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St. Lawrence Market, Toronto: Things to Do

Updated: Jan 13

Nestled in the historic heart of Toronto, St. Lawrence Market is more than a mere landmark; it's the culinary heartbeat of the city. With a legacy dating back over 200 years, this bustling marketplace stands as a testament to Toronto's rich tapestry of culture and cuisine. It's where the city's diverse population converges, seeking the freshest local produce, artisanal cheeses, premium cuts of meats, and an array of international foods. The market's vibrant energy is fueled by the symphony of shouting vendors, clinking glasses, and the sizzling sounds of cooking, creating an atmosphere that's as appetizing as the fare on offer.

St. Lawrence Market isn't just a place to buy ingredients; it's a space where food is celebrated, traditions are preserved, and culinary boundaries are explored. The red-bricked building, a prominent feature in Toronto's urban landscape, invites both the curious tourist and the seasoned foodie to its aisles of endless gastronomic delights. Here, every visit unfolds as a unique story, with each vendor offering a chapter penned in flavors and each stall holding the promise of a new discovery, be it a rare spice or a handcrafted confection. This market is a microcosm of Toronto itself—diverse, historical, and ever-welcoming.

Location: 92-95 Front St. E., Toronto, Ontario M5E 1C3, Canada

Here's a Things to Do guide to making the most of your visit to this iconic Toronto landmark:

St. Lawrence Market, Toronto
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

1. Savor the Local Flavors

Taste the Fresh Produce

  • Farmers' Market: Make sure to visit on a Saturday when the Farmers' Market, a tradition since 1803, is in full swing. Here, you can buy fresh produce directly from local farmers.

  • Fresh Seafood: Venture to the fishmongers for a glimpse of the day's freshest catch, perfect for a gourmet dinner.

Indulge in Artisanal Cheeses and Meats

  • Cheese Shops: Sample artisanal cheeses from around the world and talk to knowledgeable vendors about the perfect pairings.

  • Butchers: Visit the butchers for high-quality cuts of meat, including organic and grass-fed options.

Sweets and Baked Goods

  • Bakeries: Don't miss out on the various bakeries offering everything from traditional sourdough bread to sweet pastries.

2. Discover Gourmet Specialty Foods

  • Spices and Condiments: Explore the array of specialty shops offering exotic spices, oils, vinegars, and condiments to elevate your cooking.

  • International Cuisine: Take your palate on a global tour with a variety of international food stalls, offering dishes from Greek to Indian cuisine.

3. Enjoy Ready-to-Eat Delicacies

  • Peameal Bacon Sandwiches: No visit to St. Lawrence Market is complete without trying the iconic peameal bacon sandwich, a Toronto staple.

  • Diverse Food Court: For a quick and tasty meal, head to the food court where you can find a wide selection of prepared foods.

St. Lawrence Market, Toronto
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

4. Engage in Culinary Events and Classes

  • Cooking Classes: Sign up for a cooking class at the Market Kitchen and learn how to prepare meals using fresh market ingredients.

  • Foodie Tours: Join a guided tour to learn about the history of the market and discover hidden gems.

5. Immerse Yourself in the Market’s History

  • Market Gallery: Visit the Market Gallery on the second floor, where you can view exhibits related to Toronto's history and the market's role within the city.

6. Shop for Unique Gifts and Souvenirs

  • Artisan Crafts: Beyond food, find vendors selling unique crafts, handmade jewelry, and other souvenirs perfect for taking a piece of Toronto home with you.

7. Participate in Seasonal and Cultural Events

  • Festivals: Check the market's calendar for special events, festivals, and holiday celebrations that offer a festive atmosphere and seasonal treats.


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8. Relax and People-Watch

  • Seating Areas: Take a break in one of the seating areas to people-watch and soak in the market's vibrant atmosphere.

9. Explore the Surrounding Neighborhood

  • Stroll Around: After your market visit, take a stroll through the surrounding area. The Distillery District and the waterfront are within walking distance and offer a great continuation of your day out.

Practical Tips for Visiting St. Lawrence Market

  • Hours: Check the market's hours before you go, as different parts of the market operate on different days and hours.

  • Parking: There is parking available in the area, but it can be busy. Consider using public transportation or parking in a nearby lot.

  • Reusable Bags: Bring your own bags to carry your purchases and reduce plastic waste.

  • Cash and Cards: While many vendors accept credit cards, it's always a good idea to carry some cash for the smaller stalls that might not.

St. Lawrence Market is a treasure trove of culinary delights and local charm, offering an authentic Toronto experience. Whether you're a gourmand seeking the finest ingredients or a traveler eager to explore the culture of the city, the market provides a window into the soul of Toronto's vibrant food scene. Enjoy your visit, and don't forget to come hungry!


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Comments (3)

Visited the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto yesterday on Sunday. This market is called the best food market in the world. We stopped by this shop as we were curious after seeing the Spanish flag. Our kids have Spanish blood after all. Very nice selection.


Feb 11

Went to visit Museum Illusions few weeks back and saw this market just across the road while looking for a parking. By the time we came of the museum, the market was closed as it was Sunday and they close early. I am going back to see the St. Lawrence Market with our kids soon, likely this coming long weekend.

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