The City of Toronto has won its latest court battle over the long-neglected St. Patrick’s Market on Queen Street and regained control of the large storefront.
Early Saturday morning, Spadina-Fort York councillor Joe Cressy confirmed that the courts have sided with the city and control of the market will return to the municipality.
The market was shut down by Toronto Public Health in 2017 after two mice were caught on camera snacking on baked goods.
Cressy says that the lesson learned from Queen Street market saga was that public land must be used better.
“It’s more profitable to sell high end jackets and cocktails than it is to sell local produce or local art,” he tells 680 NEWS. “So I think there is a real opportunity to bring food and culture back to Queen West.”
He added it was unacceptable that the storefront sat vacant for so long and they will be working with the neighbourhood to “bring it back to life.”
“We know that in this increasingly unaffordable city, art and culture is being driven out, access to good quality food and food market is harder and harder to come by,” he says. “So we’re going to start a public process, working with the local neighbourhood in the city to re-imagine this space in the future.”
Mayor John Tory says the court ruling clears the way for the city to use the space in a creative way that brings the neighbourhood even more alive.
“I am delighted that the position that we took as a city to get back that property as opposed to having it tied up and underutilized based on some long term lease,” said Tory. “I hope it will be something that will involve a clever use that attracts the community and that might involve artists and retailers and others but the bottom line is we want to bring that space alive because its been in a dormant state for far too long.”
Officials have not yet specified what the city plans to do with the space but Cressy says it won’t just go to the highest bidder.