There is something about going to a farmers market that makes me feel like I’ve taken a step back in time. My grandparents and parents were farmers, so I cherish the memories I have of helping them plant their gardens in the spring and sampling the fresh fruits and veggies adorning the dinner table in the summer.
To celebrate the coming of warmer temps and longer days, I wanted to give a shoutout to some of my favorite farmers markets across this great nation. From berries in Saskatoon to traditional summer sausage in Waterloo to seafood in Halifax, Canada is bursting with a delicious bounty of goods. Since selections vary from week to week based on what’s in season, consider visiting these markets regularly as part of your weekly routine if for nothing other than to stop and smell the roses you buy.
1. Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, Halifax , Nova Scotia
Halifax was founded in 1749. One year later, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market was established by royal decree, making it the oldest continuously running farmers market in North America. In its 268 years, the market has seen its fair share of locations, but it’s currently situated along the Halifax Seaport, an area well-known for its vibrant arts and culture scene.
2. Hubbards Farmers’ Market, Hubbards, Nova Scotia
A staple at the Hubbards Barn & Community Park for the past 25 years, this gem is open every Saturday from Mother’s Day weekend until the end of October. Situated on the outskirts of Halifax, Hubbards hosts local vendors as well as some from the South Shore and the Valley. You’ll find everything, including organic coffee, jams, jellies, wines, meats, baked goods, handmade soaps, candles and more. After shopping, you can even enjoy a walk along the winding nature paths.
3. Marché du Vieux-Port (The Old Port Market), Quebec City, Quebec
This year-round daily market may have the usual offerings of fresh fruits and veggies, but it’s the local specialties — Beausoleil oysters, blueberry syrup, maple liqueur, tourtière, and blackcurrant wine — that keep the crowds coming back for more. The Old Port Market is also scenically situated on the waterfront, so you can take a meandering stroll while inhaling the fresh Canadian spring air.
4. Lachute Farmers Market, Lachute, Quebec
This gem started out as a small farmers market and horse auction back in the ’50s. Now on the 15-acre site, you’ll discover food vendors, an indoor antique and flea market, restaurants, and, whoa — even the horse auction after all these years!
Riding your horse to the market? You can pick up a deer apple to feed your stallion while you shop.
5. Evergreen Brick Works’ Saturday Farmers Market, Toronto, Ontario
Evergreen Brick Works is home to the largest farmers market in Toronto. Open year-round, this community hub welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually to experience its public markets, enjoy outdoor learning and nature play, and explore public art in the heart of Toronto’s ravine system. Expect to find delicious local fresh food from a variety of vendors at their Saturday Farmers Market.
6. St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, Waterloo, Ontario
The charming village of St. Jacobs is just an hour outside of Toronto, but with all there is to see and do, it’s hard to believe it’s not an entirely other world. According to their site, the town’s main attraction is Canada’s largest year-round farmers market, which hosts over 300 vendors!
The nearby countryside is home to Mennonite farmers, many of whom sell hormone- and drug-free meats, produce, and other products at the market. In the spring and summertime, this market comes alive with local Ontario goods such as cheese, bread, meat, maple syrup, preserves, and of course, fruits and veggies.
7. Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is an important attraction for those in the River Landing, Riversdale, and south downtown areas. The year-round market connects Saskatoon residents and visitors with local producers of agricultural products, baked goods, prepared foods, and arts and crafts .
8. Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, Edmonton, Alberta
What started out as a gathering of 10 vendors in a small parking lot back in the ’80s is now Edmonton’s largest farmers market, located inside the “Old Bus Barns.” Each Saturday, you can visit 130 vendors (they have a rotating roster of 300, so you’ll be sure to find something new each time you go!) and stock up on your fave fruits and greens. With the motto, “We make it, we bake it, we grow it, and we sell it,” you won’t find anything but homegrown goods here.
9. Trout Lake Farmers Market, Vancouver, British Columbia
If you’re looking for an authentic community feel, this charming market in East Vancouver will give you all of that and more. It’s run by Vancouver Farmers Markets, a nonprofit society that is part of a global movement to reconnect people with the land and the people who grow their food.
Trout Lake Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from May to October. At the market, you’ll meet the farmers, bakers, artisans, and producers who grow and prepare the foods you love. Bring your bike, though, as you’re not allowed to drive to the market.
Extra perk: The picnic area at Trout Lake provides a beautiful spot to enjoy your fresh market finds. And, they just might have the best banana pie I’ve ever tasted (second to my grandma’s, of course!).
10. The Famous Saturday Market, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Also known as Canada’s “Island of the Arts,” Salt Spring Island is part of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. Their Famous Saturday Market in Centennial Park is open on Saturdays from April to October and showcases over 140 artists and food producers. Known for its homespun guarantee, everything that’s sold at this market is required to be made, baked, or grown by the vendor.
Too busy to shop on Saturdays? You’re in luck: There is a food-and-vegetable-only market in Salt Spring on Tuesday afternoons from June through October.