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St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market from the north-east
Inside the market
Abundance, variety, and freshness are trademarks of the St. Lawrence Market.
New Market House, city hall for Toronto from 1845 to 1899.

St. Lawrence Market is one of two major markets in Toronto (the other being Kensington Market). It is located west of Jarvis Street, between King Street East and the Esplanade. It was established in the early part of the city's history and was once home to Toronto's first permanent city hall and jail house from 1845 to 1899. Designed by Henry Bowyer Lane, the first floor was formerly Police Station # 1.

The illustration below shows "New Market House", Toronto City Hall from 1845-1899. The yellow brick outline of the centre part of that building can still be seen in the facade of the current building.

Since 1901, the north façade and city council chambers have served as a museum for the city's archives as well as a north entrance to the South Market. Renovations were also made in 1978 following public outcry over a proposal to demolish the entire building in 1971.

A newer market, known as the North Market was built in 1803 under orders of Lieutenant Governor Peter Hunter. Destroyed by fire in 1849, it was rebuilt in 1851, replaced in 1904, and replaced again by the current building in 1968. A canopy that once connected the North and South Markets was removed in 1954. Today the North Market is different things on different days, but its principal claim to glory is associated with the colourful Farmers' Market, the largest in Toronto, that takes place on Saturdays starting at 5 am and is truly a local institution for Torontonians.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the South Market building, provided by Wireless Toronto.

The St. Lawrence Market, is one of the two locations in Toronto that house the majority of businesses accepting the Toronto Dollar, a local currency that raises money for fighting poverty.[1]


Market Gallery

Opened in 1979, the Market Gallery, located in the South Market, offers changing exhibitions dedicated to Toronto's history, art and culture. The gallery space was formerly the 19th century city council chamber from 1845 to 1899.[2]

In literature

The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood is featured extensively in the novel Old City Hall, by Robert Rotenberg.

See also


External links

Preceded by
Toronto City Hall
Succeeded by
Old City Hall (Toronto)

Coordinates: 43°38′56″N 79°22′18″W / 43.64889°N 79.37167°W / 43.64889; -79.37167



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