Image credit: Robert Greatrix

Introducing Toronto’s Newest Public Market

Evergreen’s market guru Marina Queirolo talks about our newest eat and shop local markets opening December 10

Farmers markets, flea markets, holiday markets and more are popping up and becoming permanent places for communities to gather across the city.

For Marina Queirolo, Evergreen’s Sr. Manager of Public Engagement and Food, markets are not just a place to buy and sell – they are a personal experience. Originally from Argentina, Marina joined the market scene first as a vendor at Evergreen Brick Works’ Farmers Market and then as staff growing it into one of city’s biggest year-round markets.

And this winter Evergreen welcomes the newest members of its market family with the opening of the Winter Village on December 10, 2016. With over 100 vendors from across Ontario, Evergreen Brick Works becomes the destination to eat, shop and play locally and outdoors all season long.

Marina introduces our newest market offerings and explains how public markets can create happier and healthier cities.

What do you love about public markets?

Public markets flourish because it’s where culture is celebrated and where people from diverse backgrounds - chefs, makers, food producers, farmers and customers – can all come together. I love that connection with the community, the craftsmanship and quality of the products, and the stories behind them.

The weekly ritual has so many social benefits - new partnerships emerge between businesses and residents, it bridges the gap between rural and urban, and provides a meeting place where people can be active, outdoors and engaged with others. For me these are the key ingredients to a healthy city.

What markets have inspired you?

I have been visiting markets since I was a kid and my favourite is a craft market in Uruguay where my mom used to buy hand-knitted sweaters every summer. It has become a ritual that I have passed on to my children. 

My favourite city markets are in Paris and Barcelona. In Paris I love how customers come to purchase their groceries at street markets in different neighbourhoods every day rain or shine. Barcelona is an inspiration with over 40 city markets. City policy mandates that citizens should not walk more than 15 minutes to a public market. A great vision that I wish Toronto will one day become!

What’s unique about the new public market at Evergreen Brick Works?

Our Winter Village is a convergence of three markets all celebrating eating, shopping and playing locally. Our newest baby is the Street Food Market. We’ve gathered more than 20 local chefs who represent flavours from around the world – a real taste of Toronto and the people who live here. We want people  to  gather around picnic tables, cozy up to campfires and discover delicious food.

Toronto is booming in the ‘makers world’ and our Holiday Makers Market in partnership with Etsy features small Ontario entrepreneurs and family-operated businesses whose products are created locally and sustainably.

And of course, our Farmers Market continues on Saturdays in the winter.

But why a winter market?

In Canada, you can either endure winter or embrace it. The Don Valley River is one of the most beautiful spots to experience the great outdoors hiking, skating, biking or just hanging out with friends and family connecting with each other and to nature.

Evergreen Brick Works Winter Village continues until February 28, 2017. Check the website for market and regular business hours.