London Farmers Markets: Where to Find Them and Why

Beautiful, inexpensive locally grown peppers at Trails End Farmers' Market
Beautiful, inexpensive locally grown peppers at Trails End Farmers’ Market

There’s nothing like the community feel of a bustling Farmers’ Market. Whether you knew it or not, London is the ideal city for Farmers’ Markets. We’re surrounded by farm towns providing tons of fresh and delicious produce, and our population is large enough to warrant many Farmers’ Markets – keeping prices low and options high. Compared to grocery stores, produce from Farmer’s Markets is typically:

  • higher quality (because it’s straight from the farm! It doesn’t sit on delivery trucks or display shelves for very long)
  • less expensive (because the money goes directly to the farmers, rather than to stores and employees)
  • and way more fun!

By putting in the extra effort to go to a Farmers’ Market instead of your usual grocery store you’ll experience lively market culture, save a substantial amount of money, and be supporting your local economy.

 1. Trails End Farmers’ Market – The Adventurous One

Half Farmers’ Market, half Flea Market, you’ll find more than you came for at Trails End. Besides the charming and expected “yard sale” type booths, this flea market also has an overflowing Used Book Store, a comic book and vintage collectible shop, a small puppy adoption centre, and a Mennonite Furniture show room. On the food market side, you’ll find many options: fresh farm fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat. While you’re browsing all the “fair” type food options are there as well – mini donuts, apple fritters, bacon sandwiches, ice cream, fries, waffles – even authentic Turkish Coffee! Approximately a 15 minute drive from Western’s main campus, this market runs . While you’re out there, stop by Heeman’s strawberry farm and flower centre for a fantastic strawberry sundae. Where: 4370 Dundas St. East, Thorndale When: Every Saturday, year round, from 7am – 5pm How: Since this market is actually in and among real farms, you’re going to have to have a car (or a friend with a car!) to get there. It takes about 17 minutes to drive to Trails End from Western Campus – perfect for a mini road trip.

 2. Covent Garden Market – The Convenient One

“The heart of London” truly does live up to its name. Here you’ll find fresh produce from local businesses, including fruits, vegetables, fancy cheese, meats, dips, chocolates, bread, coffee beans, ice cream, spices, and candy. There’s also a small theatre, and a few little specialty shops (including a great loose leaf tea store). There are also many diverse meal options, making it an ideal place for a lunch date. With Thai, Greek, Sushi, soups, specialty salads, Italian, Chinese, and fresh delis, everyone can find something they like. Although a bit more expensive than the typical farmers market, it’ll still beat grocery stores in terms of quality, price, and atmosphere. For extra excitement, check the Events page, or just drop in at the right time and you might be treated to some live music by great local artists. The greatest thing about this market? It’s open 7 days a week, and it’s in the middle of Downtown London! Where: 130 King St. Right across the street from Budweiser Gardens. When: Every day of the week! MondayThursday: 8 am – 6 pm, Friday: 8 am – 7:30 pm, Saturday: 8 am – 6 pm, Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm How: Any bus that goes downtown (which is almost all of them) will bring you close. For detailed driving directions, check out their Visitors page.

 3. The Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market – The Famous One

Dating back to 1887, and featuring an impressive 83 regular vendors, The Western Fair is definitely worth a visit. Not only is there a diverse choice of farm fresh produce, but there’s a whole second floor of stores and artisan products : jewelry, clothing, candles, signs, spa products, wood working, glass art, crafts, precious rocks, books, and even yoga paraphernalia. The historical building in which the market is held is stunning, with high roofs and big beautiful windows, and the community atmosphere that results is unmatched. You can go to do your grocery shopping, or just grab an ice cream cone, listen to the live music, and watch the artisans at work. Where: 900 King St. When: Every Saturday from 8am till 3pm How: A few buses will take you to the location (2, 7, 14, 22), and the market is only an 8 minute drive from Western campus. * Please Note: The Masonville Farmers’ Market, is associated with the Western Fair, and is held every Friday during the months of May – October, from 8am till 2pm at Richmond and Fanshaw Park Rd.

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