One of my favourite things to do in Toronto is to explore the various farmers markets that take place in neighbourhoods throughout the city. Many downtown ‘hoods have some sort of market and each one gives you a glimpse into its particular community. By chatting with the vendors, people watching or just observing the different vibe from market to market, you can get a real sense of the unique character of each neighbourhood.
Last weekend, I ventured over to the Brick Works farmers market at 550 Bayview Avenue. A little off the beaten path, the Evergreen Brick Works is a community in itself. The Brick Works operated as a quarry for nearly 100 years, and provided the bricks to construct many homes in downtown Toronto neighborhoods (think bay-and-gable style) as well as many Toronto landmarks. The former quarry and industrial site have now been transformed into the Evergreen Brick Works, an amazing community environmental centre that inspires and equips visitors to live, work and play more sustainably. (more on that in a later blog!) At the heart of the Evergreen Brick Works is the farmers market, the focus of today’s blog!
The farmers market is one of the largest in the city, with a selection of seasonal produce, baked goods, organic butchers and cheese makers. There is also a selection of locally made products such mustards, honey, soaps and teas, as well as many vendors preparing on the spot culinary delights for your market browsing enjoyment. Oh, and the coffee…don’t forget the coffee.
You can usually count on some sort of live entertainment, endless interesting nooks and crannies to explore, and an overall great vibe. If that isn’t enough, you can even get an on-site massage, go for a hike in the adjacent ravines, or in the winter months go for a skate on the Koerner Gardens Ice Skating Trail, an open air skating rink right in the middle of the market!
The market is open Saturdays 9am-1pm, November 26th-April 28th and Saturdays 8am-1pm, May 5th-November 10th. During the warmer months, the market takes place in the open air Pavillion, with views over the trail network and ponds. In the colder months, the market is held in the Young Welcome centre, adjacent to the actual brick kilns (a must see!), and the wonderful outdoor skating rink!
Here are a few tidbits from the market…go check it out this Saturday!