Toronto's Historical Plaques
2004 - Now in our 10th Year - 2014
St. Andrew's Market and Playground
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted May, 2008
In the northeast corner of this park on Adelaide Street West, a block west of Spadina Avenue, stands this 2007 Heritage Toronto plaque which has this to say:
Plaque coordinates: 43.646526 -79.398537
This city block was set aside in 1837 for a public market, the third of its kind after the St. Lawrence (1803) and St. Patrick's (1836) Markets. Built in 1850 and eventually named "St. Andrew's" for its city ward, the market was an important commercial centre for what was then Toronto's west end.
The first market buildings were destroyed by fire in 1860, and were replaced in 1873 by a grander St. Andrew's Hall and Market designed in Renaissance Revival style. The buildings housed everyone from sellers of fresh produce to butchers, as well as a police station, a community hall, and a public library branch.
St. Andrew's Market began a gradual decline in the 1870s. Despite an impressive 1889 addition, the market stalls were largely empty by 1900. The buildings were demolished in 1932 and replaced by the present Water Works building. Used as a public park since the 1880s, this southern section became St. Andrew's Playground in 1909. It was the first City of Toronto property dedicated to, and equipped for, supervised children's play.
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Alan L Brown