By: Matilda Dipieri, Junior Researcher

The Scarborough Farmers Market and the Courtyard Farmers Market bring local, fairly priced, culturally appropriate, farm-fresh produce and artisanal products to the Greater Toronto Area’s socially-diverse communities. Managed by Jennifer Forde, founder of Red Onion Events/Quest Vision Management, both farmers markets make important strides towards food sovereignty in the region.


In preparation for the 2022 market season, the Scarborough and Courtyard Farmers Markets have announced new partnerships with FoodShare and Pfenning’s Organics. This collaboration is expanding both markets’ seasons and connecting the Scarborough community to even more local growers and producers.

Vendors at the Scarborough Farmers Market in Rosebank Park in the summer of 2021 (Photo by Jennifer Forde)

Dave Barry, a longstanding vendor and supporter of farmers markets in Scarborough, has been supplying both farmers markets with fresh fruits and vegetables for years. He continues to partner with the Scarborough community despite seeing greater profits in other farmers markets in the city. Dave runs a third-generation family-owned farm located in Zephyr, Ontario, Barry’s Gardens, and has been connected to the Scarborough community since his involvement with the Malvern Farmers Market. Dave’s commitment to these markets, much like so many of its shoppers, is tied to his strong alignment with their mission to make fresh local food, and nutrition information accessible to all.


However, like many small-scale Ontario farmers, food distribution has always been a challenge, with the high labour and infrastructure costs. Making sure Dave’s fresh produce reaches communities across Scarborough is no easy feat. That is where Pfenning’s Organics and FoodShare come in.


As a longstanding organic farm and distribution hub, Pfenning’s Organics will supply both farmers markets with baskets of organic produce and goods grown and produced around Ontario. FoodShare, an established food justice organization collaborating with communities across Toronto, will provide non-organic produce, grown locally, at affordable prices. Additionally, FoodShare is making its Dismantling White Supremacy box available to Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers Market shoppers. This box sources produce from farms that are led, run, or owned by racialized folks. This box thus highlights their work and financially supports and showcases farms and programs run by people that are disadvantaged by current capitalist power structures.


This partnership marks FoodShare’s first online farmers market collaboration, as well as Pfenning’s Organics first partnership with a farmers market. With the distribution support provided by both organizations, the Scarborough and Courtyard Farmers Markets will supply their communities with fresh, locally produced, affordable, and socially conscious food products outside the market season.


With this new partnership in place, both markets launched online platforms that allow the community to make orders from vendors comprising the markets during the regular season. Orders placed by Thursday nights are available for either pick up at 1925 Victoria Park Avenue in Scarborough or for delivery the following Sunday.

Musicians, vendors and community members at the Scarborough Farmers Market in Oakridge Park in the summer of 2021 (Photo by Jennifer Forde)

The Feeding City Lab has also facilitated a new partnership between the markets and FreshFind, a digital platform that updates the markets online ordering and e-commerce capabilities. Founders James Jun and Michael Mastrella made sure to create a platform that would appropriately service farmers markets’ needs by taking into account the market’s socially diverse customers and consumers. The Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers Markets’ new online platforms are a testament to the success and effectiveness of mission-aligned partnerships.


The option for pick-up and delivery, as well as the online storefront, foster the markets’ mission to help urban BIPOC groups reclaim their food sovereignty, determine their food systems, and access affordable, sustainably produced, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods. With an extended operation schedule and more flexibility for customers to interact with the markets and vendors, this partnership presents an important step forward for an initiative that received scepticism about its potential for success from mainstream media. With farmers markets often being portrayed as predominantly white, unaffordable spaces by media and consumers alike, food access initiatives spearheaded by both the Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers Market are crucial in fighting this stigma.

Vendors and community members at the Courtyard Farmers Market in Fairmount Park in the summer of 2021 (Photo by Jennifer Forde)

Additionally, both markets continue to rely on produce from the Malvern Urban Farm, which supplies the market with callaloo, bitter melon and long eggplant. It is through partnerships of this kind that these farmers markets can make nutrient-dense, affordable, and culturally appropriate food a reality for Scarborough residents and community members.


Curbside pickup and delivery will be accessible to the community throughout the winter. The online platform will also be available in the summer market season, where community members can pick up their orders at the appropriate farmers market location.


To order from the Scarborough Farmers Market and browse their list of family-owned farms, women-led enterprises, and ethnocultural businesses, follow this link.


To order from the Courtyard Farmers Market and browse their list of family-owned farms, women-led enterprises, and ethnocultural businesses, follow this link.


More information about the 2022 market season can be found below:


  1. Markham Rd. @ Sheppard Avenue

Scarborough Farmers’ Market – Rosebank Park

1051 Progress Ave, Scarborough, ON M1B 5Z6

Tuesday afternoons

June 2022 – October 2022

3:30 pm – 7:30 pm


  1. Gerrard Ave. @ Coxwell Avenue

Courtyard Farmers’ Market- Fairmount Park

1725 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L 2A9

Wednesday afternoons

June 2022 – October 2022

3:30 pm – 7:30 pm


  1. Danforth Ave. @ Pharmacy Avenue –

Scarborough Farmers’ Market – Oakridge Park

3459 Danforth Ave, Scarborough, ON M1L 1C9

Thursday afternoons

June 2022 – October 2022

3:30 pm – 7:30 pm


Further coverage on the Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers Markets can be found below:


“How a University of Toronto Team Supports Scarborough and Courtyard Farmers’ Markets’ Pandemic Innovations” (Feeding City Lab)


“Red Onion’s Scarborough Farmers’ Market revives local shopping experience Vendors to appear Tuesdays in Albert Campbell Square” (


“Shop for groceries from the comfort of your home; Farmer’s markets go online” (Toronto Caribbean)


“She Grew Up On Radioactive Soil In Toronto. Now She Digs Deep For Black Canadian Health.” (The Huffington Post)