How does one describe the largest market in the southern hemisphere? Just big doesn’t seem adequate. The corner building as you approach it on Queen and Franklin Streets is rather ordinary, easy to walk past if you weren’t looking for the signs. The mass of people outside is no different than the crowds anywhere along Elizabeth. But, once you step inside, your perception gradually, then swiftly changes.
I say gradually because the first impression of inside stalls is similar to what I’d seen at Vancouver’s Granville Market or Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal. But as I continued further into the market, the scale simply overwhelmed me.
Queen Victoria Market spreads over two city blocks. It is divided into separate areas for produce, butchers, seafood vendors, delis, arts & crafts, even organic food and more. The competition between adjacent butchers, for example, is intense, though there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of patrons. In the deli section, you can walk past stall after stall with charcuterie hanging from each one. A few places had hawkers outside whose bellow in an ordinary space could easily hurt your eardrums.
The gallery below is a kid-in-the-candy-store record of what I’d seen.
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