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Jan 5, 2009 08:04 AM

Where to buy Fresh Fish, what day of the week?

Hello there, I am a newbie Chowhound looking for a source of good, fresh, whole fish (organic if possible?) in the downtown west area. I searched the board and found only a lobster discussion.

Ideally I would buy it today or tomorrow, for dinner Tuesday night (Ukrainian Christmas Eve).

I understand that fresh fish gets delivered to stores on certain days, but I don't know what days those are; does anyone know? Thanks!

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  1. Try Mike's. Their Etobicoke store is the retail front for the big Allseas wholesale distributor. I'd call and find out what's available when:

    7 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      Thank you. I called Mike's, and they didn't have too much, and are getting a bit more in tomorrow but said they are a little slow this week due to lower demand post new year's. But in that same directory, when I clicked on the "fish" tag, also listed "Big Fish" on Queensway near Royal York, who told me that tomorrow they get in some east coast organic salmon at $8.99/lb - which sounds pretty good to me! Etobicoke is not that bad of a hike out, and I will go for it if no other collective wisdom comes through.

      It would be great to find a reliable source for the future in the near west downtown. I had heard that the healthy meat/food shop at Annette and Runnymede has organic Irish salmon for $16.99/lb, but they were closed today (Mon) when I did a driveby. There are lots of small fish shops in different neighbourhoods...Kensington, Ossington/Dundas etc ...but I don't know the quality and best days of the week. The Lobster House (?) that used to be on lower Augusta in Kensington was a nobrainer; apparently chefs shopped there daily, but then the store moved to Scarborough.

      1. re: parrkdale

        just so you're aware, the organic east coast salmon (ie. atlantic) will be farmed. There is no wild atlantic salmon available.

        1. re: aser

          Kage, don't be misled by the "organic" designation - no such thing and only adds $$$ to your purchase. Unless one is an angler the choice in Ontario is wild-caught or farmed, and that never deterred me. There are many threads on this board, some of them current, that will guide you well.

        2. re: parrkdale

          Big Fish is a good store. They usually have a decent selection of very fresh fish and seafood. Small, clean store. Worth a visit.

          1. re: redearth

            Well, Big Fish it was, for a nice hunk of whole salmon. It was Atlantic, and not organic, but "farmed and govt inspected," $7.99/lb., cleaned and deboned for stuffing. It was a nice place, very clean, and they'll take your number if you are looking for specific fish in the future- I miss bluefish from my years in NYC/Connecticut, so they promised to call me next time they get in some Boston blue. Thanks everybody!

            1. re: parrkdale

              Boston blue is not the same fish caught by anglers and small craft, and prized for its flavour, which lasts only a few hours. Boston bluefish is yet another marketing ploy from an industry that could do better. In the mid sixties some large eastcoast fisheries began to re-name small unsaleable fish (a type of pollack) 'Boston Blue', just as they re-named redfish 'ocean perch'. (Even now, some of these redfish are sold as snapper.)

              1. re: jayt90

                Boston bluefish is just atlantic pollack , its not small we catch them up around 15-20 lbs or more often . It is a good eating fish but low priced due to its dark colour . most fishermen i know prefer haddock but pollack is a close second around here ahead of cod .cod is higher priced due to it being scarce now .

      2. There are many threads about where to buy fish. Maybe you missed them because you didn't check the other pages of results? If you type "fish" and then search, the third page will have result 31, which is this one, the most recent discussing where to buy:

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodyDudey

          Some the stalls at the St. Lawrence get a fresh delivery on Tuesday mornings... or they use to. and the last time I was in T&T's they had a good seletion of fresh fish on a Tuesday.

          1. re: smr714

            You are correct smr714 - Tuesday is the usual fresh fish delivery day...

        2. Hi there

          I bought all my fish for christmas eve party at the kensington market. I am now good friends with the owner of a portuguese fish shop. They have been there for years. I can't remember the name, but I know they are near the shop with all the nuts and seeds. You can't go wrong with kensington market. good luck

          1. In general fish arrives in Toronto on two days of the week depending on where it is coming from. The people that import the fish and then disperse it to stores get fish coming from the Mediteranean on Thursdays (shows up in stores on Fridays ) and the rest of the world on Mondays (shows up in stores on Tuesdays ).

            3 Replies
            1. re: acorn

              Haddock is your best bet if seeking fish from eastern Canada as because of a large biomass of haddock on Georges bank the price usally is very low but it is one of the best eating fish there is . Here on the east coast fishermen never get high prices for haddock any more due to large volumes being caught when Georges Bank opens sometimes the price is as low as .30 a lb out of the boat in summers . In winter time its about 1 dollar a lb out of the boat round . I do not know what they charge for it in Toronto but that is all fishermen get now days . Back in the 80s we got 1 dollar a lb at times . Bay of fundy haddock are the best , but georges bank haddock are ok .

              Cod due to Quotas and stocks being very low is always high priced but fisherman would always take haddock home before cod .

              As far as getting fresh fish , its mostly due to weather . Most boats here stay less then 4 days at sea so land very fresh products . If its been blowing gale force winds for days back east you will be lucky to find fresh fish .

              Georges opens mid June .After Georges opens Should be fresh Haddock at very reasonable prices . Then again there is the middle man that sometimes don't pass on the deals .

              As far as lobster just before Christmas should be the time for super deals as district 34 opens the last monday of Nov . More lobster is caught in district 34 then all other areas of north america combined . Boat price for prime lobster when district 34 opened last year was 3.50 a lb . Right now as I write boat price is 4.50 a lb .District 34 fishermen earn their pay it is a very severe winter fishery with small boats often fishing in gale or storm force winds .It maybe is the true deadliest catch .

              1. re: fundyfisherman

                Thanks for this. Really good information, and maybe we can ask other questions.
                One, is wheher any small boats can clean and freeze on board, or what happens when they bring the catch ashore?

                Haddock is generally $16/kg. at Costco, all year round, and this price would be just above wholesale. It is available at our fish and chip shops, but not as popular as cod (same price range) or halibut (20% higher). Isn't it surprising that the haddock catch has been well managed!

                1. re: jayt90

                  Folks, please keep this thread focused on buying fish in Toronto. If you want to discuss fishing practices, please start another thread on the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can leave a pointer here.