From evenings spent on restaurant patios to beloved outdoor festivals, the pandemic has put a damper on many of our summer rituals. Fortunately, there’s hope that one warm-weather tradition will have a chance to restart before the season comes to a close. The City of Toronto has announced that it’s currently working to reopen 22 local farmers markets.
Along with the announcement, Toronto Public Health released a set of guidelines to help market organizers, staff, and vendors safely reopen.
Markets will need to rearrange their layouts to accommodate physical distancing and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations for customers, among numerous other requirements needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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The Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market reopened last weekend; while St. Lawrence Market opened its seasonal outdoor market in a new location on Market Street, between the Esplanade and Wilton Street, to allow for physical distancing.
The press release from the City of Toronto states that additional market opening dates will be determined by each organizers’ ability to adhere to the new Toronto Public Health guidelines.
According to a Facebook post from East York Farmers’ Market, many markets are now waiting to receive the permits needed to reopen.
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Dear LFM Community: You may have heard earlier this week our excitement about opening in Jonathan Ashbridge Park this Sunday, June 21. Unfortunately, we have been made aware this morning by the City of Toronto that we will not be able to open in Jonathan Ashbridge Park this Sunday, June 21st, as they are not yet approving permits for markets in public parks. We know many of you were excited to shop today’s online market and pick up your farm-fresh goodies on Sunday. But we will be seeing you soon! The health and safety of farmers, vendors, staff, volunteers and community is our top priority. We are now aiming to open the following week, on Sunday, June 28th. Get ready to shop your favourite market goods when the online market opens at 9AM on Thursday, June 25th! And stay tuned here for more information, including a step by step guide to picking up your order. We can’t wait to see you, very soon. 🧡 The LFM team
Similarly, Leslieville Farmers’ Market posted on Instagram that it had hoped to open on June 21, but they were not granted a permit in time. They’re now aiming to open the following weekend, on June 28.
For now, many markets are targeting July opening dates, allowing them a few weeks to receive their permits and implement the new protocols outlined by Toronto Public Health.
In the meantime, many popular markets like Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market are continuing to offer online ordering, allowing customers to support their favourite vendors until physical markets are able to reopen.