Here’s A Taste
Ever wonder how your fruit and vegetables arrive on your plate? Well, here’s your chance to look behind the scenes of the one place that makes it happen. Not only does the Ontario Food Terminal act as your gateway to fresh produce but it makes it possible to have the freshest, most varied kind there is.
And another thing, because the Terminal is where your friendly neighbourhood green grocers and restaurants come to shop, it’s safe to say that without the Terminal, our neighbourhoods would not be as enjoyable and full of life as they are.
Speaking of full of life, here is just a taste of the good wholesome fun the entire family can experience at Taste of the Food Terminal.
Taste of the Food Terminal at the Ontario Food Terminal ( 165 The Queensway at Park Lawn)
Tour the Terminal
The Ontario Food Terminal is the only fresh produce wholesale market in Canada and the third largest in North America. It is the only one in North America that houses both fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers and local farmers. Our wholesalers (who offer both imported and local produce) and Ontario farmers sell to licensed green grocers, restaurants and other food distributors. The wholesalers each have an indoor space like a storefront from which they sell and the farmers set up their stalls outside in a partially covered area of the Terminal.
As well as seeing where produce is stored and inspected, you’ll be able to meet the people who work around the clock to ensure many local businesses in Ontario (and beyond) have a ready supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Tour the Wholesalers’ Stalls
Weave in and out of the stalls or “houses” as they’re referred to, and meet the fine gents (We have several braves ladies, too!) who wake up really early to sell fresh produce to the independent grocers, chefs and other food distributors of our neighbourhoods.
With the event this year taking place at the end of May, several of our local farmers will be showcasing their green house produce along with a beautiful array of annuals and perennials just in time for the planting season. All items sold in the Farmers’ Markets will benefit FoodShare.
Visit the Pop-up Neighbourhood
In the centre of it all we’ll be setting up “Main Street”. You’ll be able to meet with some of the independent grocers and restaurateurs who buy fresh produce from the Terminal and sample their healthy, delicious delights.
And what neighbourhood is complete without a school! You can visit the Good Food School run by the friendly culinary experts at FoodShare. Here the whole family can learn about some of the great in-school food programs this wonderful charity organization offers. These are just a few of the exciting things you’ll find in school:
» Budding chefs can make their own chef’s hat and have some fun with a Salad Toss.
» Bicycle Bebop with Great James who’ll be singing your favourite tunes with music powered by his bicycle!
» Learn the Field to Table road map by following directions from the farm, field, and orchard all the way to your markets, stores, schools, and home!
Eat, Shop & Be Merry!
Each admission ticket comes with a fresh meal from the fresh salad bar compliments of the Terminal’s wholesalers and farmers and prepared by the Good Food experts at FoodShare. On top of the complimentary lunch and abundant sampling, you’ll be able to shop for premium fresh produce and bedding plants with proceeds going to FoodShare.
And that’s not all! In between all the munching and crunching, there’ll be a variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained:
- Kids can shake off some energy in the Freestyle Soccer Playground or visit the Young Sprouts Planting Centre to pot their own seedling to take home.
- The whole family can tour of the Terminal facilities to see the “TLC” our fruit and veggies are treated to in order to remain fresh and safe to eat.
- Everyone will enjoy the Zero Gravity Circus interactive jugglers, clowns and other award- winning performance artists. Throughout it all, the energetic sounds of the Dirty Dishes will surely keep your feet tapping and your hands clapping.
Come Meet Pete
After traveling the world extensively, Pete Luckett has some fascinating stories about the tempting tastes of exotic fresh fruits and vegetables. Part theatrical sideshow, part food impresario, you can’t help but be captivated as Pete slices, dices and shares stories from the colourful world of produce! And Pete loves to answer questions about even the most exotic fruit or veggie. You’re sure to catch a unique twist or two for your next food adventure. Don’t miss your chance to share a little Taste with Pete!
Why this event?
Because the Terminal is not open to the public, this event is being held in part to help folks understand and appreciate what’s involved in getting fresh fruit and vegetables to many stores across our province and beyond. As the only wholesale food market in Canada, we felt it was time to raise awareness of the importance and uniqueness of the Ontario Food Terminal. We want more people to benefit from the many great things the Terminal provides. Here are but a few of them:
» The Terminal is an important source of fresh high- quality fruit, vegetables and horticultural products such as bedding plants and fresh-cut flowers.
» The Terminal keeps the prices consumers pay for fresh produce relatively low. By having all the wholesalers and farmers in one space, it forces prices to remain competitive and the quality of fresh produce high. It also encourages wholesalers and farmers to provide different varieties. The benefit to all of us is we have access to a wide array of fresh produce – yum, indeed!
» The Terminal is a vital source of fresh produce to independent green grocers, restaurants, and food service distributors. This means if we took away the Terminal we would not have the quantity and quality of businesses that dot our neighbourhoods’ main streets. We also would not have the extensive variety or so -called “ethnic variety” we see on produce stands and restaurant menus. Toronto is known as the city of neighbourhoods and a place where the food scene is very vibrant. This is in great part due to the fresh fruit and vegetables that the Terminal provides.
Support a worthy cause
The other important objective of Taste of the Food Terminal is to raise funds for FoodShare Toronto. FoodShare is a non-profit charity organization that purchases fresh produce daily from the Terminal for a number of their good food programs. The organization’s work on student nutrition and school food literacy is near and dear to the hearts of the Terminal’s wholesalers and farmers. Everyday this programming feeds over 144,000 school children in Toronto a healthy meal that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, laying a foundation for all-around success for our children and youth.
The Ontario Food Terminal Board (OFTB) and its 21 wholesalers and 400 farmer tenants are the hosts of Taste of the Food Terminal. The 21 wholesalers are represented by the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association (TWPA). The produce and flowers being sampled, sold and distributed at the event are being generously donated by the wholesalers, their suppliers and the farmers. Learn more about the OFTB and TWPA.