Regent Park�s newest community initiative kicked off today with the opening of the Regent Park Farmers� Market.�
This unique market is shaping up to be a new kind of Farmers� Market for Toronto. A joint pilot project launched in partnership between The Daniels Corporation and Toronto Community Housing, the market offers locally grown fresh produce and artisanal foods to residents and visitors of this downtown east neighbourhood, which is currently undergoing one of the largest revitalizations in North America.
The Market brings together small plot growers and artisan food purveyors with local farmers to offer residents and visitors the best summer produce, baked goods, spices, cheeses, flowers and more, all in the heart of Regent Park.
Toronto Community Housing President and CEO Eugene Jones Jr. and The Daniels Corporation Vice-President Martin Blake joined residents, local vendors and visitors at the grand opening, which featured a drumroll and a garden-inspired style ribbon cutting.
Martin Blake, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation, Mary-Ann Kalalang, a local vendor and Gene Jones, President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing, officially open the Regent Park Farmer�s Market
�Toronto Community Housing is committed to building vibrant communities. We are proud to work with our partners to create yet another reason to come to Regent Park,� Mr. Jones said.� �The Farmers� Market will benefit people living in Regent Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods. It is one more way revitalization is helping to make Toronto a great place to live.�
Paintbox Bistro Chefs Patrick Wiese and Tallis Voakes highlighted market ingredients by shopping the Market and having a live cook-off right on-site. The chefs distributed samples and recipe cards for market-goers. Paintbox Bistro has committed its kitchen for free use by resident vendor start-ups for the preperation of their own dishes for sale at the market. It is anticipated that some resident vendors will take up residence at Paintbox Bistro as part of the inaugural food incubator businesses. Paintbox Bistro will participate in the market throughout the season with fresh fruit smoothies and other tasty fare.
�Our commitment to Regent Park has always gone much deeper than the bricks and mortar of the buildings,� said Mr. Blake. �We are devoted to helping launch and nurture local businesses that have the potential to reward multiple generations through economic opportunities, healthier lifestyle choices, and community engagement. By supporting this initiative, we continue to add to the incredible urban agriculture story unfolding in Regent Park. The Regent Park Farmers� Market is both a wonderful place for foodies and families alike, and it�s quickly becoming a destination for Torontonians.�
Visitors to the Farmer�s Market enjoy the variety of products available
Local vendors such as Arman Farmers� Market with the �best barbecued corn-on-the-cob in the GTA�, Simply Buds with fresh baked tarts and Fathima�s Tasty Treats with local favourite chicken biryani will be feeding hungry visitors throughout the summer. Music and artistic performances by local talent will help make the Regent Park Farmers� Market a family destination every Wednesday from 3 to 7 pm until October 2013.
�Building a business is as much about relationships as it is about food, maybe more,� said Mary-Ann Kalalang, an aspiring pastry chef and Regent Park resident. �Participation in the Farmers� Market gets my product into the hands of consumers and helps build my business, while giving me an ideal way to build new relationships and maintain existing ones, all close to home and surrounded by people who share the same vision of what life should be like.�
From a position at the vanguard of the locavore movement in the GTA, the Regent Park Farmers� Market helps nurture the community by bringing the freshest locally farmed produce to the downtown core, and providing new business opportunities for residents.Visit www.regentparkfarmersmarket.ca for more information.