After the Covent Garden Market was established in 1835, it quickly became a staple for London, Ontario’s downtown core. It is a place where independent merchants, farmers, and store owners set up shop to sell everything from fresh meats, wild raspberries, beautiful flowers and even fire wood. The Market has seen praise from visitors because of the city’s best selection of organic foods, award-winning desserts and the largest assortment of cheese in all of Southwestern Ontario. The Market also holds bi-weekly seasonal outdoor farmers’ market, that attracts people from all over the Forest City.
One of London’s most treasured cultural landmarks is also home to a variety of other events and activities. This includes the Original Kids Theatre, located on the second floor of the Market, and the seasonal Rotary Rink, which is an outdoor skating rink that is free to use. It is also home to many of the city’s musicians and artists who come here to perform and showcase their work. The Market also holds large public events, one of my favourites being Festa Italiana, which is an Italian festival with fresh wood oven pizza, live music, a fashion show, and gelato. It contains the Market Hall, the Labatt Lounge, and The London Free Press Market Kitchen; spaces that are suitable for either public or private events.
The Covent Garden Market is much more than a farmer’s market, it’s a community. It is a place where you recognize other shoppers and make a personal relationship with the people you’re buying from. Anyone who has shopped at the Market can tell you that it has a different vibe. It isn’t a big-box store with barcodes and checkout lines; it is a place where shopping can be relaxing, enjoyable and fun. It is somewhere you can feel good walking out of because you know that the product you have purchased is helping a local family.