Farmer’s Markets … the new Saturday morning ritual especially for those shopping within the 50-mile radius (or is it 100?) of home. Until my tomato plants start blooming, I’m heading to the farmers market with my dog.
If I can’t take the dog, I’m not going.
So, this little puppy went to market … seven to be exact. Here’s a list of Southern Ontario Farmers Markets welcoming canines (some with restrictions):
1. Peterborough Farmers Market, Peterborough, Ontario
The original Peterborough Farmers Market in Peterborough, Ontario runs every
Saturday morning from 7 am to 1 pm, May to October at the Morrow Building near downtown. We spent an afternoon there several years ago (check it out here) meeting and greeting dogs and even one pig – however, pets are not allowed inside the building, only around the outdoor vendors selling produce, soap, honey, plants, and dog bowls.
Since our visit, the city added a second downtown market Wednesdays 8:30 am to 2 pm on Charlotte Street. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome, according to organizers, who started this market to ensure all vendors feature fresh local foods.
Charlotte Street between George and Aylmer Streets, Wednesday 8:30 am to 2 pm, May to October.
2. St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market District, Ontario
St. Jacobs is the mother of all Farmer’s Markets; people come from afar to spend the afternoon weaving through 300-plus stalls at this 50-year-old market, housing mostly farm-fresh vegetables and Amish-made baked goods, maple syrup and quilting – this place is the real deal.
You’ll see horse-drawn buggies parked along railings, Amish attire, and many other dogs spending the day beside picnic tables or taking the train to downtown St. Jacobs. (Check out our train adventure here).
878 Weber Street N., Thursday and Saturday, 7 am to 3:30 pm, all year.
3. Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market, Toronto, Ontario
Brickworks Farmers Market is not your garden-variety Farmer’s Market. Many bring their pups to this bougie urban hotspot.
You’ll find gluten-free baked goods, beer-baked bread, wild foraged rice, organic greens, alpaca socks and even ostrich products including raw dog food. Sure, fish, seasonal vegetables, and mushrooms are available at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmer’s Market, but why settle for the basics when you can buy dehydrated lamb lung treats for your crazy mutt.
Dogs aren’t allowed in the building, prepared food area, or café, but metal rings on the patio fence allow you to hook your dog on one side while you sip espresso on the other.
Open all year, Saturday, 10 am to 1 pm. 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto.
4. ByWard Market, Ottawa, Ontario
The place to go in Ottawa. Within walking distance of Parliament Hill, the ByWard Market is open to pets and so are many adjacent stores. We strolled the outdoor vendors easily, stopping at water bowls along the way, though crowds had me occasionally carrying my dog.
The ByWard Market is the one place you can buy farm-fresh veggies, eggs, maple syrup, along with third-world crafts and locally made jewelry. Pick up a bottle of wine to complete dinner and, of course, an Obama cookie or Beaver Tail.
Open 7 days a week, all year, 6 am to 6 pm. Downtown Ottawa.
5. Sudbury Market, Sudbury, Ontario
Not so much a farmer’s market as it is an outdoor flea market combined with artisan fare, Sudbury’s Saturday (8 am to 2 pm) market event on Elgin Street attracts many dog walkers, families and others attracted to the live music that plays bargain hunters through vendor rows. (Check out our dog-friendly Sudbury guide here).
Saturdays, June 1 to October 26, 8 am to 2 pm; Thursdays, June 6 to October 10, 2 to 7 pm.
6. Mill Market, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
The indoor Mill Market – open Thursdays and Saturdays – isn’t pet-friendly but according to Market manager Rebekah Verdone, volunteers often look after the dog at the front desk. I tested this theory on a Thursday, and staff did oblige, but less than half the vendors attend early season on Thursday so it’s quiet.
Better to go Saturdays – like everyone else – because then you can get smoked white fish from both Awaga Fishery and Sayers Fishery. Even better, pick up fish skin dog treats from the latter and make it worth your pup’s wait. (Watch for our Sault Ste. Marie dog-friendly guide coming soon).
35 Canal Drive. Sault St. Marie, Wednesday, 12 to 4 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm. June to October.
7. Carp Farmers’ Market, Carp (near Ottawa), Ontario
Located at the Carp Fair Grounds, the Carp Farmers’ Market is incredibly popular – with both people and pets. Many pups stroll the grounds – so many that a sign at the entrance announces rules to customers. Dogs aren’t allowed in the one building, which contains mostly artisans (including a quilter featuring animal prints).
But it’s the unique outdoor vendors which are most interesting – strawberry wine, ready-made jarred soup, dehydrated beef lung treats from Conrad Farms and homemade dog baked goods from Dirty Dog Gourmet Bakery.
3790 Carp Road, Carp, Saturday, 8 am to 1 pm, May to October.