The new St Lawrence Market North building will 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 St E, east of Church St, south of King St E, and west of Jarvis St to be known as the Market Block. The land was donated to the Town of York on the condition that farmers use it 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 resembling 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 start 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. 19th-century rail track beds and wharf cribbing were unearthed during the dig for this temporary market building. Phase 2 demolished the 1968 building, while Phase 3 constructed the new North Market building.
Historical Foundations & Artifacts Found
In 2016, the demolition of the 1968 building got underway. The foundations of the previous 1831, 1851 and 1904 markets were found, along with several historical objects. A team of archeologists and researchers sifted through the 200-year-old site and found many ancient finds, including eating utensils, meat hooks, broken pottery, and 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 discovery set the building schedule behind by a few years.
The New St Lawrence Market North
In 2019, construction began on the new North Market. It will be the home of market vendors, courtrooms, offices, a 250-space parking garage and more. 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 will feature a large hall for the Farmers Market, commercial events and a cafe. The space on the mezzanine floor will be for hospitality use, kitchen incubators, Court Services, administrative offices and a seniors centre. The third floor will be home to the Court Services head office, administrative offices and Police Services. The space on the fourth floor will be for Justice of the Peace offices, city and provincial Prosecution offices and five courtrooms. The top floor will house nine courtrooms.
Using the latest codes for environmental design, the current total budget for the new north marketing building is approximately $116 million. The construction is expected to be completed and in operation by Fall 2023.