Our friends in Toronto, knowing our interest in food, strongly encouraged us to check out the St. Lawrence Market while we were in town. Located on Front and Jarvis Streets, the Market is a large and elegant building that houses over 120 specialty food and food-related shops. Across Front in another building that’s part of the St. Lawrence Market complex, you can find a Saturday farmers market and, on Sundays, a large antiques fair.
We stayed only a couple blocks from the St. Lawrence on our Canadian excursion so we went almost every day. Open Tuesday through Saturday, they have marvelous bakeries, cheese shops, fruit and vegetable vendors, an exciting mustard shop (Did you know that Canada is the world’s largest mustard producer?), local wine merchants, housewares stores, and shops for meat, seafood and even Canadian maple syrup.
I became addicted to this one bakery that makes a “Swiss muesli and raisin” bagel. It wasn’t much like New York style bagels, but the crunchy nutty muesli coating the raisin filled bread went down so easily with my Starbucks coffee each morning. I was devastated that the place was closed on our last day in Toronto, a Sunday, as I couldn’t enjoy it one more time.
We both thought that the farmers market was pretty interesting, too. The local produce seemed different from what you find in San Francisco at Alemany or the UN Plaza. We hardly saw any Asian vegetables, for example, and there were many fewer varieties of tomato. But there were wonderful berries, bell peppers, apples and even crab apples for sale. I didn’t realize that you could eat the crab apple. I always thought that they gave upset stomach, hence their irritable name. The radishes and heads of cauliflower were simply enormous at the St. Lawrence farmers market. Could that be from the extra long sunny days that Canada enjoys in the summertime?
If you’re visiting Toronto, then you simply must go to the St. Lawrence Market.