Best of CityPlace

Urban Market: Summer Block Party, Concord CityPlace Urban Market

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There are a lot of fantastic food markets in Toronto, and most of them exist to support important causes on top of providing tasty snacks. The Urban Market at CityPlace is one of these special, dual-purpose markets which is in partnership with Scadding Court Community Centre.

You may have visited the Urban Market on past summer weekends to grab some fresh veggies (in the parking lot of the Concord Presentation Centre at CityPlace) but this weekend’s market promises to entice the swarms of Blue Jay’s fans, families and CityPlace residents alike with enticing treats and activities.

The market has been intermittent throughout the summer, but we’re excited to see it make a come back with a Summer Block Party theme. What better way to keep the summer vibes rolling in late-July than with fresh local produce, free (yes, FREE) ice cream, and kid-friendly fun like a bouncy castle! Another great twist — Concord is handing out ‘Concord Bucks’ inside the presentation centre, which can be used towards any of the food vendors on-site this Saturday like Spanish paella, takoyaki octopus balls, refreshing juices and more.

The Urban Market has been around for two years now, but I realized I didn’t know much about Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) or how these two organizations connected – but that’s nothing a little research can’t solve. In 2015, Concord Adex approached SCCC to brainstorm ideas on how to partner on and run open-air markets at CityPlace. These outdoor markets provide more than just local produce to its visitors, it also builds community and can add to any existing services or products available in the ever-expanding neighbourhood. This partnership would also help to support low-income, marginalized entrepreneurs through SCCC’s Business Out of the Box (BoB) program. BoB provides an amazing opportunity to entrepreneurs that don’t have the necessary startup capital, retail space or support to begin their businesses. A thriving example of SCCC’s initiatives is Toronto’s first shipping-container market, Market 707 located at Dundas and Bathurst. SCCC launched Market 707 in 2010 by transforming an under-utilized, drab strip of Toronto into a community hub full of unique retailers specializing in everything from a pay-what-you-can soup bar to tuning up bicycles on the spot.

It’s pretty magical to see two communities come together to support one another. CityPlace, which has just celebrated its 20th birthday, and Scadding Court, about to celebrate its 40th next year, are prime examples of how a community can flourish and have fun all at once. This Saturday’s market is sure to be a special one, be sure to stop by Scadding Court’s tent to learn more about their fantastic programming and how you can get involved, and don’t forget to pick up your Concord Bucks inside the Presentation Centre!