News Release
July 25, 2022

Yesterday, the renowned international placemaking organization Project for Public Spaces named the City of Toronto as the host city for the 11th International Public Markets Conference. City staff and public market partners have worked together to secure this important conference for Toronto, which will showcase the city’s strong market network and help further develop public markets for Toronto communities.

The International Public Markets Conference will take place next summer from June 8 to 10, 2023 at various locations throughout Toronto. The Conference will be co-hosted by Project for Public Space with the City, the City’s St. Lawrence Market and external market advocacy organization Market City TO. The three-day event will convene more than 300 leaders in public markets from across the globe.

For more than 30 years, Project for Public Spaces has brought together accomplished market managers, community advocates and visionary leaders to explore the changing forces that are shaping the face of today’s public markets. Since their inaugural Public Markets Conference in Seattle in 1987, the event has also become a celebrated forum for convening strategic partners in the fields of public health, community development, food systems and social policy.

Toronto is an innovative and diverse market city – home to more than 200 food initiatives and 100 public markets in neighborhoods 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..

The City and its host partners expect to leverage the conference to:

  • Showcase, promote and increase education 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 neighborhoods 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

These areas of focus, with a particular emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, will provide a framework for the 11th International Public Markets Conference program, and conference attendees will have the opportunity to experience how Toronto is facing these challenges through a range of in-person workshops, events and tours.

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


“This is an exciting moment for Toronto as we have been chosen to host the International Public Markets Conference in 2023. This conference will be an opportunity to welcome market leaders from around the world and to showcase Toronto’s thriving public markets and neighbourhoods to a global audience.”

– Mayor John Tory

“As important components of our city’s economic engine, public markets provide strong and lasting cultural and community benefits. Hosting the 11th International Public Markets Conference will increase Toronto’s profile on the world stage and get the attention of market leaders and advocates.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), 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.”

– Project for Public Spaces, Co-Executive Director, Kelly Verel

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, on Facebook, on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 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.

Media contact: Samantha Wiles, St. Lawrence Market Complex, 647-884-6567,