Redevelopment Strategy Background
In December 2008, City Council adopted a redevelopment strategy to replace the existing St. Lawrence Market North building with a 4 storey, multi-purpose facility. The established Farmers’ Market and Sunday Antique Market will be retained in a ground floor Market Hall and Toronto Court Services’ court rooms and administrative offices will occupy the upper floors. A new 250-space underground parking garage will serve the building, the wider St. Lawrence Market Complex and the neighbourhood.
For many years, City staff and members of the St. Lawrence community worked towards the goal of redeveloping the property into a multi-purpose facility that will ensure the continued longevity of the Farmers’ Market, which has been on this site since 1803, and meets the diverse and multi-faceted needs of the City.
In 2002, City Council approved, in principle, the redevelopment of the St. Lawrence Market North building. In 2003, Council established the St. Lawrence Market North Working Committee to generate planning and development guidelines to inform the redevelopment of the North Market site.
Given the history of community interest in the site, membership in the Working Committee was extensive and highly inclusive, with City staff, the local Councillor’s office, and active and interested participants from the following organizations:
- St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association
- St. Lawrence Market North initiative
- South Market Merchants Association
- North Market Farmers Association
- Sunday Antique Market
- St. Lawrence BIA
- Citizens for the Old Town
- Heritage Toronto
In 2004, the Working Committee produced a set of Development Parameters for the North Market site, along with a Strategic Vision Statement for the entire St. Lawrence Market Complex. The Development Parameters acknowledged the importance of the Farmers’ and Antique Markets to the community, and stipulated that both of these uses be retained in the new North Market building. The Development Parameters also provided specific built form and urban design guidance for the redevelopment of the site. The Development Parameters and the Strategic Vision Statement were adopted by City Council in October of 2004.
The primary tenants of the North Market (the Saturday Farmers’ Market and the Sunday Antique Market) will continue to operate during the construction period of the new North Market building. The City will be relocating the tenants in a temporary market structure at 125 The Esplanade for up to three years. This site is immediately south of the South Market and is currently used as a parking lot.
In December 2007, experts gathered for a Greening Charrette to create a strategy that will ensure the redevelopment of the North Market is a model of energy efficiency and sustainable design. In 2008, the City further studied the financial impacts and technical feasibility of the sustainability scenarios.
In the Spring of 2006, City staff consulted with area stakeholders and reported to the Administration Committee on parking access and traffic options for St. Lawrence Market North.
In 2008, the Traffic Study was updated and an additional study on transportation demand management strategies for the new North Market Building were completed.