St. Lawrence Market vendors return indoors amid COVID-19 lockdown
TORONTO -- The St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers Market is resuming full operations today after indoor vendors were told to work outside last weekend amid the COVID-19 lockdown in Toronto.
The City of Toronto has reviewed the province’s COVID-19 response framework and has determined that the Farmers Market is permitted to operate indoors as it is considered essential food retail.
The market will of course continue to operate with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.
“We worked with other City partners such as Toronto Public Health and legal services to look at the Farmers Market and how we operate it,” St. Lawrence Market Communications Supervisor Samantha Wiles told CP24 Saturday morning.
“We operate our Farmers Market as part of our entire complex so the South Market operations, which is considered a grocery store, is essential food retail. And so since our Farmers Market is part of that operation that’s why we’re allowed to come back in.”
Last weekend, the Farmers Market was moved outdoors as the city was reviewing the province’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions to ensure the market could operate indoors.
Vendors were told to sell their goods outside raising concerns about storage space and refrigeration.
“As the weather gets colder it’s really not sustainable for the farmers to stay outside. Especially [with] certain products like herbs or lettuces, they would freeze,” Wiles said.
Toronto and Peel Region went into lockdown on Nov. 23 for at least 28 days to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The lockdown forced the closure of non-essential businesses, indoor dining, casinos, gyms and movie theatres.
The Farmers Market is open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The South (main) Market building at 91 to 95 Front Street East remains open from Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m