St Lawrence Market South – One of the World’s Greatest Markets

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1895 – The former City Hall on Front St E (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market
1895 – The former City Hall on Front St E (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 98)

The St Lawrence Market South building is located at ‪93 Front St‬ E, at Jarvis St (the southwest corner), in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto.

Once Toronto’s First Permanent City Hall

The Great Fire of Toronto in 1849 destroyed much of the city. It did, however, spare Toronto’s first permanent City Hall. The multi-use municipal building was constructed in 1844 at the cost of $45,000 and designed by Henry Bowyer Lane.

The centre building housed the offices of the Mayor, city officials, council chambers, and the courtroom, while the basement was occupied by Police Station No 1 and holding cells. The wings on each side of the main building were home to various shops. In the rear of the structure were stalls selling fresh goods.

Throughout the mid and late 1800s, alterations were made to the building and façade. In 1899, City Hall moved out when what we know today as Old City Hall at Queen St W and Bay St was completed.

Extensive Renovations

1975 - Looking south towards St Lawrence Market during renovation
1975 – Looking south towards St Lawrence Market during renovation (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 13)

At the turn of the 20th century, the then-municipal building underwent extensive alterations and additions to become a large marketplace. John Wilson Siddall was the architect behind the renovations. A portion of the first City Hall was kept and incorporated into the structure. The cupola, pediment and side sections were removed. A substantial new steel truss roof was added over the entire structure.

Saved from Demolition

In the early 1970s, the St Lawrence Market South narrowly escaped demolition thanks to a group of citizens who helped save the historic gem. Heritage status was given in 1973. The structure had undergone renovations which were completed in 1978.

St Lawrence Market Today

2020 - Looking towards the St Lawrence Market South, located at the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto
2020 – Looking towards the St Lawrence Market South, located at the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto

Today, St Lawrence Market is a huge draw for both residents of the City and tourists. There are over 100 vendors selling produce, baked goods, meats, fish, dairy products, artisan goods and more.

Visit the St Lawrence Market website for further info on the history, gallery, antique market, hours and tours.

Did You Know?

2023 - The basement of St Lawrence Market was originally Police Station No 1. Portions of the old holding cells still exist
2023 – The basement of St Lawrence Market was originally Police Station No 1. Portions of the old holding cells still exist
  • When you enter the South Market through the archways on Front St East, you’re walking through the first permanent City Hall entrance. On the façade, it’s the centre front portion that’s outlined with white stone trim.
  • The first City Hall structure, done in the Georgian style, is an example of work created by one of the City’s first architects, Henry Bower Lane. Mr Lane also designed Little Trinity Church, St George the Martyr Church, portions of Osgoode Hall and more.
  • The St Lawrence Market Complex comprises three main buildings – the South Market, the North Market and St Lawrence Hall.
  • Remnants of the old holding cells can be found on the lower level of the South Market.
  • Right in Toronto, this landmark is considered one of the world’s greatest markets.
  • Toronto’s new City Hall is located at 100 Queen St W and Bay St.

St Lawrence Market South Photos

 1972 – St Lawrence Market South is located on the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The historic building narrowly escaped demolition thanks to a group of citizens who helped save it
1972 – St Lawrence Market South is located on the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The historic building narrowly escaped demolition thanks to a group of citizens who helped save it (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 2, Item 16)
2020 - Looking towards the St Lawrence Market South, located at the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in Toronto
2020 – Looking towards the St Lawrence Market South, located at the southwest corner of Front St E and Jarvis St in Toronto
December 8, 1936  - Looking northeast from The Esplanade and Market St towards St Lawrence Market. Notice the cupola of St Lawrence Hall in the background, on the left
December 8, 1936 – Looking northeast from The Esplanade and Market St towards St Lawrence Market. Notice the cupola of St Lawrence Hall in the background, on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 1, Item 1415)
Between 1972 and 1987 – Looking north from inside St Lawrence Market towards a portion of the first permanent City Hall that was kept and incorporated into the market building. In 1899, City Hall was moved to what we know today as Old City Hall at 60 Queen St W
Between 1972 and 1987 – Looking north from inside St Lawrence Market towards a portion of the first permanent City Hall that was kept and incorporated into the market building. In 1899, City Hall was moved to what we know today as Old City Hall at 60 Queen St W (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 351, Item 29)
2020 - Looking up at former City Hall Council Chambers inside St Lawrence Market. This portion of Toronto’s first permanent City Hall was preserved and incorporated into the market building
2020 – Looking up at former City Hall Council Chambers inside St Lawrence Market. This portion of Toronto’s first permanent City Hall was preserved and incorporated into the market building
July 12, 1978 - The front entrance to the St Lawrence Market South building
July 12, 1978 – The front entrance to the St Lawrence Market South building (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 27)
1972 – Looking southwest towards the corner of George St and Front St E with St Lawrence Market on the right
1972 – Looking southwest towards the corner of George St and Front St E with St Lawrence Market on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 2, Item 15)
Between 1974 and 1977 - St Lawrence Market South before restoration
Between 1974 and 1977 – St Lawrence Market South before restoration (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 755, Item 20)
February 1970 -  Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market from the corner of Front St E and Jarvis St. Notice the Ford Mustang in the centre
February 1970 – Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market from the corner of Front St E and Jarvis St. Notice the Ford Mustang in the centre (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 63)
2023 – Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E and Jarvis St. When you enter the South Market through the archways on Front St East, you’re walking through the first permanent City Hall entrance. On the façade, it’s the centre front portion that’s outlined with white stone trim
2023 – Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E and Jarvis St. When you enter the South Market through the archways on Front St East, you’re walking through the first permanent City Hall entrance. On the façade, it’s the centre front portion that’s outlined with white stone trim
May 13, 1975 – Looking southeast from Front St E towards St Lawrence Market building, under restoration
May 13, 1975 – Looking southeast from Front St E towards St Lawrence Market building, under restoration (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 11)
July 6, 1974 - Looking southeast from the 11th floor of the King Edward Hotel towards the St Lawrence Market building and surrounding area
July 6, 1974 – Looking southeast from the 11th floor of the King Edward Hotel towards the St Lawrence Market building and surrounding area (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 2)
July 6, 1974 – Looking southeast from the King Edward Hotel towards the St Lawrence Market area. From right to left are St Lawrence Market South, the former St Lawrence Market North and St Lawrence Hall
July 6, 1974 – Looking southeast from the King Edward Hotel towards the St Lawrence Market area. From right to left are St Lawrence Market South, the former St Lawrence Market North and St Lawrence Hall (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1526, File 16, Item 3)
May 3, 1975 - St Lawrence Market sign during restoration and notice the Cathedral Church of St James steeple on the right
May 3, 1975 – St Lawrence Market sign during restoration and notice the Cathedral Church of St James steeple on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 6)
1975 - Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market during renovation
1975 – Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market during renovation (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 13)
May 3, 1975 -  Looking northwest from The Esplanade towards the back of St Lawrence Market South building
May 3, 1975 – Looking northwest from The Esplanade towards the back of St Lawrence Market South building (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 4)
Between 1980 and 1990 - Looking south towards St Lawrence Market from Market Lane Park
Between 1980 and 1990 – Looking south towards St Lawrence Market from Market Lane Park (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 415, Item 14)
2023 – Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E just west of Jarvis St
2023 – Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E just west of Jarvis St
1972 - Looking northwest from Jarvis St and The Esplanade towards the St Lawrence Market South
1972 – Looking northwest from Jarvis St and The Esplanade towards the St Lawrence Market South (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 2, Item 20)
2020 - St Lawrence Market sign
2020 – St Lawrence Market sign
October 1973 - Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market, the Gardiner Expressway and the harbourfront
October 1973 – Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market, the Gardiner Expressway and the harbourfront (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 8, ID 45)
April 8, 1980 – Looking south from St James Park towards Pasquale Bros on King St E and St Lawrence Market South on Front St E
April 8, 1980 – Looking south from St James Park towards Pasquale Bros on King St E and St Lawrence Market South on Front St E (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 16, Item 29)
2023 – Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market and surrounding area from Front St E and Jarvis St
2023 – Looking southwest towards St Lawrence Market and surrounding area from Front St E and Jarvis St
1972 - Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E and Market St
1972 – Looking southeast towards St Lawrence Market from Front St E and Market St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 032, Series 741, File 40, Item 11)
April 10, 1971 - Looking northeast from The Esplanade towards the loading area at the south end of St Lawrence Market
April 10, 1971 – Looking northeast from The Esplanade towards the loading area at the south end of St Lawrence Market (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 16, Item 1)
2020 - Looking northeast from The Esplanade towards the south end of St Lawrence Market
2020 – Looking northeast from The Esplanade towards the south end of St Lawrence Market
April 1968 – Looking east from the Toronto-Dominion Centre toward the St Lawrence area of Toronto. Notice the Gooderham Building, St Lawrence Market North, St Lawrence Hall and St Lawrence Market South
April 1968 – Looking east from the Toronto-Dominion Centre toward the St Lawrence area of Toronto. Notice the Gooderham Building, St Lawrence Market North, St Lawrence Hall and St Lawrence Market South (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 25)
Between 1979 and 1985 - Looking northeast from south of The Esplanade
Between 1979 and 1985 – Looking northeast from south of The Esplanade (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 734, Item 20)
1955 - Chestnut vendor outside St Lawrence Market
1955 – Chestnut vendor outside St Lawrence Market (Library and Archives Canada PA-010956655)
1955 - Inside St Lawrence Market
1955 – Inside St Lawrence Market (Library and Archives Canada PA-010959727)
1952 - Looking east towards the canopy over Front St E connecting St Lawrence Market North to St Lawrence Market South
1952 – Looking east towards the canopy over Front St E connecting St Lawrence Market North to St Lawrence Market South (Toronto Public Library R-4967)
Circa 1904 - Flower, fruit and vegetable show at St Lawrence Market
Circa 1904 – Flower, fruit and vegetable show at St Lawrence Market (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1587, Series 409, Item 42)
Circa 1911 – The William Davies stall at St Lawrence Market; however, it's not known if it's inside the North or South Market building
Circa 1911 – The William Davies stall at St Lawrence Market; however, it’s not known if it’s inside the North or South Market building (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 338B)
1895 – Looking southeast toward Toronto’s first permanent City Hall (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure
1895 – Looking southeast toward Toronto’s first permanent City Hall (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 98)
A group of men standing at the front door of City Hall when it was located at what we know today as St Lawrence Market South. City Hall was moved to Queen St in 1899
A group of men standing at the front door of City Hall when it was located at what we know today as St Lawrence Market South. City Hall was moved to Queen St in 1899 (photo taken at the St Lawrence Market South building)
1895 – An illustration of Toronto’s first permanent City Hall, now St Lawrence Market. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure
1895 – An illustration of Toronto’s first permanent City Hall, now St Lawrence Market. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 415, Item 13)
Circa 1844 – Looking west along Front St E from Jarvis St. Toronto’s first permanent City Hall (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market on the left. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure. Notice in the centre distance the Coffin Block, which today is the site of the Gooderham Building
Circa 1844 – Looking west along Front St E from Jarvis St. Toronto’s first permanent City Hall (1844 to 1899), now St Lawrence Market on the left. The centre block of the original building was preserved and incorporated into the present-day structure. Notice in the centre distance the Coffin Block, which today is the site of the Gooderham Building (Toronto Public Library R-2314)
2023 - A portion of St Lawrence Market was originally Toronto's first permanent City Hall. The basement once housed Police Station No 1 and holding cells. Remnants of the old cells still exist today
2023 – A portion of St Lawrence Market was originally Toronto’s first permanent City Hall. The basement once housed Police Station No 1 and holding cells. Remnants of the old cells still exist today
2023 - The basement of St Lawrence Market was originally Police Station No 1. Portions of the old holding cells still exist
2023 – The basement of St Lawrence Market was originally Police Station No 1. Portions of the old holding cells still exist
2023 - A portion of St Lawrence Market was originally Toronto's first permanent City Hall. The basement once housed Police Station No 1 and holding cells. Remnants of the old cells still exist today
2023 – A portion of St Lawrence Market was originally Toronto’s first permanent City Hall. The basement once housed Police Station No 1 and holding cells. Remnants of the old cells still exist today
2023 - Remnants from the former Police Station No 1 holding cells on the lower level of St Lawrence Market
2023 – Remnants from the former Police Station No 1 holding cells on the lower level of St Lawrence Market
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