Celebrated across the globe as a model of contemporary urban design.
St. Lawrence Market is the beating heart and the timeworn soul of Toronto. It is alive with personality and style, history and ambition. The neighborhood is as old as the city itself, having been the core of the Town of York, forebear to the Toronto that we know today. It is fringed by Yonge Street to the west, Front Street to the north, Parliament Street to the east, and the railway embankment to the south. When York was incorporated in 1793, Lake Ontario’s waves were still lapping up to Front Street. The town infilled what is now St. Lawrence to create land for port and industrial uses, and it aptly served that purpose for 150 years. Its iconic red brick buildings harken back to this era. As industry departed for the outskirts of the thriving metropolis in the 1940s, the area declined. In the early ‘70s, city leaders imagined and led the creation of the St. Lawrence we now know, which has become the blueprint for effective urban planning. The centerpiece of the enclave was then, and remains today, the eponymous St. Lawrence Market, which brings 120 vendors offering a cornucopia of locally-produced meats and produce, as well as sundry other items. A broad mix of residential options coexist here, including subsidized housing, luxury townhomes and modern high-rise condominiums. Contact Andy Taylor and Jodi Allen to find condos, townhouses and homes for sale in St. Lawrence Market.
The St. Lawrence Market’s abundance
Nearly 50 years after its conception and birth, the functionality and livability of the St. Lawrence Market neighborhood remains a masterpiece that is emulated by town planners around the world. The effectiveness of this design has led to one of the most diverse populations of any Canadian demographic, a truly multi-national, multi-generational district. Due to its location at city center, St. Lawrence Market lacks an unbroken expanse of greenspace. However, the entire area is dotted with charming gardens and parks, and the waterfront district is just a quick jaunt south.
The lifestyle of St. Lawrence Market begins and ends with the market itself and The Esplanade, a series of boutique shops, restaurants, galleries and miscellany that runs the entirety from Jarvis Street to Parliament Street. There is simply no area of Toronto that offers this breadth of culinary exceptionalism. Tourists have been known to spend their vacation eating their way through St. Lawrence Market, which National Geographic called the “best food market in the world.” You can purchase farm-fresh ingredients for a home cooked gourmet meal, or patronize one of myriad restaurateurs from casual eateries to the ultimate in fine dining. Artisanal and unique, the quality and range of options have garnered the market its deserved fame. Locals come here to stock up. You could happily while away the day strolling the aisles and taking in the scenery.
The market’s most popular draw is also the city’s signature dish, Carousel Bakery’s peameal bacon sandwich, which has received a hearty thumbs up from both Bobby Flay and Anthony Bourdain. But one could spend a month at this establishment alone, partaking of their wide variety of sandwiches and wraps which employ more than 300 international breads. Keeping with the comfort food theme, Cluck Clucks Chicken & Waffles is a local favorite popular for, well, its chicken-and-waffle plate. St. Urbain Bagels offers Montréal-style bagels and their accountrement, for breakfast or lunch, done exceptionally right. To satisfy the Greek side of your palate, head to Yianni’s Kitchen for heaping homemade breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Got a group wanting to share a few plates? Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese is your destination, starting with their delectable charcuterie board. Cheese- and spice-stuffed peppers, grape leaves, freshly made pesto, gourmet cheeses, patés and fresh truffles are among the delights. St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta creates perhaps one of the area’s simplest, most unique items with a tri-color sauce blending tomato, cream sauce, pesto and, for the brave, spice. Patio dining is a specialty here, and nobody does it better than the popular Hot House Restaurant, which presents a menu to suit any taste, a stylish bar and a relentlessly upbeat atmosphere. If romance is afoot, Le Papillon on Front will set the perfect table for you with its fine French menu. Be sure to end your meal with a selection from its long list of classic homemade desserts.
For the home chef, St. Lawrence Market offers a bounty of fresh produce, meats and specialty items to fill your cupboards. The Saturday farmer’s market, held in the South Market building, is ideal to begin your shopping day. Surely the oddest and thus most intriguing outlet is Kozlick’s and its assortment of unique, often perplexing and always delicious mustards. Rube’s Rice is all about that base, with one of North America’s largest selections of rice—Thai black, arborio, sushi and basmati, to name only a few—and assorted grains. From the water, Seafront Fish Market is a fishmonger’s dream with fresh and prepared seafood along with a few family recipes. Try the bacon-wrapped scallops. Sausage King sources only local, ethical and sustainable sausages. Don’t have time to hit multiple markets to gather supplies? Domino Foods emporium is your all-in-one stop, selling every staple you could need plus unique treats such as chiles, candies, chocolates, pastas, flours and more.
The history of our national sport is hallowed at the Hockey Hall of Fame, within the walls of the stately former Bank of Montreal building, which stands sentinel on the corner of Yonge and Front streets. It showcases permanent collections honouring ice hockey’s all-time greats, temporary spotlight exhibits, and is the home to our revered Stanley Cup. One of Toronto’s most oft-photographed scenes centers on the Gooderham Building, a red brick flatiron built in 1892. The building itself inspires piety, and the famous Derek Michael Besant mural on its back wall only captivates further.
The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts was the city of Toronto’s official centennial project, commemorating the 1967 Canadian Centennial. Its two theatres — Bluma Appel and Jane Mallett — have been dedicated to expanding our cultural appreciation for 55 years. The Bluma Appel Theatre has been home to the Canadian Stage Company since 1996. Jane Mallett Theatre hosts chamber concerts, debates, recitals and film presentations. St. Lawrence Market also stars Meridian Hall, the country’s largest soft-seat theatre and presents dance, concerts, comedy, festivals, Broadway shows and live orchestra-accompanied films.
Public schools are operated by the Toronto District School Board. Highlights include: