Location, Location, Location

I love a good farmers’ market. Whenever I’m travelling, my first order of business is to do some research on the city I’m visiting and with bloodhound-like stealth (translation: a visit to Google and Chowhound) sniff out the city’s local food hangouts. It’s one of the pleasures of being in a large city, and a bustling market (or collection of them) is a definite factor in what makes a city great.

I happen to think Toronto qualifies as an emerging force when it comes to farmers’ markets, and if I tried to name them all, I would inevitably miss some. (click here for a pretty comprehensive list) On Saturday I headed to the Evergreen Brickworks Market. If you haven’t visited, you should go (detailed info on how to get there by transit is on the website) The surroundings are nothing short of brilliant, where antique brick-making machinery and ovens mingle with fresh food, funky art, and a mix of inspiring indoor and outdoor spaces.

I had the pleasure of chatting with the cheesemakers from Monforte and Fifth Town, tasted Ontario-made miso, and scored some fat heads of organic garlic for a mere $2.00 (great garlic should tear you up when chopping it, just like an onion). There is also a skating rink and skate rentals in the winter, and check out the smoky fish taco stand, brought to you by the fine folks at Hooked.

At the MTCC we are pretty spoiled. Right here on Front Street, the CBC Building hosts a farmers’ market once a month, literally 2 minutes from our front door. Last week I sent out an e-mail to our staff letting them know the market was a go, and the response was amazing. I headed out with a group from the office, and once we got there, we ran into even more people coming and going. The fact that there was a market so close-by that we could visit on our lunch hour was welcome news. Judging from the excited feedback and the bags brimming with local mushrooms, granola, apples, chocolate, and cheeses, it was a hit! I have a feeling next month’s market will see even more MTCC-ers crossing the street for a local food lunch hour.

For more information about the exciting local food programmes at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, visit their page here.

- Kelly Hughes, Local Food Procurement Officer at Metro Toronto Convention Centre