St. Lawrence Market
April 12, 2019
St. Lawrence Market

On our Toronto to Niagara tour, we pass by the St. Lawrence Market on our way out of the city. This is Toronto’s oldest Market. In 2015 National Geographic named it “Number 1 food market in the world!” The St. Lawrence Market north building is home to a farmer’s market that started in 1803, when the market was first built, and continues today. There is also 10,000 square ft. of showroom space that, on Sundays, is turned into an antique market. Every other day, this space is available to rent for promotional functions, flea markets, displays, large social gatherings, meetings and exhibitions. The south building houses restaurants, the St. Lawrence Market Gallery, and a variety of specialty food shops. There is also a third building, the St. Lawernce Hall, that isn’t as visible as we drive past. This is the only original building of the 3, as it was the one built last. It still serves it’s original purpose of hosting Banquet Halls, concerts, exhibitions, and meeting rooms. In 1803, Lt. Governor Peter Hunter declared that the area north of Front St., west of Jarvis St., south of King St., and east of Church St. would become the “Market Block”. In 1803, the first permanent farmers market was built out of wood on the north side. In 1931, it was replaced with a brick building. The building on the south side was built in 1844 to house the City Hall. The Great Fire of Toronto destroyed these buildings in 1849. When the new market buildings were built in 1849, they were named the St. Lawrence Buildings after Canada’s patron saint. The St. Lawrence Hall was built in 1850, and was the social center of the city. In 1904, the south building was demolished to make way for a newer one that could accommodate Toronto’s population boom. The St. Lawrence Hall was restored in 1967. It wasn’t until 1968 that the north building was demolished and replaced with a new one. The city of Toronto debated whether or not to demolish south building. The Torntonians wanted to keep the historic building, so in 1974, renovations started. The St. Lawrence Market south reopened on March 9, 1979. The newer north building is in the works of being replaced.

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