St. Lawrence is one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods with century old buildings and architecture dating back to the 1860s. A main attraction, of course, is the popular food and antique market on Front Street East, attracting locals and tourists with its over 100 vendors, and ranked world’s best food market by National Geographic in 2012.
A purveyor of galleries, design shops and restaurants, St. Lawrence is undergoing a major transformation with a redevelopment to the market and the recent upgrade to Market Street, the new restaurant-packed, pedestrian-friendly, brick-lined road. There’s plenty to discover about this interesting neighbourhood. Here are three things you might not know about St. Lawrence.
1. Toronto’s first City Hall.
The St. Lawrence neighbourhood was founded back in 1793 with City Hall, the first government in Toronto, built at the southwest corner of King and Jarvis. Now the site of St. Lawrence Hall, the building housed the chambers, a police station and town jail. It was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1849 and later moved locations to Queen and Bay Street. Interestingly, the footing of the old parliament building was discovered during a dig in 2000.
2. St. Lawrence Market redevelopment.
If you haven’t been down to St. Lawrence Market for awhile, you’ll notice some major changes happening to the market and its adjacent street. The redevelopment of the North Market has begun with a modern expanded new building, a large atrium and four levels of underground parking. Not to worry, a temporary North Market officially opens next week, just behind the South Market on The Esplanade, and has extended hours during the Pan Am Games. Here’s what the new building will look like.
3. Inside the Flatiron building.
Have you ever wondered what’s inside the iconic Gooderham Flatiron building that sits near Front and Wellington Street? The triangular red-brick building circa 1892 is a focal point in the city, originally constructed for offices and renovated over time. Today it’s still used for expensive office space, inside maintaining the original character with stain glass windows, soaring ceilings and an old school Otis elevator. The rear facade of the building features a painted mural by Canadian artist Derek Besant, a trompe l’oeil painting that creates an optical illusion. Here’s a peek inside. Not a bad view from your desk.
Photo via St. Lawrence Market, Facebook