Union Summer, Canada’s Longest Running Market

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Frankly, if you love outdoor markets where you can pick up fresh, delicious food then #UnionSummer should be one of your top Toronto destinations this summer.

Photo courtesy: Jason Gordon for Toronto Union

Located at the foot of the city in front of Union Station, #UnionSummer features 20 food vendors that give both locals and visitors an amazing variety of food to choose from; food that’s reflective of the different neighbourhoods, cultures and ethnicities of the city. It’s a true melting pot of people and food and a clear representation of not only what Toronto is all about but what makes the city truly unique.

Only in its second year, it runs from June 27 until September 5 making it the longest running outdoor market in the country.

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Photo courtesy: Jason Gordon for Toronto Union
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Photo courtesy: Jason Gordon for Toronto Union

The idea behind it was to give the roughly 250,000 people who pass through Union Station every day a reason to stay. Since construction began in 2009, people have been put off sticking around the old hub. There was very little about it that made people want to stay in the area and experience it. This market has transformed that perception. In a word, it has created a sense of community in middle of the one of the busiest areas of the city. It has given everyone who interacts with it a place to eat, laugh, meet and experience together.

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Photo courtesy: Jason Gordon for Toronto Union
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Photo courtesy: Jason Gordon for Toronto Union

When construction is completed, Union will be restored to its classically beautiful self but with so much more on the inside. Similar to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, you can expect to see a whole level of pedestrian retail with plenty of shops and services, including a fresh food marketplace, butchers, florists and bakeries.

As for the Great Hall, there will be a two-storey signature restaurant complete with a performance venue. That way, it will be easier for you to either be late for your train or miss it altogether.

Jim Bamboulis
Jim Bamboulis has held several posts over the past 12 years, including National Sportscaster, Food Host and Writer, Talk Show Host, Olympic Researcher and Travel Film-maker.

Born and raised in Toronto, Jim learned early on that the combination of travel and food meant ultimate living. Combining his insatiable creative spirit and desire to document his travels, Jim took his unshakable travel bug and set off to explore. Add the fact that Jim also grew up in a Greek household and he learned that not only does Mom always make the best meals, but as importantly learned the importance of understanding and appreciating the countless beautiful cultures and the integral role food plays in every corner of the World.

In August 2009, Jim founded Travel Mammal, a site that brings together his travels and experiences (both good and terrifying) with the hope that others are inspired to share their own. We are all storytellers, especially when it comes to travel and food. He urges everyone to be inspired, explore and love the world and the people that share it with us. Or in other words, Live to Travel and travel to live!
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