“Oh my goodness, what in the world are people lining up for??”
I stopped dead in my tracks and gaped incredulously at the crowd of people gathered before me on the sidewalk just up the street. Was there a sidewalk sale? No. Were folks handing out free stuff? Nope. Did Hugh Jackman return to TO for post-TIFF shenanigans? I wish. No, the line of people spilling out onto the street curb was in fact lining up for bread. And cinnamon rolls. And pork. And croissants. And pork. And tacos.
Did I mention pork?
This was the scene before me as I walked into the Junction Market’s brand spankin’ new home on the Junction Train Platform, a hubbub of community activity near and dear to the Junction community’s heart. And when I say hubbub, I mean HUBBUB. I was shocked at the sheer volume of market goers milling around every inch of space on the market grounds. The Train Platform is such a cool space. There’s train station graffiti art on the brick wall to the west, a raised wooden platform stage and a roof awning over top. The market vendors were set up in a square shape around the perimeter of the space with more vendors filling in a portion of the centre. I was surprised I was able to get as many clean shots as I did. I mean, I know I didn’t arrive right when the market started at 8am (I did due diligence and got there just before 10:30am – give me a break, I live in Markham and wanted the extra hour of sleep!) but my goodness I have never been to a market where I had to strategically figure out how to just get IN. And I LOVED it.
The Junction Market had great turnouts at their old location down the road in the Green P parking lot but this was the first market season at the Train Platform and you can tell that the market is just more…alive. There’s a buzz in the air, the crowd is bigger, and there’s this feeling and sense of community, grassroots, and togetherness. That we’re all there to pick up delicious food, support our farmers and food producers and to simply be surrounded by people who love market food.
It’s a wonderful feeling and I have missed this so much. This past summer I really dropped the ball on making visits to the market and I feel like I missed out on so much. Fall is here though and I am determined to make the most of the season and that means breathing in the beautiful bounty of fresh food all the markets have to offer. The Junction Market has been one of my favourites since it’s beginnings in 2012. It may not be the biggest, but by golly do I ever find fantastic stuff whenever I go. I’ve picked up bunches upon bunches of kale, sprouts, pesto, chutney and baked goods and coming out here gives me the opportunity to explore the west end more which I love.
This past Saturday, there were gorgeous bunches of swiss chard, adorable baskets of wild blueberries (they’re so tiny and cute!), pretty plump pears, huge bunches of kale (my go-to market veg!), scotch eggs, empanadas and more from Hogtown Charcuterie, house-cured peameal on a bun, jerk pork, and eleventy billion kinds of ribs from When the Pig Came Home Smokehouse and Larder (gotta love the name!), squash, tomatoes, beans and so much more. I was so excited and focused on taking photos I backed up and crashed right into a parked bike which left unattractive dusty tire marks on my leggings which I furiously tried to rub off whilst balancing my camera.
Real smooth, Debra. Real smooth.
Not bad for my first market visit of the 2013 fall season though! I discovered some yummy new vendors (that peameal on a bun and kale salad will be MINE next time! Oh, and maybe a scotch egg. And maybe some tacos too), got to visit them at their new location, and happily walked away with new photos and the beautiful, newest issue of Edible Toronto magazine featuring Sosnicki Organic Farm, a Junction market vendor, on the cover! This is just the beginning of a scrumptious fall season.
The Junction Market takes place Saturdays from 9am-1pm (May 25 to November 9) at the Junction Train Platform at 2960 Dundas Street West by Pacific Ave. You can follow them on Twitter @JunctionMarket!