The Best Summer Markets in Toronto

Check out these 10 can’t-miss summer markets in the city

flowers
••• Scene from a 2015 Toronto Flower Market. Image courtesy Toronto Flower Market

Summer is market season in Toronto and there are several popping up around the city where you can shop everything from vintage finds to gourmet goodies. Some markets take place for extended periods while others are just over a single weekend and offer a relaxing way to spend an afternoon outdoors in the city. So in addition to the many farmers’ markets currently in full swing, here are 10 other summer markets to shop in Toronto this season.

Union Summer

Starting June 27, Union Station will once again be home to a lively summer market covering 7,500 square-feet on Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza on Front Street. The focus here is on food and drink, with 20 anchor vendors as well as rotating mobile carts. The lineup is subject to change and some of the anchor vendors will turnover at the five-week mark, but you can expect to see (and eat) goodies from Loaded Pierogi, Mad Mexican, Fancy Franks, Urban Herbivore, Burgers Priest, Oats & Ivy, Heirloom and more.

The market runs until September 5 Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9.m., Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to sunset. The licensed bar area is open Thursday to Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

Toronto Flower Market

What’s summer without a plethora of pretty blooms? You can easily get your flower fix courtesy of the Toronto Flower Market, which operates several dates through the summer and into the fall, including July 9, August 20, September 10 and October 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market takes place at Shaw Park and some of this year’s vendors include Flower Power, Pink Twig, Wild North Flowers, Boho Petals and Pioneer Flower Farm just to name a few. The focus here is on local Ontario grown flowers and plants.

Distillery Sunday Market

Pay a visit to the Distillery District on a Sunday this summer for the Distillery Sunday Market, operating until September 25 in Trinity Square. Everything being sold comes from within 100 miles of the market making it easy to shop local. The range of artisanal products includes flowers, honey, sweet treats, hand painted paper goods, local preserves and much more. Some vendors to look out for include Bee Hamlin Honey, Doug McNish Vegan, Field Guide Botanicals, House of Empanadas, Lee’s Ghee, Holy Cannoli and Cross Wind Farm.

Just note that not every vendor will be on hand for the entire market season.

Leslieville Flea

This monthly market takes place at Ashbridge Estate on the third Sunday of every month from June to October, including July 17, August 21, September 18 and October 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, there will be one special off-site flea at the Distillery District on Saturday, June 25 from 2 to 9 p.m. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll find all sorts of things at Leslieville Flea, from clothing to home goods (much of which is vintage), plus salvaged and up-cycled items, as well as furniture, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods.

World Café

Harbourfront Centre hosts numerous culturally-themed events throughout the summer and World Café is a food-focused market of vendors who complement those events. World Café takes place Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer July 1 to September 5 and gives people a chance to sample cuisines from around the world in conjunction with whatever festival happens to be going on.

Lakeview Market

Harbourfront Centre is also where you’ll find Lakeview Market, which also happens in conjunction with the venue’s weekend festivals. Like World Café, Lakeview Market’s vendors are also themed around each festival. Expect handcrafted goods, clothing, housewares and more. The market takes place weekends July 1 to September 5.

Front Street Foods

As the name would suggest, this culinary themed market originated on Front Street, but it has since moved to Adelaide Place. If you’re in the area you can fill up on a multitude of tasty treats through to August 5, Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. And no matter what you’re in the mood from tacos to breakfast sandwiches, the variety on offer should mean you find what you’re craving. Some of the vendors on site include Brock Sandwich, Fred’s Bread, Kaboom Chicken, Little Fin, Station Cold Brew, Fresh, Tacos 101 and The Mighty Cob.

Waterfront Artisan Market

Waterfront Artisan Market takes place over six weekends this summer and into fall, including June 18-19, July 1-3, July 30-August 1, September 3-5 and October 8-10. The eclectic open-air market is located at HTO Park on Toronto’s waterfront and operates Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Expect everything from art and jewellery, to baked goods and other foods to fill up on. Not all vendors participate at every market, but some to look for include Boreal Gelato, Cook’s Gourmet, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, La Fiesta, Teppan Ice Cream and Dundee Pottery and Stained Glass among many others.

The CM Market

Located outside of Club Monaco’s flagship Bloor St. location is where you’ll find the charming CM Market, which runs through to September 3, seven days a week. Here you’ll find beautiful hand-tied bouquets from Sweet Woodruff as well as all-natural ice pops courtesy of The Pop Stand, sandwiches and salads from Delica Kitchen, Sweet treats from The Bake Shoppe, espresso-bases drinks from Sam James Coffee and cold pressed juice and smoothies from Evolution Food Co.

Waterfront Night Market

Make your way to Toronto’s Port Lands July 22-24 for an Asian night market experience complete with a range of street food style eats on offer to sample as you wander the outdoor market, and over 100 vendors to shop. There will also be entertainment all weekend, including live music, a dance competition, interactive sports zone, busker performances and more. The popular market is a great way to experience Toronto’s diversity through food, music and entertainment. Visit Friday the 22 from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday the 23 from 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday the 24 from 4 to 10 p.m.