News Release
June 8, 2023

Today marks the beginning of the 11th annual International Public Markets Conference in Toronto. The event is co-hosted by the Project for Public Spaces, the City of Toronto, St. Lawrence Market and market advocacy organization marketcityTO.

Over the next three days, the conference will bring together more than 300 leaders in the public markets space from across the globe. As the host city for this year’s conference, City staff and public market partners will showcase Toronto’s extensive market city while creating a forum for international partners and colleagues to innovate in the areas of public health, community development, food systems and social policy.

Additionally, as a commitment to increase awareness about Toronto’s informal network of over 100 diverse markets, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie is proclaiming Sunday, June 11 to Saturday, June 17 as Public Markets Week. Public Markets Week is an opportunity for the City to share public market stories and celebrate the farmers, food producers, chefs, small businesses and entrepreneurs that work to increase food access, create economic opportunities, and foster social connections at neighbourhood levels.

This week, the City and its host partners will leverage the International Public Markets Conference to:

• Showcase, promote and educate attendees about the role of public markets in inclusive local economies.
• Celebrate market managers and vendors, especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders, advancing incredible work in the neighbourhoods impacted by marginalization.
• Work towards and announce the adoption of the Toronto Public Market Strategy and declare a Public Market Week to promote all public markets across Toronto
• Advocate for more resources and better policies for public markets.
• Build local capacity, identify barriers and find ways to remove them to increase participation in markets and provide leadership opportunities, especially for BIPOC market managers and entrepreneurs.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to experience how Toronto is addressing these challenges through a range of in-person workshops, events and tours. Key events at the Conference include:

Thursday, June 8

Event: Opening Plenary
Location: St. James Cathedral, 106 King St. E.
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Event: Market Lunch
Location: St. Lawrence Market, South Market patio, 91 Front St. E.
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Event: Opening Reception in partnership with Underpass Park Farmers Market
Location: Underpass Park, 29 Lower River St.
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 10

Event: Closing Reception
Location: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst Street
Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Toronto is home to more than 200 food initiatives and 100 public markets in neighbourhoods across the city. Municipal markets such as St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market, the Ontario Food Terminal wholesale market and grass-root community markets in parks generate diverse benefits to Toronto. With strong regional agricultural and environmental partners through the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, Toronto tops international ratings as one of the 10 most multicultural cities, as well as one of the safest and most liveable cities in the world.

Additional information about the International Public Markets Conference is available on the conference website.


“I am thrilled to be able to welcome all International Public Markets Conference attendees to Toronto. Our city has a strong and growing network of public markets that we are eager to share with this group of international market advocates and experts. The conference will launch our further celebration of Public Market Week across the city. We are excited to share the many stories of our vibrant markets with local friends and international visitors.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)

“Public markets are dynamic spaces that are integral to our city’s cultural and economic landscape. Not only do they increase local food access, they also act as community hubs and create inclusive local economies. By hosting the 11th International Public Markets Conference, Toronto puts itself on the world stage and charts a strong course forward for our growing network of vibrant public markets.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll, Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“Toronto’s public market champions have long advocated for the role markets can play in creating an equitable city and we can’t wait to introduce conference attendees to the city’s plethora of public markets and unique grassroots models. We hope you’ll join us next summer to learn and celebrate in a global destination that embodies diversity through its public markets.”
– Kelly Verel, Co-Executive Director, Project for Public Spaces

St. Lawrence Market is a renowned international food market featuring 120 merchants, vendors and farmers, offering fresh produce, meats and specialty items. Serving Toronto residents and international visitors since 1803, the market is regularly recognized as one of Toronto’s most popular destinations and one of the world’s top food markets. The St. Lawrence Market Complex consists of St. Lawrence Hall, the South Market and the North Market – the latter now in its temporary home at 125 The Esplanade.

Information is available on the St. Lawrence Market Complex website at, on Facebook at, on Twitter at and Instagram at

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Samantha Wiles
St. Lawrence Market Complex