*BREAKING NEWS* everyone! Or maybe not so breaking if you already know this. But humour me if you do: the Toronto Lunchtime Office Markets are setting up shop out west in Liberty Village TOMORROW from 11:30am-1:30pm! And it’ll be an outdoor courtyard market! This is so exciting! You know how there are people who track storms and tornadoes and are known as Storm Chasers? I like to think of myself as a farmers’ market chaser, following amazing markets wherever they go around the city. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the Office Market’s first official market in Liberty Village tomorrow, but I wanted you all to know in case any of you work around the area or decide to head out in that direction tomorrow. And if you end up seeing this too late, don’t fret: this market is going to be a permanent fixture on the farmers’ market circuit, so you can always make a visit on Wednesdays from here on out.
It feels so surreal in a way because several weeks to a month ago, I was enjoying lunch, taking photos, and talking to Eric from Yorktown Pies at the ING Direct Cafe when a fellow lunch market goer approached me and told me he recognized me from Ate by Ate (can you say oh my lordy?!). We chatted for a bit and I learned that he actually wasn’t dining on home turf so to speak, but was rather taking in the scene (and eating) because he wanted the market to head on over to his work area in Liberty Village. And lo and behold, here we are! I knew Aruna (head honcho of Alimentary Initiatives and the Toronto Office Market initiative) was planning on taking the markets to Liberty Village (I know, I know, I keep a good secret!), but I had no idea it would happen so soon!
This is wonderful because this market experience has become so important to those in the community who want and need these types of food options. My boyfriend and I brought two friends to an ING Direct Cafe market one time for lunch, one who was vegan and who was a self-proclaimed carni. There were fun, healthy options for my vegan friend, Sarah, courtesy of Earth & City and my meat-loving friend, Nav, enjoyed his meatless lunch (courtesy of ChocoSol) so much he wanted to come back for to the market for lunch another time.
I was so, so happy they loved it. And interestingly enough, my friend Nav made a very poignant statement as we were discussing how I found out about the markets and about food in general. He said, “this makes me WANT to eat healthier. This is awesome. If these options are made available, people will come and people will take advantage and choose better food”. And that, my dear lovelies, is food accessibility in action and in motion. My friends enjoyed their experience and were introduced to something new and in turn, it made me feel hopeful that many of the food initiatives being spearheaded across the city by different organizations and local businesses are, in many ways, touching lives and creating and spurring change for the better.
Yorktown Pies will be at the market tomorrow, along with Cheesewerks (they’ve started vending at the Office Markets, how exciting!), The Bumper Crop (charcuterie and condiments), Hope Farms and Eggy Wegs with fresh farm eggs, and Cookie Martinez with Fair Trade and gluten-free cookies in the line-up among others. It’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow, so grab a yummy Yorktown Pie and enjoy the local food and market for me!
The Office Markets will now currently serve 3 locations in Toronto: CSI Annex at 720 Bathurst Street (just south of Bloor Street) on Tuesdays from 11:30am-1:30pm, ING Direct Cafe at 221 Yonge Street (at the corner of Shuter Street by the Eaton Centre) on Thursdays from 11:30am-1:30pm, and now at Soft Choice IT Soultions at 173 Dufferin Street (south of King Street) in Liberty Village.