The north building at the St. Lawrence Market in autumn of 2013


It has been many years since I have been to the St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday morning. I usually prefer to visit it during the week, when it is less crowded. However, this year I could not resist going to the market in mid-September as it is the only day in the week when the north building is attended by the farmers. Though it was crowded, the throngs added to the colourful carnival-like atmosphere. It was wonderful! It was easy to understand why National Geographic rated the St. Lawrence Market as the world’s best.

I have already placed a post on this blog that details the history of the market (follow the links below to view these posts). Suffice to say that it is one of the oldest markets in Canada, having been established by Governor Peter Hunter in 1803. Although the buildings and the vender areas surrounding them have changed over the years, there has been a market on the site ever since. At its inception, it was the heart of the old town of York, and today it remains a centre of attraction for those who wish to purchased fresh produce from the farmers in Toronto’s hinterland. The best time to visit is in late-summer and early fall, when the harvest from the fields and orchards line the tables inside the north and south buildings, spilling over into the stands and kiosks surrounding them.

It is particularly appropriate to examine the north building of the market at this time, as it is to be demolished and replaced with another structure. This will be the third building on the site that I will have seen. The architect’s plans for the replacement building appear attractive, drawing for it shown at the end of this post.


This was the scene in the 1970s when the north market building, directly south of the St. Lawrence Hall, was being constructed (photo, City of Toronto Archives).


This is the 1970s north market building in September of 2013. The view looks toward the northwest corner of Jarvis and Front streets.

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Venders along the east side of the north building of the St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday morning.

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            Produce for sale outside the east side of the north building.


                 The stand selling honey  in the interior of the north building.


Interior of the north building, looking north toward the the stage that is used for concerts, guest speakers and singers.


           The bounty of the harvest in a stall in the north market building.


The south facade of the soon to be demolished north building of the St. Lawrence market in September of 2013.


An artist’s drawing of the west facade of the building that is to replace the 1970’s north market building. The east side is where Market Lane is located.


Artist’s view of the interior of the new north building for the St. Lawrence Market. The glass skylight and windows on the north wall will permit a view of the historic St. Lawrence hall of 1849. These drawings are on display near the north wall of the present-day north building. There have been recent reports that these plans may be reduced in scale to cut costs. It will be interesting to see what will eventually be developed on the site. 

To view the Home Page for this blog:

Links to previous posts about the St. Lawrence Market and the St. Lawrence Hall.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

Xmas in the St. Lawrence Market in 2012

To view other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

Church of the Holy Trinity beside the Eaton Centre, Toronto

The building on the corner of Duncan and Adelaide streets, built in 1833, that was once the residence for students of Upper Canada College.

The 1860s houses at 7-9 Elm Street that today house Barbarian’s Steak House.

The building on the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge that was a branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave.

The Heintzman Building on Yonge Street, next to the Elgin Theatre

The tall narrow building at 242 Yonge Street, south of Dundas

Toronto’s first Reference Library at College and St. George Streets.

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

The Traders Bank on Yonge Street—the city’s second skyscraper

Toronto’s old Union Station on Front Street, built in 1884

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe Streets.

The row houses on Glasgow Street, near Spadina and College Streets

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

The cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King East and Church Streets

St. Stanislaus Koska RC Church on Denison Avenue, north of Queen West

The historical St. Mary’s Church at Adelaide and Bathurst Streets

The Bishop’s (St, Michael’s) Palace on Church Street, Toronto

The Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

The Ed Mirvish (Pantages, Imperial, Canon) Theatre, a true architectural gem on Toronto’s Yonge Street

The Waverly Hotel on Spadina near College Street.

The Art Deco Bank of Commerce building on King Street West.

The Postal Delivery Building, now the Air Canada Centre (ACC)

The Bellevue Fire Station on College Street

The Bank of Nova Scotia at King and Bay Streets

Toronto’s old Sunnyside Beach

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Runnymede Library

Spadina Avenue – sinful, spicy and diverse

The Reading Building, a warehouse loft on Spadina Avenue

The Darling Building on Spadina Avenue

The amazing Fashion Building on Spadina Avenue

Toronto’s architectural gems – the Tower Building at Spadina and Adelaide Street

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

The Robertson Building at 215 Spadina that houses the Dark Horse Espresso Bar

An architectural gem – Grossman’s Tavern at Spadina and Cecil Streets

History of the house that contains the Paul Magder Fur Shop at 202 Spadina

An important historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina and College

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

The Victory Burlesque Theatre at Dundas and Spadina

The Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina

Buildings on the west side of Spadina a short distance north of Queen Street.

History of the site of the Mcdonald’s on northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

A former mansion at 235 Spadina that is now almost hidden from view.


Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina and Queen West.

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s Draper Street, a time-tunnel into the 19th century

The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West at York Street

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

The opening of the University Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bay St.

122 persons perish in the Noronic Disaster on Toronto’s waterfront in 1949

Historic Victoria Memorial Square where Toronto’s first cemetery was located, now hidden amid the Entertainment District

Visiting one of Toronto’s best preserved 19th-century streets-Willcocks Avenue

The 1930s Water Maintenance Building on Brant Street, north of St. Andrew’s Park

Toronto’s architectural gems-photos of the Old City from a book published by the city in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems – the bank on the northeast corner of Queen West and Spadina

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

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