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St Patrick's Market (Queen St. W)

City Council on December 17 and 18, 2019, adopted the following:

1. City Council request the Deputy City Manager, Community and Social Services, to convene a community working group, to include area residents, the Grange Community Association, and the Queen West Business Improvement Area, in consultation with the Ward Councillor, to consider the future community use of St. Patrick's Market, and to consider its original intention as a public market, plans to revitalize the adjacent public park, and other community and cultural uses.

Restoring Public Control of St. Patrick's Market - We Won!

As our downtown grows, it is vitally important that our publicly-owned properties and buildings are used for the public benefit, to provide the vital services and facilities that our vibrant and dense communities need. After decades of neglect, historic St. Patrick's Market in the heart of downtown Toronto on Queen Street West, will be returned to the City of Toronto. I'm thrilled to inform you that last week, the Ontario Superior Court ruled in the City's favour, restoring public control of St. Patrick's Market!

Situated on bustling Queen West at 238 Queen St. W, St. Patrick's Market is a heritage structure visible in the backdrop of television programs produced from the iconic 299 Queen Street West across the street, and broadcast across Canada. Bequeathed to the City of Toronto in 1837 to become a public market benefitting residents of Toronto, St. Patrick's Market has the potential to be an iconic, city-wide and local destination.

Regrettably, St. Patrick's Market has been underutilized since 1989 when a 50-year lease was signed with a private operator. In September 2019, after years of work, the City initiated a legal process to terminate the lease on grounds that the private long-term leaseholder had not complied with key terms that require a publicly-accessible food market to operate in the building, along with grounds related to non-payment of rent, and others.

On December 12th, a decision was issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, that formally terminates the lease with the private lease-holder, and permits the City to re-enter and take possession of the Market.

Now, we will begin a robust public process to determine the future use of the Market. This week, we took another step forward in bringing the Market back to life, as Council approved my motion to convene a community working group to plan for its future. Through this process, we must consider its original intention as a public market, our plan to revitalize the adjacent public park, and other community and cultural uses that are critical to support our downtown communities.

It is unacceptable that St. Patrick's Market has been left derelict by a long-term tenant. The principal lesson of this saga is that public land must be used better. In an increasingly unaffordable city for artists to create, small businesses to thrive, and people to live, we must ensure that we utilize public land for public good.

Please stay tuned for future updates!
As per this report to June 30th's meeting of the Economic Development and Culture Ctte, the City is now in possession of the market and making repairs for interim use.

From the report:


This same report also seeks to provide operational funding to the independent (not City owned or operated) Alexandra Park Community Centre; as well as to study 'The Grange Precinct' City properties for how to better meet community needs.
I recall the market being the one and only site of a short lived Toronto Ben and Jerry’s ice cream stand.
Report from Sept 16, 2021 but the building is temporary being used as a pop-up art gallery in the short term with different pieces of work displayed on the exterior: