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Where to find yummy Ontario strawberries

Full tummy Jun 11, 2012 07:43 AM

I bought some great berries at East Lynn Farmers Market last week, but can't wait until Thursday to get some more. Anybody know where fresh, tasty Ontario berries are to be found?

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  1. TorontoJo Jun 11, 2012 07:54 AM

    The ones I got at Longo's last week were delicious.

    3 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo
      Full tummy Jun 11, 2012 08:01 AM

      Thank you! I should have thought of them. Will drive up there today.

      1. re: Full tummy
        TorontoJo Jun 11, 2012 08:04 AM

        I picked up 4 baskets on Friday and there weren't many left. I'm assuming/hoping they restocked over the weekend, as there should still be several weeks left for strawberry season. They were tiny and so sweet and juicy. Such a lovely change from the California monster strawberries.

        1. re: TorontoJo
          Full tummy Jun 11, 2012 08:31 AM

          Just called the York Mills location and was told they have them. Thanks for the warning!

    2. sloweater Jun 11, 2012 08:11 AM

      The farmers market at the East York civic centre on Tuesdays will have them. They were available up to September last year.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sloweater
        Full tummy Jun 11, 2012 08:26 AM

        Thanks, sloweater! That is close to me, so I will try to get there tomorrow.

        1. re: Full tummy
          cheesymama Jun 12, 2012 03:57 AM

          I'll be heading there this morning for some, my favourite time of year! If you can't make that market then Riverdale Farm also has one today from 3-7.

      2. Nevy Jun 11, 2012 08:31 AM

        I bought some amazing ones at the Etobicoke Civic Centre farmers market. There's about 7 vendors that really great ones there. I also spotted real Ontario strawberries at Superstore (2 of them). They're about the same price as the one at the farmers market and just as flavourful as well. They're packaged up a bit more neatly and cleaner than the ones at the farmers market. That's the only difference.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nevy
          Full tummy Jun 11, 2012 08:32 AM

          Thanks, Nevy. I bought a basket of strawberries (not sure where from) at Loblaws last week only to get them home and discover that what looked nice on top was a pile of mush on the bottom. V. frustrating.

          1. re: Full tummy
            Nevy Jun 11, 2012 08:38 AM

            Ugh, I hate that. I always flip the containers over to check out if there are some super ripe ones on the bottom to avoid that. The ones at Superstore this weekend weren't as ripe as the ones at the Farmers Market so I think they'll be juicy ripe in a day or so. The ones I got at the farmers market were bursting in juices and a vibrant red. My cutting board looked like I was handling steak instead of strawberries!

        2. y
          youdonut Jun 12, 2012 05:35 AM

          i find the best ones you get are the ones you pick yourself, much better than the ones from the store where quality in the box is questionable.

          6 Replies
          1. re: youdonut
            Flexitarian Jun 12, 2012 08:14 AM

            For sure as things are freshest that way. But, where is there a place near the GTA where you can pick them now?

            1. re: Flexitarian
              cheesymama Jun 12, 2012 10:03 AM

              Whittamore's started picking this past Saturday. I have picked both strawberries and raspberries there going on a few years now. It's a bit of a trek so I usually just go once a season for each fruit, but definitely worth it if you make jam or want to freeze a bunch.
              If you time it right you can pick various veggies too.

              1. re: cheesymama
                grandgourmand Jun 12, 2012 12:18 PM

                If you happen to go on a Saturday, make sure you go early. The lineups can be huge. I went last year, and on our way out, the cars waiting to park and then pick were bumper to bumper along the lane that runs through the farm (that's about 1km, easy).

                1. re: cheesymama
                  red dragon Jun 30, 2013 10:07 AM

                  Just called Whittamore's, strange enough, none of the girls who answered the phone knew about the container pricing? Does anyone know how they weigh the strawberries if I were to bring my own containers? Do I empty the strawberries when finished and then they get weighed?


                  1. re: red dragon
                    cheesymama Jun 30, 2013 12:17 PM

                    They will weigh your containers before you pick and mark the weight on them. When you are done picking they will put the appropriate tare on the scale before weighing your berries. I always take my own (odd) containers from home and it is never a problem.
                    I'm hoping to go picking next week-end - just opened our last jar of jam from last year's batches!

                    1. re: cheesymama
                      red dragon Jun 30, 2013 01:00 PM

                      Thanks cheesymama, I thought it would be something like that ... lol

                      I plan to take some flat containers so they won't get squished.

            2. eller Jun 12, 2012 07:59 AM

              I found some this morning at the Sobey's at Yonge & St. Clair. I imagine they're available chain wide.

              1 Reply
              1. re: eller
                EarlyDrive Jun 12, 2012 12:32 PM

                There have been lots at Fiesta Farms over the past week.

              2. e
                EverymanJack Jun 12, 2012 01:03 PM

                You can get some at the Bloor and Borden Farmer's market, from 3-7 on Wednesdays

                1. c
                  crawfish Jun 12, 2012 02:44 PM

                  I just bought some at Metro for 3.99. Of course, being Metro, they had a skid of California strawberries front and centre, the Ontario ones were in the back with the organic berries. Fresh obsessed my a$$. I hate Metro.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: crawfish
                    TOFoodie1 Jun 14, 2012 07:14 AM

                    I bought some at Metro yesterday (Bayview and York Mills) and they were very good - sweet, juicy and smallish. I've had organic strawberries on vacation in Monterrey, CA, from a farmer's market, so I've been pretty spoiled when it comes to amazing strawberries.

                    1. re: crawfish
                      Bobby Wham Jun 14, 2012 10:33 AM


                      1. re: Bobby Wham
                        1sweetpea Jun 14, 2012 12:55 PM

                        I picked up a pint at Zehr's in Windsor for $2.99. They smelled fantastic. They were very nice, save for a couple of rotten ones. I looked at a dozen or so pints before I found one that looked pretty good, though. There were lots that had either underripe strawberries or rotten ones.

                    2. Kagemusha Jun 14, 2012 02:45 PM

                      Got some nice ones for 2.99 this a.m. from Highland Farms in Miss. Hoping for a stretch of dry heat to keep 'em coming better than last year's awful crop.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kagemusha
                        Googs Jun 28, 2013 09:23 AM

                        The ones I got at Highland Farms Kennedy and Ellesmere last weekend were (and still are) mighty fine.

                      2. chocabot Jun 15, 2012 05:53 PM

                        Tomorrow is the Strawberry festival at St Lawrence Market. I've never been but their site says there's strawberry dishes and tastings available at different vendors.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chocabot
                          jamie Jun 17, 2012 10:08 AM

                          Valu-Mart at Bayview and Davisville has had good batches over the past week for $2.99

                        2. s
                          scapegoated Jun 20, 2012 01:13 PM

                          Anyone have a good source for Organic Ontario Strawberries in the GTA?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: scapegoated
                            Flexitarian Jun 20, 2012 01:33 PM

                            I just bought some just picked organic strawberries from the Riverdale Farmers Market yesterday for $6/quart. I imagine you can get them at most farmers markets these days. I thought the price was a bit steep as I've seen conventional ones for less than 1/2 the price, and organic ones in supermarkets for less too, but these are local so the carbon footprint is low (if you care about such things). They sure tasted good.

                            1. re: Flexitarian
                              scapegoated Jun 20, 2012 01:42 PM

                              Awesome, thanks! Yes, I am most interested berries that taste delightful because they haven't had to travel for ages. Has anyone seen them at Dufferin Grove Market?

                              1. re: Flexitarian
                                Kagemusha Jun 20, 2012 02:27 PM

                                And how far did they travel if they're "local?"

                            2. t
                              TOFoodie1 Jul 4, 2012 05:24 PM

                              I bought some great Ontario strawberries at Loblaws today (Yonge and Yonge Blvd). They were $2.00 a quart (2/$4.00) - firm, juicy and very sweet, and not overripe or mushy like others that I've had recently.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: TOFoodie1
                                autopi Jul 8, 2012 08:33 AM

                                having a harder time finding them now ... not at the loblaws at the maple leaf gardens, the big loblaws at st clair and bathurst, or the sobeys, brunos or loblaws express all at st clair and yonge. went to wychwood barns farmers market toward noon and they were either sold out or didn't have any. yikes!

                              2. justsayn Jul 4, 2012 08:31 PM

                                Bought a flat of fantastiic strawberries at North SLM. Froze them and they are now smoothilicious!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: justsayn
                                  red dragon Jun 27, 2013 09:41 AM

                                  Hi justsayn - I know your post is from last year but would you or anyone else know about how much you paid for a flat? How many is in a flat?


                                  1. re: red dragon
                                    justsayn Jun 27, 2013 10:50 AM

                                    I do not recall - sorry. Wanna say $25 - I remember them being a bit on the high side. But they were fantastic.

                                    I was just in cote de boeuf on ossington and saw flats. I didn't inquire. Their number is 647 764 5471.

                                    BTW - I did grab a pecan pie which is very well received! The pulled pork sandwich is very good too!

                                    1. re: justsayn
                                      red dragon Jun 30, 2013 10:05 AM

                                      Thanks justsayn and Mila.

                                    2. re: red dragon
                                      Mila Jun 28, 2013 02:20 PM

                                      Paid $30 last weekend.
                                      They were good, not great.

                                      Metro Hall had amazing ones.

                                  2. Flexitarian Jul 4, 2012 09:06 PM

                                    I bought a quart of local strawberries for $6 at the Riverdale Market on Tuesday. They were the sweetest best tasting I have ever had. Costco sells conventional strawberries for less than 1/2 the price but I'd rather eat these and pay way more.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Flexitarian
                                      TOFoodie1 Jul 5, 2012 05:32 AM

                                      It's been many years since I've had local strawberries as good as this year. I think that the weather conditions (hot, sunny and not too wet) have been ideal, and there's been a bumper crop. The ones I've had so far have been far better than the imported ones (that are often cheaper).

                                      1. re: TOFoodie1
                                        MargieEv Jul 5, 2012 06:12 AM

                                        Willowtree market at Port Perry has excellent ones. They will have them right through until Sept. I love that place.The people are so nice and their stuff is so good.

                                        1. re: TOFoodie1
                                          Flexitarian Jul 5, 2012 09:36 AM

                                          I also like that many of the local ones, if you talk to the farmers, are not necessarily organic 'certified' but use organic farming methods. The certification costs money and is a bit of work is the reason they give that they don't get certified.

                                          1. re: Flexitarian
                                            crawfish Jul 8, 2012 11:18 AM

                                            There should be a category for stuff that is farmed without pesticides but doesn't meet the full organic standard. I think in order to call it organic the land must have been free of pesticide use for something like 10 years. Strawberries are one of the worst for pesticide residue so it would be nice to encourage farmers to stop using them even if they weren't prepared to go for the full organic certification.

                                      2. y
                                        ylsf Jun 27, 2013 09:47 AM

                                        I picked some Ontario Strawberries up at Longo's yesterday. Not sure of the price but was less than $5 if I recall correctly.

                                        1. Charles Yu Jun 27, 2013 11:30 AM

                                          I have seen and eaten many varieties of Strawberries in my life time from, Japan, Europe and all the way to the North American west coast.
                                          However, yesterday, I encountered and picked a 'wild?' varietal from my friend's front yard in Thornhill that was so unique in size, taste and aroma, it was a big and welcoming surprise!
                                          These 'smaller than raspberry' size varietal were fully red when I picked them, They tasted borderline sweet but the aroma was very unique and mesmerizing. Reminding me of some commercial 'handwashing liquid soap'!! - but in a good way!
                                          Should have taken photo of them before eaten them all with sugar and cream!! Shucks!!
                                          Any fellow chowhounders encountered similar 'fresh' berries in the GTA??! I noticed very similar Georgian 'frozen' version from 'Yummy Market'. Sold in vacuum plastic bags, their price is a whopping $24+ per pound!!!!

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Charles Yu
                                            Charles Yu Jun 28, 2013 03:07 PM

                                            Went to Yummy Market yesterday! FYI, they sold out the 'small size' Georgian/Ukranian wild strawberries! Sigh!! Must be good!!!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              Ediblethoughts Jun 28, 2013 04:34 PM

                                              Wild strawberries are the best! I've never seen them sold commercially. Which is a pity. (I used to get them in the wild when we'd go for nature walks...)

                                              1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                duckdown Jun 30, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                Wild field strawberries are the one thing from my childhood that are still "tatooed in my brain".. These tiny, little wild strawberries we used to pick near my grandmas house in Thunder Bay, were so small and just exploding with intense concentrated flavor and aroma.. To this day I have found nothing even close to this! They are unbelievable

                                                There's an old Toronto Star article from a couple years back comparing the best strawberry jams and there's a place in Toronto that makes a jam out of them, but it sells for something like $40 a small jar. Would love to try those

                                                1. re: duckdown
                                                  Googs Jun 30, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                  Where else, but Thuet? Doesn't sound like Pataki liked it, but what else is new? YMMV

                                                2. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                  disgusti Jul 1, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                  Yeah I got some wild strawberries from a small grocer in Montreal two summers ago that I think about to this day. I'd never had a berry so good, even homegrown, and I haven't since

                                              2. TorontoJo Jun 28, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                I have to say that the local Niagara strawberries have been wickedly good this year. Been eating them pretty much nonstop for the last few weeks. A quart sells for $3.99 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

                                                1. l
                                                  LexiFirefly Jun 30, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                  I'm in port Elgin right now and the hi berry farms strawberries are awesome. Mini firefly and I may be getting a rash we've eaten so many!!!

                                                  1. Kagemusha Jul 1, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                    They're a bit late this year and pricier than last season's. Got some OK local larger variety from Highland Farms this week and some nicer small type berries from the mostly-awful Square 1 farmers' market yesterday. $5/basket seems to be the going rate-- a couple of bucks over 2012.

                                                    1. Ediblethoughts Jul 4, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                      There were tons at the Loblaws on Dupont near Bathurst today.

                                                      1. c
                                                        cheesymama Jul 5, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                        Anyone been picking yet this year? I want to go tomorrow morning but am wondering how sweet they are and f the picking is good.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: cheesymama
                                                          Kagemusha Jul 5, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                          With the rain? Doubtful.

                                                          1. re: cheesymama
                                                            Full tummy Jul 5, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                            I picked twice this past week, once yesterday and once on Monday, at Lennox Farm near Shelburne. The strawberries were delicious!


                                                            1. re: cheesymama
                                                              cheesymama Jul 6, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                              I went this morning - already 2 batches of jam cooling on my counter! The berries were sweet but mostly on the small side. Picking was okay, not terrible but definitely not great. We went to Whittamore's, their raspberry picking starts tomorrow and they also have beans, peas and new potatoes for picking.

                                                              1. re: cheesymama
                                                                earthygoat Jul 6, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                I've been picking near Campbellford several times during the past couple of weeks. The berries are the best I've had in a long time, smaller than California cardboard berries, but the flavour is intense and sweet.

                                                              2. duckdown Jul 6, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                Apple Factory has local strawberries now, spotted them in-store yesterday

                                                                1. Kagemusha Jul 6, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                  Got some very nice berries at the Hamilton Farmers' market this a.m. Smallish, intensely-flavored type I prefer to the larger varieties.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    afong56 Jul 7, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                    if anyone is still looking for u-pick berries, we just picked up a basket from linton family farms, just north of columbus on raglan road east (north of oshawa, just east of simcoe st)

                                                                    the berries are gorgeous and ridiculously delicious.

                                                                    1. p
                                                                      principessa del pisello Jul 15, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                      Has anyone spotted Ontario field berries lately - already picked? I'm hoping to make a batch of jam this weekend. I hope I'm not too late!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: principessa del pisello
                                                                        jayt90 Jul 15, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                        Best berries in July will be in Eastern Ontario or Quebec.
                                                                        Locally, I would try Highland Farms for a quantity sale.

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