Ah outdoor markets — what every Canadian fiends for for all winter long, anxiously waiting for days when purchasing fresh local non-root vegetables is an option. Last weekend, Adam and I decided to venture to the Evergreen Brickworks for the inaugural outdoor market of 2016.
The Brickworks has been open for around six years now, built from what remains of the 100 year old Don Valley Brick Works that closed in the mid-80s and made the bricks that built this city’s biggest landmarks like Casa Loma and Massey Hall.
Google Maps took us completely afield, leading us to believe walking from Castle Frank station was the quickest route when we started our journey northward.
This is not true.
We got off the subway for the market at Evergreen Brickworks and were lost immediately as to where to pick up the Beltline Trail. After wandering around a bit we were able to wind our way down into the Don Valley and pick up the path — it’s not the most pleasant trek, a portion of it was along Bayview Avenue and is not pedestrian friendly. I would highly advise against getting to there via this route. It’s best to drive, bike, or catch the shuttle from Broadview (more on that below).
The market itself spans throughout a few of the decrepit-in-the-prettiest-kind-of-way buildings.
From fresh mushrooms to pure wheat pastas, and even pickled spruce tips, there is a bounty of things to pick up for a delicious meal.
There’s also a place to buy and drink beer; a necessity for farmers’ markets, if you ask me.
Another necessity is straddling a delicious meal in your lap on some rickety form of furniture. As soon as Adam and I saw the smoker, we knew what to order. My hair smelled for the rest of the day like smoky meat after one minute of standing next to this mouth-watering pile of meat, and I can’t say that I was upset about it.
I had the pork belly breakfast sandwich ($8) that consisted of a melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, egg and sprouts piled onto a homemade bagel and Adam went with the porchetta sandwich ($8).
It was messy and great.
We also sampled some of Chef Jamie Kennedy’s french fries ($5 a cone). Salty and hot, they were tossed with fresh thyme and were so fragrant.
Aside from the market, there’s lots to do. From the Garden Market for those with a green thumb, to Cafe Belong with brunch options; last weekend there was a kid’s science fair abuzz with curious young minds.
If you don’t have a car or a bicycle I would highly recommend catching the free shuttle that carries market goers between Broadview Station and the Evergreen Brickworks. We took it on the way back and it was pleasant indeed, but packed. On the weekends it departs every half an hour, check out the schedule here. Take note, when we pulled up to the shuttle stop at Broadview there was quite a line, so come early, go often. I’ll probably go again tomorrow.