron making, cooking with wine, or learning the art of the cake – pretty much always sell out.
6. Market Street
The newly developed Market Street (directly across from the market) offers a block filled with goodness for either a pre or post market visit. If you decide against cooking dinner, you can grab tapas at Barsa Taberna; you can fuel up on caffeine at Balzac’s Coffee, or make up for all the booze calories consumed the night before with a pressed juice from Evolution Food Co. Basically, the street’s a one-stop shop in itself.
7. The Sunday Antique Market
The only consolation that the market is closed on Sundays is the fact that its affiliate, the Sunday Antique Market is open across the street in the North Building. Here you’ll find an eclectic and nostalgic blast from the past. Think rows of vintage cameras and typewriters, stacks of records, and piles of magazines and toys that are decades old. The fashion-lovers will appreciate the assortment of vintage jewellery and clothing, and even a consignment booth that sells used designer handbags and accessories.
8. The Instagram Material
If you’re in the ‘market’ for some social media love, snaps of the offerings at the visually stimulating St. Lawrence Market or the retro finds at the Sunday Antique Market are pretty much guaranteed to score you more “likes” than your age.