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  Toronto's St. Lawrence Market *
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St. Lawrence Market North Redevelopment
Frequently asked questions

Question Why does the City of Toronto want to redevelop the St. Lawrence Market North building?
Answer The St. Lawrence Market North building currently houses the weekly Farmers' Market on Saturdays and the Antique Market on Sundays. Although the building is available for rental on weekdays, the lack of adequate on-site parking, adequate loading facilities, poor acoustics and the lack of standard building facilities such as up to date and appropriate power outlets, drain systems and washing facilities have limited the use of the building for other events.
Question What are the objectives of redeveloping the North Market building?
Answer Redeveloping the North Market building would achieve several objectives that would benefit the area and the surrounding community. It could result in:
  • a new building that:
    • fully utilizes the broad array of uses permitted under the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw
    • has an expanded range of uses complementing the South Market's activities
    • is compatible with the heritage character of the area
    • maintains existing pedestrian connections/walkways and maintains the visual connections between St. James Park and Front Street East
  • underground parking that would serve the entire St. Lawrence Market precinct
  • improved loading facilities that support the activities of the Farmers' Market and the Antique Market as well as other new uses
  • improved building facilities (e.g. lighting, acoustics, electrical systems) that support the activities of the Farmers' Market and the Antique Market as well as other new uses
  • improved design and park functions to increase the attractiveness of Market Lane Park
The St. Lawrence Market area is already a significant tourist attraction. A new North Market building with uses and attractions that enable it to operate seven days a week would greatly contribute to ensuring that this area remains a destination.
Question Are there any specific proposals?
Answer There are no specific proposals at this time. However, at its meeting of October 26, 27 and 28, 2004, City Council adopted a staff report, Redevelopment of the St. Lawrence Market North property, that included development parameters for the St. Lawrence Market North building and a strategic vision statement for the entire St. Lawrence Market complex. The development parameters envision a multi-purpose Market Hall (ground floor) and mezzanine that would retain the Saturday Farmers' Market and the Sunday Antique Market. On weekdays this space could be used for other compatible short-term uses. The second, third and fourth floors could include any uses set out in the Official Plan and zoning provisions application to the site.
Question Who prepared the development parameters and strategic vision statement?
Answer The development parameters and strategic vision statement were prepared by the St. Lawrence Market North Working Committee. This group, established in June 2003, provided a prompt and efficient forum for the community and City staff to provide input into a set of planning and design guidelines for the redevelopment of the property.

Membership of the working committee included representatives from the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, the St. Lawrence North Market Initiative, the South Market Merchants' Association, the North Market Farmers' Association, the St. Lawrence BIA, Citizens for the Old Town, Heritage Toronto and Councillor's Pam McConnell's office. The committee also included City of Toronto staff from the Facilities & Real Estate, City Planning (including Urban Design and Heritage Preservation Services) Parks Forestry & Recreation, Economic Development Culture & Tourism and Transportation Services divisions.
Question Why are you proposing that the site be redeveloped to include underground parking?
Answer The current North Market building was built in 1968 without any on-site parking. At that time, the surrounding area was primarily industrial with lots of available parking. Since then, the area has experienced a great deal of residential development. Many surface parking lots that used to provide convenient parking for the St. Lawrence Market have been redeveloped.

The lack of on-site parking is one of the most critical issues facing the North Market building. Although many shoppers take public transit or walk, many others arrive by car. The lack of convenient and adequate parking spaces has contributed to the underutilization of the North Market building and has limited the City's ability to rent out the building for various functions.
Question Will pedestrian safety be taken into consideration?
Answer Yes. The impact of development traffic on the pedestrian environment is important to the City. A recently completed traffic impact study [link] reviewed the impact of development traffic on the pedestrian environment. Of particular importance was finding an ideal location to locate access ramp(s) to on-site underground parking. Vehicles must be able to enter and exit the site safely and not impede traffic flow. The parking ramp location must be as safe as possible for pedestrians who must cross in front of entering and exiting vehicles.
Question What are the next steps?
Answer On November 17, 2008 the City's Budget Committee adopted a staff report that proposes a redevelopment strategy that includes a two-stage design competition, carried out by a professional advisor and steering committee. The report will now be considered by the City's Executive Committee on November 25, 2008.


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