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Feb 16, 2011 08:19 PM

st. lawrence market price fixing

has any one noticed how the prices of some items are consistently outrageous for all the vendors at the market. for instance, 1 yr old piave cheese, at $58/kg for all the cheese mongers at the market, while only $38/kg at grande cheese. and 3 osso bucco steaks for $35, far more than at butchers outside the city centre. not competitve pricing at all, just convenient variety for urbanites . . .

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  1. So don't go to SLM. It's always been pricey. Some people are willing to pay for the "destination" experience and questionable vibe. Everything there is generally available elsewhere around the GTA, usually for less and often better quality.

    1. Prices at the SLM market vary widely depending on what you are buying. Some things are outrageously priced, some are normal, and some are cheap. You can't go there assuming everything is expensive or everything is cheap: like anywhere, you need to comparison shop on each item. For example, you can buy Mirin rice wine at 3 or 4 locations in the market, and pay anywhere from $5 to $10 for the same sized bottle of the same brand. So not everything is price fixed by any stretch.

      Kagemusha is right, there's definitely a convenience fee, and I imagine it's much more expensive to rent retail space in the SLM compared to, say, a strip mall. Even big chain grocery store prices are higher downtown than in the suburbs due to land values. I shop at the SLM for certain things because it's within walking distance and very convenient, and I can find many things there that are not consistently available at nearby grocery stores. But you do need to shop smartly, and for most regular staples the grocery store is cheaper (the exception being some veggies).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gary

        Yes? Hi! Also many of them know the 905 tourists and the locals and they give the better prices to the people that they know that does the shopping all the time.

        1. re: Indianguy

          I pick up a excellent piece of prime rib for $5.99/lb this past weekend I don't think you could find that price in any supermarket at this time not on sale. I agree with Gary on prices some are good some are not so good.

          1. re: Indianguy

            Absolutely, Indianguy, I'm usually there during the week when it's quiet, and the vendors have gotten to know my face and sometimes round down, give me little freebies, etc. It's not a guarantee, obviously, but it's definitely a refreshing change from the impartial grocery store scanners. The day most people go to the SLM -- Saturdays -- is actually the least pleasant and most expensive and my wife and I avoid it whenever possible.

            1. re: Gary

              I shop there on the Saturday around 4 pm, this is when they bring the prices down.

        2. I just bought a gorgeous beef tenderloin for $12/kg. Maybe try shopping around a bit more? It's a big place.
          Admittedly I never buy cheese there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: graydyn

            I've noticed the prices vary wildly on some items, most recently short ribs I purchased. I'm not sure much price fixing is going on, if any. There are some values to be had and there are some items that are overpriced. Pound for pound though it's still an amazing food shopping destination.

            1. re: graydyn

              I always buy cheeses at Scheffler's. I find their prices the best compared to other cheese shops on the market or elsewhere.

            2. Hence why I prefer Kensington Market/Chinatown to shop at over St. Lawrence Market.

              It's a nice market to bring out-of-towner's to, but not one I would visit for personal needs.

              St. Lawrence Market
              92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sadistick

                Quality of cheese in Kensington does not compare. It's cheaper for sure.
                For your non-dairy needs, Korea Town/China Town is cheaper than Kensington.
                All spring, tulips have been 20/$5 at my Korea Town fruit & veg.

              2. "Price fixing" has an actual meaning, and I'm hoping you aren't accussing them of this without any proof, since it is illegal in Canada. I think you are just saying the prices are too high for you.

                As other said, some prices at SLM are high, some aren't. I live and work near by and I go multiple times a week typically. If I have to add on $5 of subway tokens plus my time just to go shopping, I'm sure I could get better deals, but I don't really want to.