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About Us

marketcityTO collaborates with market managers, vendors, and the City of Toronto to unlock the potential of public markets. We’re creating a network one project at a time by building relationships and trust with a wide variety of partners connected to public markets.

We’re creating a network one project at a time by building relationships and trust with a wide variety of partners connected to public markets.

Drawing on the interest and expertise of these partners, marketcityTO collaborates with others to build a coalition to accelerate innovation and strengthen the mid-size public distribution/retail infrastructure that residents and entrepreneurs deserve.  

 

We work to create a common agenda, support mutually reinforcing activities, offer continuous communication and provide backbone support to public markets. 

 

marketcityTO has a charitable status through the FoodShare Toronto Supportive Partnership Platform

Credit: Helen, Grower at Malvern Urban Farm part of the Scarborough Fresh Food Pilot.

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OUR COMMITMENT

  • Equitable access to fresh, nutritious, culturally appropriate, locally produced food for all residents.

  • Economic opportunities for small and medium entrepreneurs, especially with and for those most marginalized.

  • Supporting market managers working together towards a stronger retail sector.

  • Residents and customers actively participate in creating inclusive public spaces that build social connections.

To bring together and collaborate with market managers, operators, vendors, regulators and the City in order to strengthen the public markets sector. We are committed to:

    • We focus on co-creating programs/initiatives with market managers, supporting fundraising, and providing backbone support to help them improve their market operations. 

    • We find ways to support community champions in starting new markets where none exist. 

    • We play a pivotal role in creating and facilitating knowledge-sharing opportunities that significantly contribute to the sector’s capacity building. 

    • We promote and increase education on the role of public markets in city building and promote their work through our communication channels. 

    • We partner with academia to advance place-based research that informs our advocacy efforts.

    • We partner with the City of Toronto divisions to increase the connection between markets and City priorities, which benefits both.

    • We embrace data collection as a tool to demonstrate and advocate for Toronto Public Markets' value and impact.

OUR PRIORITIES

  • Collaboration and Workforce Development

  • Education, Awareness and Promotion

  • Prototype Research and Advocacy

  • Access to Capital and Resources

Since 2015, we have been listening to market managers. Based on what we have heard, we have developed a shared vision and a program model centred around four key priorities and a series of projects and activities that advance the work for this first four-year implementation cycle (2024 to 2028).

    • We strive to have all public markets support Ontario farmers and food producers only. However, we recognize existing cultural and economic barriers to sourcing locally. We commit to having open conversations and providing support to help identify and remove barriers, transition to better sourcing practices, and increase transparency.

    • We commit to using the Ontario Living Wage Network’s framework for a livable wage in Toronto to compensate community partners and workers for their time and expertise.

    • We commit to educating ourselves, sharing with stakeholders the social and economic injustice embedded in our current food and urban system, and increasing awareness to jointly dismantle and rebuild a more fair and just urban system for all residents and small entrepreneurs.  

    • We recognize that some stakeholders might have barriers to participating (ex: language, time, etc.), we commit to identifying those barriers and finding ways to remove them to increase participation.

    • We focus on the areas or neighbourhoods with the greatest need first, for example, where currently there are limited or no public markets.

Our approach to building this network of diverse markets is anchored in partnerships and projects. We believe that by working together, we strengthen relationships and build the trust that will ultimately inform the organization's shared governance model. This approach takes time and will result in a more resilient organization that is distributed and benefits all stakeholders.

OUR APPROACH

Active Planning Networks

marketcityTO has developed a participatory planning process to enable market managers, operators, vendors, and other food organizations to collaborate, share resources and best practices, and collectively strengthen the sector. 


Inspired by the URBACT network-building model and the Constellation model of collaborative social change, the marketcityTO process brings together stakeholders who want to collaborate and find a solution to a shared problem or idea. Through regular meetings and supporting research participants, we create and prototype a solution, then harvest lessons from implementation that will ultimately be disseminated throughout the larger network. When implemented consistently, this network-building approach builds groups of experts on various issues, which becomes a resource to the network and contributes to developing a public markets sector.

We are a group of committed part-time consultants contributing our time and knowledge to build marketcityTO. We are responsible for fundraising, organizing activities, managing communication channels and implementing funded projects.

Our Team Members

Our Collaborators

Some of the amazing people and organizations we have worked with to implement projects across our City.

Lori Beazer

Manager of the Afro Caribbean Farmers’ & Cultural Market

Scarborough Fresh Food PIlot &  I Love Toronto Markets

Jennifer Forde

Principal at Red Onions Events and manager of Scarborough Farmers Market

I Love Toronto Markets 


Laura Scrivener

Manager of the Withrow Farmers’ Market

I Love Toronto Markets


Stephanie Zuccarini

Manager of the Eglinton Way BIA and Farmers’ Market

Howard Tam

Founder of Eat More Scarborough

Mireya Forero

Community Markets Supportive Platform Manager - FoodShare Toronto



Siera Hancharyk

Angela Aula

Member of Red Urban Nation Collective

Danielle Hyde

Member of Red Urban Nation Collective

Daniel Taylor

Executive Director of the Neighbourhood Food Project

Carolyn Wong

Founder of Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market

Hasic Pinancie

Member of Red Urban Nation Collective

Johl Whiteduck Ringuette

Founder of NishDish Marketeria & Catering, Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network and Toronto Indigenous Business Association (TIBA)

Kevin Piacie

Member of Red Urban Nation Collective

Lesley Stoyan & Chris Truzzel

Founder of the AppleTree Markets

Terrylynn Brant

Mohawk Seedkeeper Gardens at Six Nations

12 Leaders of IPMC Mobile Workshops | Mobile Workshop Leads

Samantha Wiles, Chantal Stepa, Kyla Schwarz-Lam, Lori Beazer, Laura Scrivener, Mireya Forero, Sabina Ali, Paula Copper, Calla Lee, Catherine Clark, Philip Powel, Meredith Wood, Jake Rutland, Rhonda Teitel-Payne / Claire Perttula and Ibrahim Afrah.

Including:

City of Toronto Economic Development Division, St. Lawrence Market Complex, StreetArt Toronto, Foodshare Toronto, Evergreen Canada, Canadian Urban Institute, The Stop Community Food Centre, Scarborough Farmers' Market (Vision Quest/Red Onions Events), Building Roots, Underpass Farmers' Market, Apple Tree Group, Neighbourhood Food Hub, Afro Caribean Farmers' Market, Muuse, Foodpreneur Lab, Trinity Bellwoods Farmers' Market, Dufferin Grove Farmers' Market, Withrow Farmers' Market, Leslivielle Flea, Toronto Flea, Lesliville Farmers' Market, Black Creek Farm, Malvern Urban Farm, Toronto Flower Market, Ontario Vintage Market, Hippie Market Life, The Bentway, Ontario Food Terminal, Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee, Toronto Urban Growers, Scadding Court, Humber Shore Farmers' Market, Fred Victor and Deeply Rooted Farmers' Market, Johl Whiteduck Ringuette/Nishdish Cafeteria, Red Urban Nation Collective and Eat more Scarborough.

To date, marketcityTO has worked with and collaborated with more than 50 local and international partners:

Provincial and National Organizations: 

Farmers Market Ontario, BC Farmers’s Market Nutritional Coupon Program, Nova Scotia Farmers Markets, Canadian Farmers' Market and Calgary Dollars, Greenbelt Foundation, and Northcrest and Ontario Minister of Agriculture.

Community Agencies: 
Feed Scarborough, Rising Sun Food Drive, Malvern Family Resource Centre, Centre for Immigrant & Communities Services, TAIBU Community Health Centre, Grant African Methodist Church and The Church of  St. Andrews’s Scarborough.

Academia:
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Feeding City Lab, OCAD University and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Private Sector:
Arup, DTHA, Westbank Corporation, 100Km Foods, Grace & Gather, Fresh City Farm, Think Fresh, Stackt Market and many of the small and medium businesses selling at markets across the city.

International:
Project for Public Spaces, Bloomfield  Development Corporation in Pittsburgh, and Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets.

Thank you for your commitment and contributions.

How can you be involved?

2023 has been a tremendous year, and these three actions (IPMC, Public Markets Week & Public Market Action Plan in 2024), culminate almost ten years of work launched at the Toronto Food Policy Council in 2015. During this time, we learned how to mobilize, advocate and build partnerships to lead this work.

The infographic below is the journey of getting to today, and the many actions it took to make all this happen.

 

2024 marks the beginning of a new era. Our upcoming work will focus on bringing together the development of the City Action Plan and marketcityTO governance and business model. More importantly, the relationship between the two will ensure the long-term impact of this work and change the way public markets currently operate.

 

We now have a unique opportunity to create something truly special. I have been studying local and global examples of market organizations, cooperatives, Indigenous governance models, teal organizations, sociocracy, and self-managed teams to create a resilient organization anchored by richness, resourcefulness and creativity of our markets (abundance mindset), fosters leadership at every level and benefits all participants and members.

 

We are trying to change a system. In the process of change, we can not replicate today's models. The process of creating this organization will require deep engagement, trust-building, and commitment. As Nora Bateson wrote in Reunion, "It is not collaboration but composting," and "it is not a plan but a nourishing."

 

Do not hesitate to reach out; we want to co-create marketcityTO with all of you.

Marina Queirolo

Founder & Steward

Michelle Chin-Dawe

Part-time Project Manager

Becky Lamb

Part-time Project Manager

Kyla Schwarz-Lam

Part-time Manager

Ethan Davis

Part-time Communication Coordinator

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