On the west side of Parkdale between Wellington and Armstrong. Open from early spring (April?) til late fall (end of October), and then again around Christmas time for selling Christmas trees. Early spring there is mostly garden plants, perennials and annuals, with maybe 1 or 2 stall of fruit and veggies. As the season moves on, more and more food becomes available, including local and organic fruit and vegetables. Ask around for local and you can usually find it. Late fall is a good time for exceptional deals on foods for home canning, like 3 x 10lb bags of root vegetables for 10 bucks!

Parkdale Market
Parkdale Market
Parkdale Market
Parkdale Market
Foods from Parkdale Market


2008 Feb 22

2008 Feb 22
camera clearing house!
just putting up some pix that go in their proper locales. :)

2007 Sep 11
From what I understand, there are two categories for fresh produce sold at "markets" in Ontario.

Produce is labeled "local" if it is grown within a certain # of km's from the vendor (I don't know the #). It does not necessarily have to be grown on the vendor's farm and is usually sold while the vendor's farm is in its growing season.

Produce is labeled "home-grown" if vendor is the primary producer.

So from the comments here, it seems as though people want "home-grown" produce rather than "local" produce. They are miffed or feel misled if the produce being sold is not grown on the same farm as the vendor yet labeled "local".

It is a fact of economics that it would be impossible for any farmer to sell home-grown produce and make any profit worth living on. Anyway we can support our farmers so that they can afford to keep their stall, is a positive step toward home-grown produce.

And the rudeness and lack of FUN? Maybe the vendor was tired of yuppies squeezing too many of their tomatoes. Maybe their feet were sore and the $2/hr profit they were making that day was a little discouraging.

Wonder why there is not much home-grown produce at Lansdowne?

2007 Sep 11
Hmmm, I guess if that's your definition of "pushy" then I'd say "one person's 'pushy' is another person's 'friendly and helpful'". I know what you mean, and have never interpreted it as someone trying to hold me there and prevent me from going elsewhere, or push something onto me. In fact I'll often get "no, we don't have that but I think I saw it 2 stalls down". Just the other day when buying green tomatoes.

And almost every time I go there I go through every stall before buying (only exception being when I've pre-ordered a bushel or so of something from a specific stall). I usually walk up along the front, then back along the back to see everything that's there and compare prices. And in general I find it to be altogether a completely pleasant experience that is both relaxing and fun. I can't say I've ever felt that "clingy sales person" feeling from any of the vendors (which is what I think you are talking about). And clingy sales people in retail stores are a pet peeve of mine.

I guess it's a very fine balance to maintain for any retail worker. Too far one way and someone will come away calling them "pushy", and too far the other way and someone will say "they are not very helpful and nobody is there when you need to ask a question". Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

As for narrow aisles - occam's razor should be applied here. The simplest answer is likely the correct one : limited space.

Speaking of being helpful and pre-ordering stuff, and not being deceptive - last year and this year I tried to pre-order a bushel of cukes for pickup on Sunday for making dills, and both times the vendor told me "you can order for Sunday if you like, but keep in mind we pick all the weekend veggies on Friday evening so you are better off picking them up on Saturday as they'll be fresher". And BTW that strikes another chord with me in the present context because they specifically said "we pick" and the allegation is that it's not their own. And that was one of the bigger vendors (2 stalls). Hmmmm.

You are right, though, Fresh Foodie, that living nearby has it's privileges. e.g. on Labour Day Monday I got a call from a friend asking if the market is open. "I dunno", I said, "but I'll go look". So I went out to the end of the driveway with him still on the phone and looked down and said "yup". I guess I never go there when it's really busy, but not really by design. I go either after work on a weekday just before closing, or early Saturday morning just after opening, before the crowds are there.

I admit I am a bit defensive about "my" market. But I still think the other poster clearly has an agenda and was doing a fair bit of axe grinding.

2007 Sep 11
I've been to Parkdale 3 times in the week that I've lived in Ottawa and not once has anyone been rude or pushy. I take my sweet ass time let the vendor know when I am ready.

2007 Sep 11
I avoid Parkdale Market because I find it unpleasant in many respects. The vendors are in fact pushy, as in they don't give you time to browse and think about what you might want to buy. They latch onto you as soon as you enter their stall and try to make it difficult for you to leave and go to the one next door.

Parkdale and Byward have one irritating thing in common: you can barely tell the stalls apart because they're all selling the same damn produce! And prices tend to be higher on the outer stalls since they are exposed to more customers.

The ideal way to shop at a place like Parkdale would be to do a complete pass through all stalls without buying anything. Then go back and buy the best quality and value items. Problem is, the cramped space, pushy vendors, and crowded atmosphere make this activity difficult and no fun at all. I believe the extremely cramped aisles are intended to make you feel rushed so you just shut up and BUY STUFF (or walk away empty-handed and annoyed as I typically do).

If you live nearby, I guess you can more easily visit at times that are less busy. Then I could see shopping at Parkdale being almost pleasant...

2007 Sep 11
Aha, so it was axe grinding. Glad you confirmed that. I believe as a result your comments about price and being "pushy" were nothing but completely unsubstantiated cheap-shots aimed at discrediting vendors, and nothing more. In fact your comment about price is laughable in the face of the article you linked to - which claims that local supermarkets are complaining because some market vendors are selling the same veggies as the supermarkets, but undercutting them price-wise because of lower costs. So which is it?

I can only say that I have no problem at all buying produce at Parkdale which while not grown within 20 km, certainly is grown within 100-500km, which is a far cry from your "thousands of miles". Sometimes a little more like fruit from Niagara. But I see signs everywhere (this year especially vs previous years) telling me exactly where something is from. i.e City/Town/Province (vast majority being ON and QC, which while not the Ottawa Valley, is better than Mexico and California - a step in the right direction)

I agree with you that I'd like to see more local produce from the Ottawa Valley, but taking cheap unsubstantiated pot-shots at vendors - the vast majority of whom are very honest and friendly - is not the way to achieve it. I believe we likely will see more local produce next year now that the city has control over the regulations vs the province. In an interview I heard in late winter this year a city official said that the regulations were handed over by the province too late for them to do anything about it this year, but that we were very likely to see changes for next year. He said something like "most likely a stipulation that vendors must sell only local produce when it's in season". In the meantime I am a member of a local CSA, and I ask questions when I go to Parkdale. But more-and-more I find I don't even have to ask because as already mentioned, there are more-and-more signs.

And it is not the same vendors at Parkdale and Byward. Yes, there is one common family name and they are all stem from the same family, but that was about 7 or 8 generations ago and those families today have as much to do with each other as I have to do with my 7th or 8th cousins. More cheap potshots.

And as for people being deceived, I have never experienced any such deception at Parkdale. Or even heard of one. The one in the article seems to stem from Byward. In any case, if someone does not think ask where something comes from then they get what they deserve IMO.

2007 Sep 11
parkdale market falls under the same umbrella as byward market, so my beef is with both markets. the market vendors sell non-local produce - from as far away as mexico. it is poorly labelled and many people aren't aware that what they are buying is not from a local area farm. the signage is slowly getting better.

the market stalls are selling the same produce found at supermarkets and fruit and veg stores in ottawa.

because these stalls can sell produce out of season, with mark-up, local farmers have been pushed out. thankfully the landsdowne, organic and new east ottawa farmer's markets are committed to selling only locally grown produce (which unfortuneately falls prey to bad weather, availablility, ect. as i have seen at landsdowne this year).

i am a big advocate of buying locally, and buying food that doesn't travel thousands of miles.

i have followed this debate over the farmer's markets in the paper very closely for the past couple years. if you are interested in some articles, you can read more here:

2007 Sep 10
I'm not sure what hipfunkyfun considers "high" prices but I've never found this to be the case. Some examples would be helpful. I've found any of the bulk stuff to be extremely low priced. Like the 1/2 bushel of Red Peppers I bought last week for 12 bucks. That was 33 large reds - so about 35 cents each. And non-bulk is on par or cheaper than supermarket prices.

I think hipfunkyfun should substantiate the allegation of 'pushy' as well. I go here often several times a week and have never once been met a vendor who is anything but extremely friendly and helpful.

No, many of these folks are not the farmers who grow the food, that is true. But they don't pretend to be, either. This is really a complaint for the city, who regulate the markets (actually, before January of this year it was the province).

Sounds like axe grinding, to me.

2007 Sep 10
my problem with parkdale market has always been that the farmers there aren't selling their own produce. from ontario doesn't mean it is from their farm.

i still go there occasionally, but the prices can be high and they are very pushy.

Newer · Older