Have you ever found out about an event when it was too late or almost too late and it upset you so much because you knew it was an event you would have loved going to? Hello, my name is Deb and I nearly missed out on an entire series of farmers’ markets this past winter and early spring! (Cue chorus of voices: “Hi, Deb”). That’s right. Yours truly, the self-proclaimed event guru of TO, has let one slip by. (Cue chours of audible gasps).
There have been a handful of food events that have happened in the city that I missed out on because I had no idea they were happening, but basically missing out on an ENTIRE series of markets that was happening every month since November in the downtown core right under my nose?! That is unacceptable! And even though I made it to the very last market of the indoor season at the CBC broadcasting building on Wellington this past week, I am fuming because I missed out on everything that happened prior to it! And to add insult to injury, I found out that this was the indoor version of my beloved farmers’ market at David Pecaut Square outside Roy Thomson Hall.
When it dawned on me that the market had actually been indoors all this time since November, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to run into a secluded corner and scream at myself or stand there and cry. I did neither. I bought cacao cookies and scones to soothe my wounded ego instead. I am so, so sorry for not finding out about this market sooner. I feel like such a doofus, especially since it was located in such an accessible location – right in the downtown core, accessible by the underground PATH, and just a few blocks away from Union station.
I actually found out about the CBC indoor market by accident. I was exploring the underground PATH one day in March and as I was passing through the CBC building at surface level, I noticed a poster of calendar events taped to one of the poles. I saw the words, “farmers’ market” for one of the dates in March and was thoroughly confused. A market? In the CBC building?! SINCE WHEN?! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the market in March, so I told myself I would make it to the one in April and that is how I ended up here. Sigh. If it’s any consolation, now that we know the market is in operation year-round we can go on a regular basis now! And it also makes me feel slightly better knowing that I had only missed one market each month since November as opposed to a market each week.
Just so everyone is on the same page, let me sum up: the farmers’ market that took/takes place at David Pecaut Square during the late spring, summer, and fall months moved/moves indoors into the CBC broadcasting building at Wellington and John Street from November to April. The indoor markets, however, only take place ONCE A MONTH in November, December, January, Febraury, March, and April. The market then moves back outdoors in May. Because the Luminato arts festival takes place around David Pecaut Square and the theatre district though, the farmers’ market actually stays close to the CBC building – just outside at the Simcoe Place park and courtyard until Luminato finishes up. I don’t have exact market dates for the month of May on me right now, but I’ll find out as soon as I can and report back! All markets run from 8am-2pm though, so definitely accessible to the morning rush hour crowd and the lunch hour crowd!
This last indoor market in the CBC building was celebrated with appearances by Monforte Dairy, ChocoSol, Toorshi Foods (pickled goods, which you can check out in my first Wychwood Barns market post), my beloved More Than Pies Baking Co. Ltd., St. John’s Bakery, and a number of produce farmers selling many varieties of mushrooms, dried and dehydrated fruits, apples, cider, honey products, and more. I was sampling a ton of chocolate from ChocoSol (raw chocolate, coconut chocolate, and chocolate brownie fudge), some apple and pear cider, and some field greens and having a jolly good time. I love these markets SO much and funny enough, there was another market goer making her rounds, visiting each and every single vendor and picking up a little something from each one. She tore a page right out of my book and it made me happy knowing others were getting the same joy out of these markets.
I left the market with three vegan, gluten-free cacao cookie brownies from ChocoSol and two scones from More Than Pies Baking Co. Ltd., one coconut payaya for my mum and a chocolate pecan for my brother. There were so many other things I wanted to pick up (some fudge cookies from St. John’s Bakery, cheese from Monforte, and cornbread and chocolate chip shortbread from More Than Pies), but knowing what I had at home in addition to knowing what my family could and couldn’t finish deterred me so I sadly passed up on some things. But I went away with a very happy feeling knowing I hadn’t completely missed out on the wonderful market and some much needed chocolate.