City of Toronto is working with market organizers to safely reopen farmers’ markets usually located on 22 City sites.
Farmers’ markets are valued members of the food supply chain and provide Torontonians with access to fresh fruits and vegetables, encourage residents to get outside and be physically active, and support the local agriculture sector.
The decision to reopen City-permitted farmers’ markets has been made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Toronto Public Health has developed a guidance document to help organizers, staff and vendors reduce the spread of COVID-19. It provides recommendations on public health measures such as crowd control, physical distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection.
The City usually hosts 22 farmers’ markets on the following directly operated City sites:
- Civic Squares: Albert Campbell Square, David Pecaut Square, East York Civic Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Mel Lastman Square and Nathan Phillips Square
- Parks: Dufferin Grove Park, East Lynn Park, Flemingdon Park, Humber Bay Park West, Jonathan Ashbridge Park, June Rowlands Park, Lakeshore Village Park, Masaryk Park, Riverdale Park West, R.V. Burgess Park, Sorauren Avenue Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Underpass Park, Withrow Park, Wychwood Barns
- Toronto Museums and Historic Sites: Montgomery Inn
The City is working with market organizers to determine the potential reopening of these markets this season in compliance with provincial rules and public health guidelines.
The City-operated Saturday Farmers’ Market at the St. Lawrence Market will open its seasonal outdoor market areas tomorrow for the 2020 growing season, until approximately November 14.
St. Lawrence Market has worked with the City’s CurbTO program to relocate the outdoor area onto Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street to allow for physical distancing. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers’ market will start on Market Street and both areas will operate every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while shopping at the market.
The St. Lawrence Market Complex has continuously operated indoor market areas during the COVID-19 health emergency under the guidance of Toronto Public Health and the Province of Ontario’s essential workplaces.
Additional market opening dates will be determined by the capacity of organizers to comply with Toronto Public Health guidelines and the required divisional permitting process. Permitting divisions will make every effort to prioritize areas of the city that face food insecurity.
Organizers are encouraged to contact their relevant City permitting bodies. Based on individual market site restrictions, City permitting divisions may have additional recommendations and heightened requirements where appropriate.
A helpful list of some farmers’ markets located in the Greater Toronto Area is available at greenbeltfresh.ca . Members of the public should check with individual markets for opening dates and protocols.