Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network / Réseau agroalimentaire de l'Est ontarien

Local Food Markets in Eastern Ontario

Find wonderful local food markets in eastern Ontario, specifically Prescott-Russell, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Cornwall, Akwesasne, and the center/east/south of Ottawa. In this photo, two members of the EOAN, Vergers Villeneuve and Jambel Cuisine, attend the Ottawa Farmers Market at Lansdowne. The photo is courtesy of the Ottawa Farmers Market.

Visit the many markets that remain open for the fall and winter:

See below an extract of the Eastern Ontario local food map featuring farmers' markets, multi-vendor markets, and community markets. Visit the website of each farmers' market to connect with your favourite vendors even in the off-season.

A lot of confusion surrounds the names applied to various kinds of markets. Local food markets are available in different configurations, but you will easily find the terms improperly applied to various situations.

  • A "farmers' market" has a legal recognition by the local public health unit under the Ontario Food Safety Regulations. Only a legitimate farmers' market should use the term "farmers' market". The majority of vendors must be genuine farmers selling their own produce. The balance of vendors can be non-farm food vendors, inspected kitchens, crafts, and other businesses. Each farmers' market then adopts further operating rules that determine other types of businesses among the non-farm vendors, such as resellers. A farmers' market has the unique advantage of being the only place where uninspected kitchens can sell prepared and artisanal foods to the public.
  • A public or community market is any other multi-vendor market that does not have a majority of genuine farmers. They should not use the term "farmers' market". You will find some farmers, plus resellers, crafts, and prepared foods. A public market can host inspected kitchens selling prepared food to the public, but not uninspected kitchens.
  • A private market is a broad category of privately owned retail spaces, hubs, consignment stores, and home delivery services that promote local food and local farmers. While they work collaboratively and transparently  with local farms and food artisans, they act as a retailer and they resell local products. They are therefore not farmers' market and cannot use the term "farmers' market". Such a retailer cannot offer prepared foods from uninspected kitchens.

Read this business case about deciding to attend a farmers market, published in February 2021 in the Eastern Ontario AgriNews.