The National Geographic Magazine recently named Toronto’s St Lawrence Market the best food market of the world. The historical beginnings of the St Lawrence Market are below.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Hunter established a public market at the present-day intersection of Jarvis and Front Streets so that farmers from adjacent townships could sell their produce to the citizens of the town of York (now Toronto).
The first official market building on the property was constructed.
The North Market building was replaced by a two-storey brick structure with arched entrances that extended to a central court yard and had a town hall at the north end.
The City built a City Hall at the southwest corner of Front and Jarvis Street, across from the North Market building.
The Great Fire destroyed part of the North Market building, and thereafter, it was completely demolished.
The North Market building was reconstructed. The new building includes a grand public hall at the north end of the property on King Street – the St. Lawrence Hall.
St. Lawrence Hall became a grand entertainment facility that hosted concerts, public gatherings and exhibitions.
A “new” Toronto City Hall was constructed at the north-east corner of Bay and Queen Streets. The original City Hall building built in 1844 was substantially renovated and is now forms part of the South Market building that exists today.
The 1850 North Market building was demolished and replaced by a design that matched the newly renovated South Market building. The two buildings were connected by a huge glass and steel canopy that stretched across Front Street.
The canopy was taken down.
The 1904 North Market building was demolished and replaced with the current “brutalist” structure. Market Street (between King and Front Streets) was also closed, and Market Lane Park was created.
The City of Toronto launches an architectural design competition to find the best design for a new, vibrant North Market building that is more environmentally sustainable, more energy efficient, and more sensitive to the heritage fabric and history of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The present day market comprised of The South Market, which opens from Tuesday from Saturday, the North Market, which is the farmer’s market on Saturdays and the St Lawrence Hall.
The South Market have more than 120 vendors ranging from bulk fooods, meats, seafood, cheese, dairy, eggs, pastries, produce, and more.
The North Market has its Saturday Farmers Market with seasonal local produce in the site since 1803.
St Lawrence Hall is currently housed with retail businesses and city officies. The third floor, restored in 1967 as the City of Toronto’s Centennial project contains the Great Hall which, with the ancillary rooms, is available for rental for weddings and other special events.