The St. Lawrence Market is one of two major markets that are located in the city or Toronto. The other market is the Kensington Market. The St. Lawrence market features two buildings that are called St. Lawrence Market South and North. The northern section of the market has mostly houses farmer's markets and antique markets, while the southern section of the market hosts restaurants and galleries. The southern section of the market is mostly dedicated to different types of food shops including meat shops, delis and bakeries.
The St. Lawrence Market North was first built in 1968 on the site where the building formerly stood, built in 1904. The building has been demolished and rebuilt many times throughout its history to keep up with the changing landscape of Toronto.
The northern building recently played host to an architectural competition that would allow one lucky firm to win the chance to redesign the building. The winners were Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. They engaged in a joint project with the Adamson Associates. The current building is currently set for demolition in the second half of 2010, and construction on the new building will begin soon after. The construction of the new building is not expected to be completed until 2014. The new building will feature an extra story, and will be able to host more locations that the previous buildings. The new St. Lawrence Market North will also feature a beautiful glass atrium and will actually be a complex that consists of three different buildings.
The more popular market of the two is the St. Lawrence Southern Market. Located in the South-west corner of Front Street and Jarvis Street, the southern portion of the market was first started in the early years of the city and has continued to grow and expand since it first debuted. The location was once home to the first city hall and jail house from 1845 to 1899. Architect Henry Bowyer lane was responsible for the design.
It was not until 1899 that the city decided to move the city hall to a new location, and establish the location as a permanent marketplace. At one time, the North and South markets were connected to one another by a canopy, but that canopy was removed in 1954.
The South market was last renovated in 1977. With plans to rebuild the north market underway a number of organizations have called for a redesign of the southern market as well.
Free-WiFi is provided within the market by Wireless Toronto. The St. Lawrence Market is the premiere location in Toronto to find fresh foods including meats, vegetables, fruits and breads. It has become a staple of the community in Toronto and serves as the largest market in the city, even today. If you are planning on visiting the Toronto area, a stop at the St. Lawrence Market (both north and south locations) would make for an excellent way to spend half of your day. Although most that shop there are local, the location has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years.