A vendor sells produce at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market.

Can Canada have more Market Cities?

Evergreen Brick Works is part of a robust stock of public markets in Toronto, but what are other Canadian cities doing?

If you’re from Toronto, you may have noticed markets popping up all over the place, from local flower markets to even more farmers' markets.

But these markets have a greater purpose than just somewhere to find the juiciest fruit.

Public markets are a vital and important part in place-making, a safe place where community, economy and the environment collide. 

Not only do they help promote local entrepreneurship, but they also help reach under-served communities in our urban centres.

It's for this reason some Toronto councillors including Coun. Mary Fragedakis are supporting the development of a city-wide public market strategy.

Toronto could become a Market City.

What is a Market City?

While Barcelona, with its strong public market strategy, may be the top Market City, and Turin, Italy the capital of farmers' markets, many Canadian cities are leveraging markets in creative ways.

Did you know? The total direct sales of B.C. farmers' markets has increased by 147 per cent between 2006 to 2012.

Mobile Food Market: Halifax, N.S.

The Mobile Food Market brings a city bus full of fresh, inexpensive produce to the Halifax communities where food insecurity, a lack of access to healthy food, is highest. After a 21-week pilot project in the summer, Halifax city council has approved a winter version of the market, ensuring access to healthy food continues year-round.

Corporation de Gestion des Marchés publics de Montreal: Montreal, Que.

 

A post shared by Marchés Publics De Montréal (@marchespublicsmtl) on

The Corporation Public Markets of Montréal (MPM) connects food to Montrealers’ identity as Quebecois. The corporation made up of vendors and merchants from 15 city markets is focused on honouring the traditions of past public markets while paying tribute to Quebec heritage.

Street Food Market at Evergreen Brick Works: Toronto, Ont. 

A chef serves up street food at the market at Evergreen Brick Works.

The Street Food Market at Evergreen Brick Works brings together a variety of food vendors offering different international delights. For Marina Queirolo, Evergreen’s Sr. Manager of Public Engagement and Food, the market is reflective of the larger community.

"It's a real taste of Toronto and the people who live here," she says.

Want to learn more? Review the public market presentation shared with the City of Toronto Public Food Market Working Group on Feb. 13.