The new St Lawrence Market North building is going to be located at 92 Front St E, at Jarvis St (the northwest corner), in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto.
The Market Block
In 1803, Lt Governor Peter Hunter declared the land north of Front, east of Church, south of King E and west of Jarvis Sts to be known as the Market Block. The land was donated to the then Town of York on the condition it is used by farmers as a marketplace.
Previous North Markets
There have been many market structures built on this particular block including:
- In 1803, the first market structure was made of wood.
- In 1831, the second market was a brick structure that fronted King St E and stretched to Front St E. This was destroyed in the Great Fire of Toronto 1849.
- In 1851, the third North Market building was completed on the northwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St. It was accessed through the main Front St E entrance or via the new St Lawrence Hall.
- In 1904, the previous North Market was demolished and replaced with a fourth building that looked similar to the South Market. A canopy was added between the North and South Markets over Front St E.
- In 1968, the North Market was once again demolished and replaced by a 2-storey, school-like fifth market building. The farmers market was held on Saturdays and during the warmer months, there were vendors on the exterior.
The Project’s Three Phases
While plans for the new North St Lawrence Market building began in 2002, things did not get rolling until 2015. At the time, the budget was set at approximately $91.4 million. Phase 1 was the construction of a temporary market structure at 125 The Esplanade. During the dig for this temporary market building, 19th-century rail track beds and wharf cribbing were unearthed. Phase 2 was the demolition of the 1968 building while Phase 3 is the construction of the new North Market building.
Historical Foundations & Artifacts Found
In late summer 2015, construction was delayed because the foundations of the previous 1831, 1851 and 1904 markets were found, along with several historical objects. They include eating utensils, meat hooks, broken pottery, as well as a bottle from JJ McLaughlin, the chemist who created Canada Dry ginger ale. They hope to put the artifacts on display in the new building.
The New St Lawrence Market North
The new North Market will not only be the home of market vendors but also courtrooms, offices and a parking garage. In terms of architecture, the 20,000 sq m five-storey, market building will be constructed of glass and steel with a glass-ceilinged atrium.
The main floor (4,000 sq m) will feature a large hall for the market itself. The space on the mezzanine floor will be for additional vendors, concerts, receptions, weddings and other events. The third and fourth floors (4,000 sq m each) will accommodate offices while the top floor (3,000 sq m) will be for courtrooms.
Using the latest codes for environmental design, the current total budget for the new north marketing building is at approximately $116 million. It’s projected to be completed in 2022.
St Lawrence Market North Photos
- Landmarks of Toronto: Volume 1 by J Ross Robertson
- St Lawrence Market: History
- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners: St Lawrence Market North
- City of Toronto: Evidence of previous markets discovered at North St. Lawrence Market building construction site
- Toronto Star: North St. Lawrence Market did delve deep into Toronto’s foodie history
- CBC: New St. Lawrence Market building will cost another $14M
- Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives, Toronto Public Library, City of Toronto & Landmarks of Toronto: Volume 1 by J Ross Robertson
- Street Photo: Google Maps
- Artist Rendering Illustration: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners