Another summer weekend means another weekend market! Between Evergreen Brick Works, The Stop at Wychwood Barns, the Junction market, and Liberty Village, there’s plenty of weekend market love to go around. It’s been a little over a year since I started going to markets on a regular basis and it’s been amazing seeing how they transform between seasons and have they grow and evolve over time. There are some markets I’ve only ever been to during the summer and some only during the winter so it’s a lot of fun seeing the differences and taking advantage of all the different food that comes along with these changes.
In addition to visiting markets and seeing in seasonal lights, that are also a handful that I have yet to visit in general. I have a list of Saturday and Sunday markets that I haven’t been to that I’m itching to scratch off including Withrow Park and most of the markets in Markham and York Region! I know, I know – I live in Markham! It was always easier for me to get around in Toronto though because of the day passes so that’s what I often opted for, but I have a strange way of getting around to things so I know I’ll get to them eventually.
For this particular market excursion, I made my way back to Leslieville! I love the Riverside, Riverdale, Leslieville, and Beaches neighbourhoods along Queen East so planning a trip to the Leslieville market is like planning an entire day trip because there’s so much to see and do! It’s been months since my last visit – almost a year, actually, back in September when Jonathan Ashbridge Park was awash with fall colours and the air was chilly and crisp. Not so much this time! It was piping hot out, kiddies were running around screaming in the splash pool, and the market was busy and bustling with market goers and park enjoyers despite the sweltering heat. It was so nice seeing the market so alive with activity. Augie’s Gourmet Ice Pops had completely sold out (and for good reason!), Hooked Inc. was on site grilling up fish tacos in fresh corn tortillas, and people were snatching up summer vegetables like they were nuggets of gold.
Even though I’m a self-proclaimed summer wuss, I’m so happy I sucked it up and made the effort to go. Every season has its own unique beauty and personality and both are evidently manifested and embodied at the market: in the environment, in the atmosphere, and of course, in the gorgeous fruits, vegetables, and bounty of food. There were mountains of scallions in vibrant greens and purples, beets in shades of plum and bright pink, baskets of beautiful green beans, snow peas, cabbage, and baby Shanghai bok choy, adorable yellow patty pan squashes, crusty baguettes, summer sauces, spreads, and salsas, sweet potato donut holes from LPK Culinary Groove, vegetarian and vegan Indian food from Tiffinday, fresh farm cheese, and spring roll wraps, nut burgers, macaroons, and pesto spreads from my beloved market favourite, Earth & City.
My brother and I love condiments, spreads, and sauces (we go through hummus, spicy mustard, and tzatziki like crazy) so I always pay attention to the jarred goodies at the market. They’re great for sandwiches, vegetables, and things like chicken tenders, sausages, and samosas so we always have a few rotating in our fridge. I snatched up a sundried tomato pesto spread from Earth & City ($5) this time around, but trust that I’ll give in and take home some chutneys, salsas, and other yummies the next time around!
Leslieville Farmers’ Market is located at Jonathan Ashbridge Park on Queen Street East and Woodward Ave. Jonathan Ashbridge Park is located in between Greenwood and Coxwell Ave., and can be accessed via public transit by way of the Queen Street 501 streetcar. The market is new to the lineup of Toronto markets this year and is held every Sunday from 9am-2pm. The last market of the year is on October 28, 2012. Visit their website to sign up to their newsletter, to get involved, and to learn more.