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October 28, 2003
St. Lawrence Market to host its 200th birthday bash
As one of the longest continuously operating farmers' markets in North America,
the St. Lawrence Market will celebrate its 200th birthday this Saturday,
November 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the North Market Building at Front Street
East and Jarvis Street. Representatives from all three levels of government
will be in attendance.

The official ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the large room next to the
stage. Festivities will include:
  • an official Ontario Heritage Plaque unveiling
  • a history of the market
  • live radio broadcasting
  • a photographic montage, "The St. Lawrence Market -- Past and Future"
  • live Native Canadian music and a military band
  • a 19th century costumed "Governor Hunter" and Town Crier
  • old-time priced goods sold throughout the market
  • a birthday cake-cutting and refreshments, and more.
"Architecturally, economically, politically and socially, the
St. Lawrence Market buildings have been an integral part of Toronto's history,"
said Jorge Carvalho, Manager of the St. Lawrence Market. "In addition to
serving as an important market for local farmers and shoppers, the buildings
once housed Toronto's City Hall council chamber and Mayor's office, a police
station, jail cells and offices of City Clerk, Chamberlain, Licence Inspector,
City Engineer and the Board of Works. Since its inception, the buildings have
undergone periods of growth, decline, restoration, controversy and fire. Yet,
today, just as they did years ago, merchants still sell meat, cheese, produce
and other goods at this thriving site."

The market's history dates back to November 1803 when Governor Peter Hunter
officially proclaimed that all the land north of Front, west of Jarvis, south
of King and east of Church Streets was to be designated as the "Market Block."
By 1849, the site was known as the "St. Lawrence Market" in honour of Canada's
patron saint and in reference to the political ward of St. Lawrence, where it
was located. Today the market meets the needs of 35,000 shoppers each week.

The St. Lawrence Market is located at Front Street East and Jarvis Street in
the heart of Toronto. For more information, visit the Web site:, or call 416-392-7219.

Media contacts:
Jorge Carvalho,
Manager, St. Lawrence Market,

Marleen Cook,
Press Co-ordinator,



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