Belgian waffles, handmade popsicles and fish tacos – need I say more?
The Sunday Leslieville Farmers’ Market at Jonathan Ashbridge Park (south off Queen St. ironically across the street from the McDonald’s) features more than 30 vendors offering local environmentally responsible products.
The market is always packed with families. The park is decent. Sandbox is cozy (bring your own sand toys as there aren’t usually many “park toys”). And there is lots of shade for picnicking.
As we continue to taste our way through all the offerings, here are a few of our family faves thus far: 1) the Waffle Bar affectionately known in our house as the waffle guy. Try these gaufres belges with berries and whipped cream or simply sprinkled with sugar. It’s the real deal. 2) Merchants of Green Coffee – delicious, local and extremely fresh 3) peach and nectarines (when in season) from Bizjak Farms. 4) Bacon from Green Gate Farms. 5) Augie’s Gourmet Pops – always a line up and often sold out. Try it and you’ll know why. Adults love grapefruit ginger lime. Kids’ top request: strawberry lemonade.
Go soon and go often.
Getting there – If you’re a local – no question, walk, bike, stroller or wagon it. For those venturing into the hood, the Queen St streetcar takes you right by. There is also street parking (free along Queen on Sundays) and a free lot next to Le Papillon on Eastern Ave.
Stay for lunch – Although you may be shopping for the week’s groceries, some market-goers come only for the lunch. These delicious offerings aren’t necessarily for kids with picky palettes (they’re filled up on sweet potato donuts and popsicles, right?). But these options will certainly wow mom and dad. Of note: Jerk Chicken from Mr. Spinner’s Functional Foods, Fish Tacos from Hooked, vegan glute-free wraps from Earth & City‘s and the newly added sandwich selection from Le Matin.
Bring your bathing suit – the City of Toronto wading pool is open from 12:30 to 5 pm. In the spring and fall the space sometimes resembles a mini-velodrome for tots on bikes and scooters.
Eat a rainbow – a kid-specific drop-in program with NutriSue that introduces kids to the delicious world of fresh, local fruits and veggies. Located next to the popiscles.
Potty time – there are bathrooms, phew. No change table, but really, it’s always easiest just to do it on the grass, right?
Sign up for the newsletter – helps you decide when to visit with info on upcoming special events, vendors and live music. A nice touch is that it always features a market volunteer. Get to know your neighbours!