Although a specific location has yet to be determined, a dedicated group of local folks are working to bring a farmers' market to Ward 13 as soon as next spring.
The Farmers' Market Initiative was borne out of a climate change town hall co-hosted by Green 13, the local environmental advocacy group and Live Green Toronto Community Animators. Two topics that arose from the town hall were community gardens and farmers' markets, said Whitney Crooks, a community animator. Community animators, she explained, support groups in connecting them with resources, funding opportunities, advice and the like.
There has been "a handful" of public meetings held since March, said Treva Thompson, a member of the Ward 13 Farmers' Market Initiative, with another one scheduled for Thursday evening, May 26 at 7 p.m. at Axis Gallery and Grill on Dundas Street West at High Park Avenue.
"Before we can go on to choose a location, we need a model for the market," said the High Park area resident. "We want to make sure it serves the needs of the shoppers and farmers."
Typically, farmers' markets work best when they're situated in an area frequented by shoppers, pointed out Chris Ganowski, vice-chair of the High Park Residents' Association, who's also involved with the initiative.
"Local and fresh produce, farmed in Ontario, should be available to everyone without having to make a lengthy journey outside of their own neighbourhood," he said.
Currently in the planning stages, the Ward 13 Farmers' Market Initiative is in the midst of gathering as much input from the wider community as possible. That's why it has created a survey to solicit more opinions.
"We're really trying to get as much community involvement as possible," said Ganowski.
Meanwhile, the group has a few suggested locations in mind.
"At the beginning, the list was at 20 or so. We're narrowing it down," said Thompson.
The initiative would like to determine whether it's important to local residents that the market be situated within a green space, close to a playground and/or close to public transit, to name just a few examples.
To fill out the survey, visit www.ward13market.com
If you would like to get involved or are interested in attending the next meeting, at 7 p.m. at Axis in the lower level, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org