The 10 Best Street Markets in Toronto to Hit Up This Summer
Bring on the bathing suits, ice cream cones and awkward tan lines; your favourite season is here! With summer coming into full swing, we’re all scrambling for our local outdoor itineraries because who needs to spend money on a vacation anyways?
While we’ve probably kick-started this summer with a whole lot of last-minute gym visits, it’s now time to plan for days of indulging in food, art and shopping in the city. Ah, yes. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Outdoor summer markets have arrived!
We’ve put together our favourite food, art, flower and antique markets around the city that should not be missed. Entrance costs are non-existent and the aesthetics will make you want to fill up your Instagram feed. You might not get through all of them in one day, but hey, you have all summer.
For its second year, the outdoor summer food court previously known as Front Street Foods is back. Now located in the Financial District, guests are welcomed by amazing food and relaxing entertainment. Toronto’s best chefs, bakers, restaurants and food entrepreneurs will guarantee a satisfactory meal. Some vendors include Tacos 101, Fresh Off the Boat, La Fiesta, Brock Sandwich, Wahlburgers, Fresh and Kaboom Chicken.
Location: Adelaide Place, 150 York Street
Time: June 13 – August 5
Be ready to miss your bus at Union Station. Replacing Front Street foods is the Union Summer Market, located at the busy exterior of the central train station. Open every weekday, 18 food vendors including Burger’s Priest, Fresh off the Boat, Fancy Franks, The Carbon Bar, Mad Mexican, Spacco, Barsa Taberna and Death in Venice make it difficult to make a meal choice.
Location: Union Station, 65 Front Street West
Time: June 27 – September 5
This one’s for anyone with a massive sweet tooth. Hosted by George Brown Chefs and benefiting SickKids Foundation, this festival will introduce you to hundreds of masterfully sweet dessert creations for its third year. Not only will you get to indulge in mouth-watering treats, but a series of interactive games plus live music will also keep you entertained.
Location: David Pecaut Square, 215 King Street West
Time: August 12-13
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Kensington Market Art Fair
If you want to support local artists, buy original art and meet the person behind the art you hang on your wall, the annual Kensington Market Art Fair is the place to be. You can explore artists who expertise in painting, drawing, illustration, photography, ceramics, jewellery and more. And if you’re an artist yourself, the visit can get you very inspired.
Location: Kensington Market, 77 Nassau Street
Time: June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24 and October 29
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
At their 56th exhibition, enjoy amazing art while sipping on beer from the Cascading Beer Garden at Nathan Phillips Square. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition offers an alternative to the usual art show with over 300 contemporary visual artists and makers to connect with. Different days also feature different performances, so stay tuned.
Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
Time: July 14-16
Waterfront Artisan Market
This market has it all. From crafters to artisans to chefs and bakers, there’s no way you won’t spend your whole afternoon here. Bringing together a mix of 75 artisans, you can completely explore your local craft and food at Toronto’s Waterfront. Shop for original finely crafted jewellery, art, food and gifts every Saturday this summer.
Location: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West
Time: Every Saturday from May 20 – October 7
Toronto Flower Market
Not only is this a good place to come to if your significant other is mad at you, but it’s also pretty cool place to hang out if you’re a plant lover. Freshly picked flowers are accompanied by Toronto’s local growers who might be able to help you blossom your own garden. Be prepared to see the best Ontario-grown plants and flowers from vendors like Floralora Flowers, Pure Leaf, Sweet Gale Gardens, The Pop Stand and more.
Location: Shaw Park at CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West
Time: July 15, August 19, September 9 and October 7
Leslieville Flea Market
This is the ultimate place to go for your one-of-a-kind collectables. The Leslieville Flea Summer Market will be selling vintage and salvaged items, up-cycled goods, rare antiques, art and furniture at two different locations this year. You also get to jam out to some live music, break a sweat with a free yoga session and get some dessert in between shopping.
Location: Ashbridge Estate, 1444 Queen Street East and The Distillery District, 55 Mill Street
Time: Select weekends June – October
Parkdale Flea Market
Parkdale Flea Market claims to bring together some of the best and most antique products that Toronto has to offer and they definitely do not disappoint. From antiques, handmade goods, vintage collectables, street cuisine and artwork, this market definitely has it all. Bonus: they’ll happily welcome your four-legged friends.
Location: 1266 Queen Street West
Time: July 9, August 13 and September 10