As urbanites and professionals on the go, we know how easy it is to pop into the closest ubiquitous grocery chain and load up the cart with effortless eats. Particularly during the pandemic, the thought process was, ‘how can I do my shopping in the shortest amount of time? Can I click and collect?!’
But when was the last time you went to a farmer’s market or bought fresh meat and produce from vendors like at the St. Lawrence market? I’m just as likely to pop on to the Uber Eats app as the next guy, but I’ve also discovered that efficiency comes at a cost; it can really take the joy out of cooking!
Personally, I’ve always been invigorated by the adventure of culinary creation, like hand-selecting produce, experimenting with new flavours, and embracing local and seasonal ingredients. There’s a kind of satisfaction that comes from sorting through baskets and bins to find the freshest produce, or asking the butcher to help you select the perfect cut. Every time we succumb to mindless convenience, we’re denying ourselves one of the true pleasures of living in a large, culturally-diverse city: food markets!!
The St. Lawrence Market is one of my favourite shopping trips to savour!
I adore the St. Lawrence Market, and the way all my senses ignite the moment I walk through a door. Like the feast of colour in the artfully arranged fruit stands. Or the dark, rich scent of roasting coffee beans dancing under my (mask-covered) nose, which shifts to the aroma of baking bread or the latest catch as I move from stall to stall. I also love hearing the snippets of conversation of people planning meals, the din of bartering purveyors tempting their wares to passersby, and the inevitable beat of a musical busker. I enjoy the abundance, the freshness, and the pleasure of squeezing local produce to ensure they’re ripe exactly to my liking.
I always like to indulge my taste buds by trying a few new artisanal kinds of cheese to pair with a favourite wine, while sneaking a bite of my just-purchased still warm croissant. Experiences like this don’t happen in the canned-music warehouses of ‘big box’ grocery chains, where solitary shoppers absently fill their over-sized carts with pre-packaged frozen foods while talking on their cell phones. Isn’t it odd how comfortable we’ve become denying ourselves the simple pleasure of shopping for fresh market food?
After all, as those who savour culinary creation know, the experience extends beyond the kitchen, to include the planning, the gathering, and the satisfaction of serving!
This wonderful neighbourhood destination has roots that extend back to 1803, when it began offering fresh and prepared food to area residents. One thing that has remained consistent throughout the centuries is the market’s commitment to providing high-quality goods and supporting local growers. Not only is this a favourite for locals, but the prestigious magazine, National Geographic, also placed St. Lawrence Market at the top of their 10 best food markets in the world! The world!
Today, the St. Lawrence Market is comprised of three main buildings: South Market, North Market and St. Lawrence Hall. The South Market houses roughly 120 different vendors and has exhibition space for the city’s cultural services. The North Market normally houses the Saturday Farmers Market and the Antique Market on Sundays. St. Lawrence Hall has retail shops and city offices.
Did you know that, prior to being renovated for market use, the building on St. Lawrence Market South was actually city hall? It’s true! Beginning in 1845, it served as the municipal seat of government until 1899 when the council was moved to what we now call Old City Hall on Queen Street at Bay.
So, when were you last at St. Lawrence Market? This place is so special! Here are the current hours. As of July 31st, 2022, they plan to extend these further.
Tuesdays – Fridays – 9am to 5pm
Saturdays – 5am to 4pm
Sundays and Mondays – Closed
* As with other businesses, social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing are recommended.
To learn more about the history and what’s in store at the St. Lawrence Market, click here.
St. Lawrence Market
Front Street East & Lower Jarvis Street
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Thanks for reading!
-The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-800
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