The former St Patrick’s Market building is located at 238 Queen St W (on the north side, between McCaul St and John St) in downtown Toronto.
In 1836, D’Arcy Boulton Jr bequeathed land to the City with the promise that it would be used as a market open to all for perpetuity. It was Toronto’s second market, was named after the ward and was established for those living in the western part of the city. St Lawrence Market opened about 50 years prior.
Mr Boulton was from a high-profile family. He trained as a lawyer; however, he worked as a merchant. Mr Boulton and his family lived at the Grange, which is now part of the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Earlier St Patrick’s Market Structures
The first St Patrick’s Market structure was built in 1836/37. It was of frame construction and also served as the west end’s first fire hall.
In 1852, a two-storey stone structure designed by architect Thomas Young replaced the first building. The front of the Italianate-style building featured a tower, and the market stalls were in the rear. This second market building was destroyed by fire in 1912.
That same year, the present-day building was constructed. City architect George FW Price designed the brick building, and it remained St Patrick’s Market until 1929. From 1929 to 1988, the building was a chicken slaughterhouse called A Stork & Sons. The building received heritage status from the city in 1975.
Queen Live Fresh Food Market
In 1989, the City entered a 50-year lease with a company to manage and maintain the building as a mini food market. For years, Queen Live Fresh Food Market was home to various independent fast food outlets. In 2017, the market was temporarily shut down by Toronto Public Health; however, the market did not recover and was shuttered. In late 2019, the City won a court battle to regain control of the empty market. Located downtown, there are plans to reimagine and revitalize the underutilized historic property.