Our roots

Our roots run deep

Many Toronto Wholesale Produce Association members can trace their family histories back to the early days of Muddy York—specifically the bustling commercial area known as St. Lawrence Market. Our wholesalers’ fresh produce is as popular today as it was back then. And though based at the Ontario Food Terminal for decades now, our members continue to contribute to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the many communities they serve. Here are some highlights from our market’s history.




The making of a landmark

In the original town of York (now Toronto), the parcel of land stretching from...
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James Bamford And Sons Produce

Bamford Produce is a fourth-generation family business established in 1881. James...
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City and Market expansion

Toronto is a fast-growing centre in the late 19th century, with its population...
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A fresh start

In 1904 a new canopied building connects the north and south lots. The farmers’...
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Produce wholesalers unite

Cramped conditions and antiquated facilities begin to take their toll on the wholesale...
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Chiovitti Banana Co.

Founded in 1908 by Italian immigrant Antonio Chiovitti, Chiovitti Banana started...
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Ontario Produce Company

The Ontario Produce Company dates back to 1914, when Max and Maurice Wolfe opened...
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F.G. Lister & Co

Founded in 1918 by Mr. Frederick George Lister, F.G. Lister & Co. is dedicated...
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Meschino Banana Co.

When we think of bananas, we also think of another well-known name at the Terminal—Meschino....
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Stretched to capacity

By 1929, the Toronto wholesale fruit and produce market is truly struggling to...
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Ippolito Fruit & Produce

In the 1930s, Carmelo and Filomena Ippolito launched their wholesale fresh fruit...
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Burnac Produce

Established by the Burnett family, Burnac Produce has roots in the industry dating...
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The TWPA is born

With the Great Depression, wholesalers begin to face financial challenges. In...
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Veg-Pak Produce

For more than 70 years, Veg-Pak Produce Ltd. has been a leader in innovation....
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Fire strikes the old market

Located in the St. Lawrence Market area, the wholesale produce market is reduced...
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Ontario Food Terminal opens

The Ontario Food Terminal finally opens, becoming
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Wholesalers Convention

Although it no longer takes place, our wholesaler's association convention...
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North American Produce Buyers

Founded by Morris Shoom, North American Produce Buyers has operated out of the...
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Johnvince Foods

In the late 50s Vince Pulla got his start in the bulk food business working at...
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Our Farmers’ Market

Premier Bill Davis formally opens a dedicated Farmers’ Market on the west...
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Fast forward to today
As the largest wholesale produce market in Canada, many across Ontario, Québec...
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