For over 35 years, the International Public Markets Conference has brought together visionary market managers, community advocates, and civic leaders to explore the changing forces that are shaping public markets today. The conference has inspired the launch of the Market Cities Program and has become a celebrated forum for strategic partners in the fields of public health, community development, food systems, and social policy. The event will convene over 300 leaders in public markets from across the globe and as our first fully in-person conference since 2019, the International Public Markets Conference is a much awaited opportunity to reconnect in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We respectfully acknowledge that the 11th International Public Market Conference will be hosted in the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. Learn more.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a multicultural metropolis home to more than 200 food initiatives and public markets as well as a leader in urban livability. Internationally recognized for its leadership in food system work, including the 30-year running Toronto Food Policy Council, Toronto is the perfect place to collectively imagine a citywide Market City strategy and mobilize the partnerships to make it happen.
Learning from challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic including food insecurity as well as existing issues around income inequality, the city is recognizing the full value of its municipal markets and grappling with the need to provide its residents with diverse forms of food accessibility. The City of Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, and the newly formed Market City TO will bring together a variety of stakeholders to build upon existing equity focused work and drive forward plans that recognize the importance of public food infrastructure. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to observe this process in action.
Over three days, Project for Public Spaces, City of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market and Market Cities TO, along with the world’s leading public market operators, developers, and thought leaders will reimagine market systems as equitable sources of well-being and opportunity.
The conference will highlight Toronto’s wide array of public markets including a city-owned and operated historic permanent market hall, a lively market district spanning several city blocks, and many neighborhood open-air markets built from the ground up by community champions and key anchor organizations. While working sessions will take place at the St. Lawrence Market, we will also gather in a range of nearby venues.
The conference will support market managers, policymakers, and advocates in putting promises of fairer food systems and economies into action. A broad mix of attendees including downtown planners, grassroots organizers, transportation experts, health care professionals, and educators from around the world will add to the conversation.
Along with ample opportunity for networking during workshop sessions, special evening events, and day-long market tours, participants will also have multiple opportunities to explore Toronto’s extensive network of public markets. For an idea of what to expect, take a look at the report for our last conference!