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Market profile: The Toronto Flower Market

Natalie DiScala

This newly launched monthly market celebrates local greenhouses and flower varieties

Flowers are one of the best parts of the spring and summer months. Fresh blooms add colour and cheer to any home and while picking them straight from your garden is always a delight, there are other ways to get your hands on snapdragons and sweetpeas… or whatever blooms you like best!

The Toronto Flower Market, which launched earlier this year, is the perfect place to find fresh flowers and to support the efforts of local growers. Natasa Kajganic founded the market, which runs from May through September, on the second Saturday of every month.

How the Toronto Flower Market started
Kajganic says she was inspired to start the Toronto Flower Market after visiting the Columbia Road Flower Market in London. “It was just as beautiful as you can imagine, a narrow cobblestone path meandering through stalls of lush and colourful flora,” says Kajganic. “It was hard to believe Toronto didn’t have a version of this unique flower experience, one that celebrated local greenhouses and varieties,” she says. After returning from her trip across the pond, Kajganic did her research and with the help of Flowers Canada and their pickOntario initiative, launched the Toronto Flower Market. “I wanted to create a beautiful and plentiful market where guests could purchase fresh, affordable flowers and learn about the variety of locally grown options,” she says. “In our urban core, it's so rare to be able to speak with the men and women cultivating the flowers and plants we purchase, so the market helps facilitate these relationships in a really special environment.”

Supporting local
The idea of shopping local and supporting local growers is prevalent these days, particularly when it comes to produce. Eating local makes so much sense – and with the growing number of markets and fairs in towns and cities across the country, the notion is extending beyond food to things like arts and crafts and flowers. With a growing consciousness of buying locally and thinking globally, more and more people are embracing the idea of supporting their neighbours and strengthening the country’s economy as a whole. And this is no small part of the reason that the Toronto Flower Market came into being.

“Toronto Flower Market was created with the intention of supporting local greenhouses and driving the awareness of the varieties that they cultivate,” explains Kajganic. “But it's difficult for consumers to know at retail level which flowers are imported or local. All the growers that participate in the market are from Ontario and sell only the flowers they grow as a way to inform consumers about what varieties are available and to encourage them to ask their florist which of their product is locally grown.”

Kajganic says that choosing local means consumers bring home flowers that are only days, sometimes hours from being picked at the greenhouse versus the longer travel times for imported varieties. The end result? Customers will enjoy fresher, longer-lasting flowers in their home.

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