Here's another famous historical site in Toronto. This is the time of year when we focus on family, friends and food. The St. Lawrence Market shows up big with over 50 vendors that sell fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses on the lower and first level. At the South Market you can sample some of the worlds most exotic foods, flavours and desserts. I sampled my first Turkish Delight, and loved them so much I bought a small bag of them. They look like gelatinous cubes made with a hint of rosewater dusted with icing powder.
If you are like me and don't really bake much or end up burning the cake, they have all kinds of Christmas goodies here to show you up well. I love cheese but usually end up buying what I know, which is Cheddar or some times Swiss or Monterey Jack. That's the fun part of buying from a market, because you can sample different cheese squares before you buy. Makes a lot more sense. Yes cheese is very expensive as it is. I also know someone else who likes cheese !
In fact you can find samples of everything all day long here from over 60 vendors 'marketing' their wares. Like most Markets, you will find the quality here is fresh and they use words like 'organic' or 'free range' a lot. You should expect to pay more for that though. If not, you can also support your local fruit and vegetable markets. Guaranteed to save a ton on your weekly food bill.
This is known as the South Building and is located at 92 Front Street East which surrounds a block from Market Street, The Esplanade, Lower Jarvis, to Front Street. Currently, it is one of the major markets in Toronto’s downtown core (the other one is The Kensington Market).
The building also has The Market Gallery, operated by City of Toronto, on the second floor and a cooking school (market kitchen) on the mezzanine floor. I loved Buster's Sea Cove, a small diner very reminiscent of the 50's, where they have my favorite, haddock and chips, crab cakes, Red snapper, Grilled shrimp in herb sauce, chicken fingers and salads just to list a few items on their menu! Come here empty, leave satisfied.
Speaking of nostalgia, when you look up at the windows, high arched ceilings and rod iron gate heads, you can imagine this place being a jail at one time. I wasn't surprised to find out that it was in fact home to Toronto's first permanent jail from 1845 to 1899. Since then, the new steel truss roof was built allowing more open space with a high ceiling and letting in more natural light.
There is also a newer North end of the St. Lawrence Market. It transforms to become different things on different days, but principally it is the associated with the vibrant and fresh Farmers' Market, the largest in Toronto that starts bright and early on Saturday mornings from 5am. Then on Sundays it opens from 5am to become the the Antique Market. Christmas trees and holiday greens are offered daily from now until Christmas eve. Hopefully if you ever make it to the Market you will always leave with something.