If you’ve visited our restaurant, the Hooded Merganser, then you’ve eaten something that’s come from our own Valley View Farm, minutes from Penticton Lakeside Resort. At PLR, we believe in sustainable food production practices, especially for businesses, and we’d like to be a leader in that field. We produce over 1,000 lbs of food per month for Penticton Lakeside & the Hooded Merganser Bar & Grill. Despite this amount, we know there are farmers out there producing much, much more. Attending farmers markets is an excellent way of supporting local agriculture and easing pressure on the food industry. It’s also really fun!
If you’re hoping to take in the local culture wherever you go, finding the closest farmers’ market is a fantastic place to start. Agri-tourism is a hot trend because people all over the world are catching on to the fact that locally-grown, raised, and created produce and products are a seriously cool way to experience everything that makes a particular area unique. Here are our favourite markets across Canada; don’t miss these.
Farmers’ Markets in BC
The Penticton Farmers’ Market is one of the biggest and most bountiful farmers’ markets in the province. It is open in summer and autumn, so get this one visited before it gets cold. And if you’re in Vancouver, check out the Eat Local/Vancouver Farmers’ Markets site. Here you’ll find the largest and best markets in the city and vital information about the “eat local” movement.
Farmers’ Markets in Ontario
You may not think of farmers’ markets when you think of hot travel destinations, but St. Lawrence Market is the oldest and biggest farmers’ market in the country and very popular with tourists. In fact, Trip Advisor ranks this stop fourth among more than 600 things to do in Toronto. You’ll love the 1800s architecture of this landmark as well as the local food and culture it offers. St. Jacobs Famers’ Market is another awesome Ontario offering, and the biggest year-round farmers’ market in the country. It’s also a wonderful source of Mennonite goods including pastries, honey, cheese, preserves, and summer sausage.
Farmers’ Markets in Newfoundland
Lester’s Farm Market is a family-owned business near St John’s that has been in business for more than 150 years. This one is very popular and offers the added benefit of family-friendly activities and programs, especially if you live nearby. St. John’s Farmers’ Market is another great option in Newfoundland, open from June through mid-December.
Farmers’ Markets in Quebéc
For an amazing array of local foods, produce, baked goods, wines, and other delectable offerings, you can’t beat Le Marche du Vieux-Port in Quebec City. A symbol of fierce local pride, this farmers’ market offers countless tastes and glimpses of culture. And between March and December, Pommes en Fete (Apple in Festival) takes place in the Lower Laurentian region. This is more of an agri-tourism collective of vineyards, orchards, farms, and other businesses including pick-your-own-fruit locations.
Farmers’ Markets in New Brunswick
Boyce Farmers’ Market in Fredericton is famous across Canada. Featuring more than 250 indoor and outdoor local vendors, you can find seasonal offerings and the freshest produce here. Look for artisan chocolates, ethnic foods like Lebanese stuffed grape leaves, specialty coffees, and New Brunswick wines. And don’t miss artists’ products like jewelry, lawn sculptures, paintings, pottery, and textiles.
Farmers’ Markets in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is home to the oldest farmer’s market in North America: Halifax Farmers Market which was founded in 1750. Actually since 2010 most of the vendors have been in a new location called the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market; a small minority stayed on at the old location which is now referred to as the Historic Farmers’ Market. Whichever you choose to visit you’ll be rewarded with the freshest local produce and some amazing local products—or do yourself a favor and visit both.
Farmers Markets in Alberta
The Calgary Farmer’s Market is another fabulous Canadian market. Located in a large, open former military hangar where an army barracks once stood, this market is home to about 100 vendors—around 80 percent of whom create their products themselves. You’ll love getting a taste of local cuisine in the form of the many varieties of homemade meat pies sold at the market.