As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, all City-operated museums and galleries are closed until further notice. Stay up-to-date on all changes to City services.
The Market Gallery animates the second floor of the South St. Lawrence Market, which encloses all that remains of Toronto’s original 19th-century Front Street City Hall council chamber, operating from 1845-1899. The historic site presents a variety of changing exhibits related to the art, culture and history of Toronto. The gallery’s signature fan windows, which once overlooked Toronto’s harbour, today overlook the main floor of the market featuring various food vendors.
The Market Gallery includes 1,955 square-feet of display space on the second floor and 1,700 square-feet of office, workroom and storage space on the third floor for a total of 3,655 square-feet.
Closed until November 6, 2020 in accordance with Toronto Public Health recommendations related to the rise in incidences of COVID-19.
From the East or West: Exit the Gardiner Expressway at Jarvis St. Turn north onto Jarvis St. Turn west onto Front St. Enter the South St. Lawrence Market through the main double doors on Front St. From the lobby take the elevator or stairs to the second floor.
From the North: Travel southbound on Jarvis St. to Front St. Turn west onto Front St. Enter the South St. Lawrence Market through the main double doors on Front St. From the lobby take the elevator or stairs to the second floor.
Parking: Metered street parking is available on Market Street south of Front Street. Paid parking garages can be found on Jarvis Street just south of Front Street and on Market Street south of The Esplanade (also accessible from Church Street and Yonge Street).
From the King Subway (Yonge and King) take the streetcar or walk east to Jarvis St. Walk one block south to the South St. Lawrence Market (Jarvis and Front). As an alternate, take the subway to Union station (Bay/Front) and walk east along Front St. to the South St. Lawrence Market (Jarvis and Front). Enter the building through the main double doors on Front St. From the lobby take the elevator or stairs to the second floor. For specific TTC route and schedule information call 416-393-4636 (INFO) or visit the TTC website.
2nd Floor, St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front Street East
When the south market was renovated in the 1970s and its second floor was rediscovered, Toronto City Council decided to convert it into a display space featuring art and artifacts from Toronto’s collection.
The main display area of the Market Gallery is located on the second floor of all that remains from Toronto’s original 19th-century City Hall (1845-1899) that stood on this site on Front Street East. The first City Hall room had been boarded up and forgotten for almost 75 years after City Hall vacated this building in 1899 for ‘Old City Hall’ at Queen and Bay streets; the south market ‘barn-style’ building we see today was built in 1902. The council chamber was the only room of the 19th century City Hall saved from demolition in 1902. The original exterior brick walls and fan windows of the council chamber were enclosed by the new market building and overlook the main floor of the market whereas once they overlooked Lake Ontario.
The Market Gallery is located in the historic St. Lawrence Neighbourhood which includes the original ten blocks of the Town of York established in 1793. This is where the City of Toronto as we know it today began. This community boasts some of the finest examples of 19th century architecture in the City. Nearby are such noted and historically significant structures as the St. Lawrence Hall (1851), St. James Cathedral (1839) and the distinctive wedge-shaped Gooderham flat iron building (1892).
The City of Toronto has an extensive art collection held in the public interest under the stewardship of curatorial staff in Museum & Heritage Services. Today, more than 2,000 moveable works of art, including paintings, sculptures, water colours, prints and drawings form the basis of this cultural legacy. For more information visit the Fine Art Database.
A large majority of these art works are permanently displayed at City Hall, Metro Hall and other civic buildings. The City continues to acquire notable historical pieces (often at auction), and contemporary interpretations of the City by new and established artists.
October 27, 2020 marks the 175th anniversary of the first council meeting held at the Front Street City Hall, which is now the location of The Market Gallery, St. Lawrence Market. The former city council chamber is all that remains of Toronto’s original 19th century City Hall that once stood at the corner of Front and Jarvis Streets from 1845 to 1899.
During more than half-a-century of public debate, Toronto City Council deliberated over the important civic issues of the time such as:
The Front Street City Hall was also the site where Toronto’s first Black member of council, William Peyton Hubbard, began his long political career.