Canada’s Best Public Markets

Public markets are much more than places selling local goods. They are treasured community meeting places and festive gathering places where you can celebrate the seasons, catch up on the latest news, business tips and recipes, eat and drink, and house fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. And can bring homespun arts and crafts. Here are the best of Canada.

Fredericton Boys Farmers Market

New Brunswick

Friendly people, fine food trucks, ultra-fresh produce, and delicious multi-cultural fare make Fredericton Boys Farmers Market on the St. John River one of the best community markets in the country and covered in local tradition. ]Pick up hand-knit hats or handmade sausages. ]On offer are a wide variety of crafts, ceramics, jewellery, food – from freshly squeezed OJ, Chinese dumplings and samosas, pesticide-free products, fresh lobster and seafood, and artisan goods from 250 suppliers. ]In the summer, the parking lot is also lined with farmers. ]Arrive at 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds, and stop by for breakfast and a cup of coffee. ]Fun events run throughout the year include Festival's ice sculptures in the winter.

Byward Market

Ottawa, Ontario

Downtown's Byward Market is an exclusive neighbourhood of beautiful brick buildings dating from the 1800's. ]It is also the community heart of Ottawa. ]Locals and visitors flock to Byward to do yoga, dance, and lounge, sample the latest cuisine and craft beers, chat in a cafe, and people-watch. ]Central is the historic outdoor public farmers' market, which has been running since 1826. ]175 vendors artfully display their artisan chocolates, charioteer, bouquets, fine teas and fresh produce, decorated with an assortment of exceptional arts and crafts.

Granville Island Public Market

Vancouver, British Columbia

On the water near downtown's green-glass towers, the dockside Granville Island Public Market is a Vancouver must-see. ]Locals and visitors alike love the bustling market, immaculate stacks of colourful products, fresh fish and crab on ice, hot-from-the-oven bread, fresh-brew coffee, handmade chocolate truffles, artisan cheese wheels, craft sake ]and gourmet sausages. ]Lee's donuts are a necessary indulgence. ]Just as captivating is the walk able area of ​​this renovated cement factory, lined with funky converted warehouses that have become artist studios, boutiques, ateliers, galleries, restaurants and theatres. ]Spend the day taking a guided culinary market tour with Edible Canada.

Le Marche St. Norbert Farmers Market

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Vaulted under a new umbrella, Winnipeg's Le Marche St. Norbert Farmers Market is the place to buy fresh vegetables. ]Manitoba's farming families convene here on Saturday mornings and seasonally on Wednesdays for a total of 130 full-time and 50 visiting vendors with their produce - the largest market in the province and one run by farmers. ]Get fresh flowers, honey, meats, preserves, and produce and meet bakers and soap makers. ]Mantra: Quality, variety and freshness from breadbaskets of Canada. ]Buskers and Metis musicians keep the atmosphere festive. ]Pick up handmade furniture and wooden toys, leather goods, patio chairs, metalwork, and custom jewellery, too.

Halifax Harbor Farmers Market

Nova Scotia

Check out the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, the oldest continuously operating market in North America, on the vibrant Halifax Coast. ]The place has been a bustling centre since 1750's and is still the most popular market in the city. ]Today there are 250 vendors in a sprawling, two-level warehouse space – standard product vendors, but also shops, artists, cafes, galleries, even a museum. ]Talk to farmers, fishermen, take a workshop or join a seed exchange, dine at a farm-to-table eatery, and soak up the vibrant university student scene. ]Don't leave without a cuppa from Java Blend.

Crossroads market

Calgary, Alberta

Indulge in the seasonal bounty – apples, grapes, tomatoes, cherries, edible flowers, and herbs, as well as locally raised beef and poultry – grown in this agriculturally-rich province, which has recently grown to produce grape-less fruits. Famous for dabbling in Key wines. ]The Indoor-Outdoor Crossroads Market in Calgary is Alberta's largest year-round market with over 100 growers. ]The focus is on locally grown and immigrant imports: German viners and baked goods and Cambodian specialities, to name a few. ]Be sure to sample a homemade cherry pie, the popular beef jerky, or taste the espresso-gelato creation known as the affogato. ]Expect lots of families in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere – a perfect Saturday morning walk.

Lachut Farmers Market

Lachute, Quebec

Tuesdays and Sundays are for the one-stop Lachute Farmers Market on the west side of Quebec City. ]You won't find much on this sprawling 15-acre site, which includes a flea market, indoor antiques emporium, farmers' market, restaurant, entertainment, and horse auction, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. ]Selling nearly 500 you can put it in just about anything – food and produce, clothing and shoes, treasures and trinkets. ]However, if you want to take home an iconic vintage find, arrive at 7 a.m. ]The place has been an institution since the 1950's and it is easy to see why.

Saskatoon Farmers Market

Saskatoon Saskatchewan

Housed in an old Saskatoon electrical warehouse and garage, the member-owned cooperative Saskatoon Farmers Market is all about home produce, baked goods, and crafts. ]Try visiting the 100-vendor, indoor-outdoor market during one of the many year-round specials: Chef Demos, Shopping Nights, Concerts, Ladies Night Out. ]In the summer, picnic and watch buskers perform along the South Saskatchewan River. ]Don't leave without eating a warm, flaky, luscious pie made from the Prairie Province's famous berries: Saskatoon berries, blueberries, raspberries... it's all delicious.

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