Canada’s Largest Farmers’ Market in St Jacobs

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Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents are fortunate to have Canada’s largest farmer’s market within a 1-1.5 hours drive (trust us….its worth it).  The Market is open year round and has a variety of fresh produce, meat, seafood, cheese and prepared meals to allow you to get your weekly shopping done and have lunch all under one roof.

We also recorded a video of our visit to the Market for our Let’s Discover ON YouTube Channel:

We should appreciate this Market even more because it was destroyed in a fire on Labour Day in 2013.  The Market re-opened 18 months later in June 2015.

The Market is a true destination for “foodies” of any age.  We can’t imagine anyone visiting and leaving on an empty stomach or empty handed.  There is literally something for everyone.  Its no surprise why this Market attracts almost a 1,000,000 visitors a year (yes you read that correctly…1 Million visitors)!

It’s a unique destination because it’s in the heart of a community of approximately 4,000 Old Order Mennonites.  Their farms surround the market and many of them sell their various goods there.  You’ll see people dressed in traditional clothing and even horse and buggys on the road.  It’s something you don’t see everyday when you live in a large urban centre like Toronto.

Getting There:

You’ll definitely have to drive unless you already live in the Kitchener-Waterloo Area.  Several tour companies from Niagara to Toronto offer day trips to the area.  More info about this is on the St Jacobs visitors website.

Local residents can also get to the Market by using the public bus operated by the Grand River Transit (GRT).  The GRT has an online trip planner to make the planning process even easier.

Cost:  FREE

Tony’s favourite “F” word!  The cost of admission to the Farmer’s Market is free and so are the samples.  Most vendors accept cash, credit and debit as payment for purchases.

Hours of Operation:

  • Thursday & Saturday – 7AM – 3:30PM.
  • Tuesday (Summer Only) – 8AM – 3PM.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Bring Cash – There’s only a couple of private ATMs on site so its best to arrive with cash to avoid the lines.
  • Bring your own coolers, cooler bags & ice packs – If you’re planning a visit in the summer then you’ll definitely want to bring your own coolers, cooler bags & ice packs to keep your fresh meat & cheese cool during your trip home.
  • Avoid the crowds on Saturday if you can by visiting & shopping on Thursday instead. The market is also open on Tuesdays in the summer.

What you need to try:

  • The famous apple fritters – Just follow the delicious smell and be patient as there was a constant line-up during our visit.
  • Egyptian food – seriously.  Stop by Al Madina in the Farmers Market Building for some traditional Egyptian fare (we recommend the hummus)!
  • No meal is complete, in our opinion, without a coffee so before you head home stop by the Full O’ Beans Coffee Bar for a latte or cappuccino.

St-Jacobs-Farmers-Market-checklist

Have any photos or videos of your visit that you would like to share with us?  Send them over to @LetsDiscoverON.

Thanks for reading & watching.  Remember to subscribe to our Blog & YouTube Channel and follow us along as we Discover ON!

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4 thoughts on “Canada’s Largest Farmers’ Market in St Jacobs

  1. Egyptian food and apple fritters sound delicious. Visiting farmers markets are one of my favorite things to do when I travel. I’ll have to keep this one in mind. #WeekendWanderlust

    1. You’ll also like the small town of St. Jacobs. There are several independently owned shops and a craft brewery on the main street.

      Thanks for commenting & Happy New Year! #WeekendWanderlust

  2. visiting markets while traveling is one of my favourite experiences. I spend most of my time in Asia, never been to Canada!

    1. Thanks WillWainWilliams. St. Jacob’s is open year around however every city and small town also have their own local Farmers Market typically between May – October.

      I hope get to visit Canada, especially Ontario, soon 🙂

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