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Trout Lake Farmers Market and John Hendry Park in Vancouver

Linda Crampton is a writer who lives in Greater Vancouver. She enjoys walking and likes to take photographs of her discoveries.

The Trout Lake Farmers Market in Vancouver, British Columbia

The Trout Lake Farmers Market in Vancouver, British Columbia

A Farmers Market and an Interesting Park

May to October is farmers market season in southwestern British Columbia. Several markets are located not far from my home. My favourite one is the Trout Lake Farmers Market, which is held in John Hendry Park in East Vancouver. Here I can buy fresh produce, artisan baked goods, plants to grow at home, and attractive and often unique crafts. I enjoy the festive atmosphere at the weekly event and the interaction with the friendly vendors and customers that I meet.

The market at Trout Lake is very popular for several reasons— the goods that it sells, the entertainment and education that it offers, and its lovely location. The event always seems like a community celebration to me. Performing musicians and entertainment stations for children are present every time I visit. People who provide information about local food, gardening, or environmental issues are also present every week.

After visiting the market, I walk around the lake. A Saturday morning visit to the park is a great way to start the weekend. This year is a special one for the market due to the coronavirus situation, however. People who intend to visit the Trout Lake market in 2021 should read the relevant information below because special procedures are in place. All of the photos in this article were taken by me on my trips to the area in recent years. The descriptions of market activities apply to previous years and hopefully will soon apply again.

Peppers at the Trout Lake market

Peppers at the Trout Lake market

Food Vendors

The Trout Lake Farmers Market opens in early May and closes in late October. The dates are roughly the same each year. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on every Saturday during the season. There are seven other summer farmers markets in the Vancouver area as well as two winter ones that run from November to April.

Most vendors visit the Trout Lake market on a rotating basis. Their wares depend on what is currently being grown. Produce and baked good vendors are always present. Other vendors sell items such as wild salmon, meats, cheeses, herbs, spices, pickles, preserves, honey, granola mixes, and artisan chocolates. Artisan cider, beer, or wine vendors are often present at the market as well. The market emphasizes organic and sustainable food and drinks.

Coffee and hot food vendors are present in the park every week. The crepe sellers are present almost every week. Visitors need to be prepared to either join a long queue to buy a crepe or get to the market early. The crepes are very popular. It's also advisable for a visitor to arrive early if they want the best selection of baked goods. As 2 p.m. approaches, the bakery stalls may not have much left to offer visitors. On one visit I arrived at around 12 p.m. and found that a treat that I would have loved to have bought was sold out.

The vendor list for a particular date at the market is posted on the Vancouver farmers market website. A link to this site is provided in the "Resources" section at the end of this article.

Locally grown and organic vegetables that I purchased in the market and photographed in the park

Locally grown and organic vegetables that I purchased in the market and photographed in the park

A Visit to the Trout Lake Farmers Market

Crafts, Plants, and Entertainment

Crafters are an important part of the Trout Lake market. On a specific day, there may be painters, photographers, potters, woodworkers, jewelry makers, fibre artists, or textile artists present. “Vancouver Farmers Markets” is the society that runs all of the Vancouver markets. It holds a craft jury each year to decide which crafters are allowed to sell their creations.

The market also sells potted plants to grow in a garden, on a balcony, or in a house. These seem to be almost as popular as the food. There are always beautiful flowers for sale. On two of my visits, I've found an interesting carnivorous plants stall.

Entertainment is an enjoyable component of the market. I always discover musicians to listen to. Face painters for children are often present, and a balloon twister is sometimes present as well.

Benefits of Food From Farmers Markets

Fresh food is the healthiest kind. Fruits and vegetables lose nutrients once they're picked. Ideally, we would all grow our own produce and eat it as soon as it was picked. Most of us don’t have the space or the time to do this, however. The next best thing is to buy straight from a farm.

The growers bring their recently picked produce to the Trout Lake market and set up a temporary stall to sell their goods. The food has been grown locally and has been transported over shorter distances than a lot of the food in supermarkets and grocery stores. In addition to keeping the food fresh, this reduces pollution caused by vehicles.

The 2021 Market: A COVID-19 Version

In 2021, the Trout Lake market opens on May 1st and closes on October 30th. This year's event will be a special version due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The market will be open, but it will contain only food vendors. There will be no food trucks, craft vendors, flower or potted plant displays, entertainers, or information displays at the market. In addition, certain rules will be in effect.

  • The market requests that only one person from each family shops for food.
  • Social distancing rules will be in operation and a limited number of people will be allowed into the market at a time.
  • The market will be open during the usual hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first half hour will be reserved for seniors and people with mobility problems, however.
  • Shoppers may not eat at the market.
  • This year, no pets will be allowed.

Farmers markets are open in Vancouver because food vendors are classified as an essential service. Unfortunately, this year it's important that the markets are used simply to obtain fresh food and not for the usual socialization and entertainment. People are being asked to "Shop, don't stop."

In 2021, people can order online from the vendors that will be present on a particular Saturday. They can then pick up their order at the back of the vendors' stalls instead of walking through the area where most people travel.

John Hendry Park

In the late nineteenth century, John Hendry Park was located near the site of the Hastings Sawmill. The mill and park were owned by John Hendry, an important man in the local lumber industry. Trout Lake, which is a natural peat bog lake located in the park, was the water source for the mill.

John Hendry’s daughter donated her father’s land to the Vancouver Park Board on condition that the new park was named after her father. Local people tend to call the park Trout Lake Park though, or simply "Trout Lake", since the lake is such a large and popular feature in the park.

The park has an area of 27.31 hectares or about 67 acres. It's a popular place for dog walkers. At one end of the lake near the farmers market, there's an area where dogs are allowed to enter the water and play off leash. They do both of these things with great energy and enjoyment. All of the dogs seem to get on very well with each other. At the opposite end of the lake is a larger area that is reserved for human swimmers and where dogs are not allowed. A lifeguard is present in this area in summer, and the concession stand is open.

John Hendry Park is very pleasant for people who would like to sit on the grass or on a bench and read a book, talk to friends or family, have a picnic, or watch people and dogs playing in the park. I usually buy a baked treat at the market and eat it while sitting on the grass, like many other people do. Special events are held in the park throughout the year, including a popular lantern festival and a series of outdoor concerts.

The lake in summer

The lake in summer

Activities and Facilities in the Park

A new community centre has been built in John Hendry Park. Market visitors might find its washrooms handy. The centre also offers free WiFi to everyone, whether or not they live in Vancouver. Food and drinks are available in vending machines and in a small cafe if it's open. The centre contains an ice rink. It's located half way between the dog beach and the human beach. It's easy for a person with normal mobility to walk to the community centre from the market and doesn't take long.

The park also contains playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, sports fields, a picnic site, and additional washrooms. It's a great place for community sports. The trail around the lake has a good surface for jogging. There’s lots for children and sports lovers to do in the park.

The lake and the surrounding trail is a nice area for nature lovers and an enjoyable area to explore after visiting the market. A wide variety of birds live in the habitats around the lake. Despite its name, however, the lake contains no trout. Although sections of the land bordering the lake have been cleared so that people can sit in an open area, others have been left in a wild condition. These wilder areas are the parts that I find most interesting.

The farmers market is set up in a parking lot at the north end of the lake. The dog beach is also located in this area. The human beach ("Trout Lake Beach") is larger than the dog one and is located at the south end of the lake.

Taking the SkyTrain to John Hendry Park

SkyTrain is a rapid transit system that extends through Vancouver and the surrounding communities, mostly on an elevated track. The train stops close to the farmers market at the Broadway or Commercial Drive station, depending on the line. The two stations are next door neighbours and are connected to each other. It's easy to reach the market from downtown Vancouver via SkyTrain.

It's a short walk from the SkyTrain station eastwards along Broadway and then southwards down Victoria Drive to the park. The walk is easy for people of normal mobility.

I use SkyTrain to reach the park because it gives me a chance to get some exercise. I have to walk from my home to the first station and then take a shorter walk from the second station to reach the park. It's interesting to see people carrying potted plants and other items from the market as I get near the park. The event is popular with the local community and beyond.

SkyTrain approaching the Commercial Drive station

SkyTrain approaching the Commercial Drive station

Following an Urban Trail

Another alternative for getting to the market is to cycle. The Metro Vancouver region (also known as Greater Vancouver) has a network of urban trails for pedestrians, cyclists, and inline skaters. Many sections of the trails are attractively bordered by plants, making them a pleasant route for travellers.

The trails are very nice for a cautious cyclist like me who dislikes riding a bike in traffic. They are also great for families with young children. One trail passes through John Hendry Park, which is a popular destination for recreational cyclists.

This is part of the Central Valley Greenway near the farmers market. The greenway has paths for both pedestrians and cyclists.

This is part of the Central Valley Greenway near the farmers market. The greenway has paths for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Travelling by Bus or Car

John Hendry Park contains parking lots, although the ones nearest to the market are very busy on Saturday. Buses go along the roads that border the park. Routes and schedules can be found via the link below.

If you’re in the Vancouver area and have a spare Saturday morning, a visit to the farmers market is very worthwhile. It's an enjoyable experience and provides an opportunity to buy fresh, nutritious, and tasty food. John Hendry Park is fun to visit at any time, whether or not the market is operating.


  • Detailed vendor information for the market (and other ones), a vendor schedule, and a seasonal produce guide are available at the Vancouver Farmers Markets website.
  • The public transit system in Metro Vancouver is run by TransLink. The organization has a trip planner app on its website.

© 2011 Linda Crampton


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 12, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, Peg! The market is a lovely place and sells good food. It's situated in a very nice setting, too, so there are interesting things to do after visiting the market. I enjoy my visits there.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 12, 2013:

Alicia, I can see why this one earned the Hub of the Day award. Belated congratulations on this fascinating piece. I love farmer's markets and the pictures you've included on this one really make me want to go and buy some of that fresh produce. This was quite entertaining from so many angles, from biodynamic tomatoes to dogs getting acquainted. Nice!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 19, 2011:

Thanks a lot for your comment, Bud! I like the health and taste benefits of fresh food too.

Bud Gallant from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on July 19, 2011:

That market looks very good. You produced a really excellent hub here. I love the photographs, too.

You definitely deserve hub of the day. Congratulations.

I agree about fresh food being important. It's not only delicious, but healthier, too.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you very much for the comment, Naomi's Banner! The flower photo in this hub was taken this summer, but here in the Vancouver area on the southwest coast of Canada we get mild autumns and winters, unlike in other parts of the country and in some other parts of British Columbia. We usually get very little snow at sea level, and when we get snow it usually doesn't last for long. The nearby mountains do get snow though, which makes the skiers and snowboarders happy!

Naomi's Banner from United States on July 18, 2011:

Incredibly awesome! I am surprised there are beautiful flowers like this in October in Canada. I would think they would be getting snow by then. I love trout so will definitely have to add this to my list of places I want to visit. Thanks for the beautfully written Hub.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you for the comment and the vote, Kate! I like living in British Columbia. It has some beautiful scenery. Hopefully you'll be able to visit BC some day!

Kate Spenser from Austin, TX on July 18, 2011:

Congrats on hub of the day! I love this hub, especially your fantastic photos. I've always wanted to visit British Columbia, and this makes me want to visit even more. Voted up/awesome!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you very much, freecampingaussie. I'm sorry that your husband had a heart attack. I hope that you're able to get back to being a market vendor at some point.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you, BukowskiBabe. Yes, I agree with you - I love buying produce at farmers markets because the fruits and vegetables are fresh and they taste so good!

freecampingaussie from Southern Spain on July 18, 2011:

Love your hub. We love visiting and supporting markets . We used to sell hook-eze for fishing at markets till my husband had a heart attack, still got loads.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, joyroller. Yes, the Trout Lake Farmers Market does have a festive atmosphere. It's a very enjoyable place to visit.

BukowskiBabe from Somewhere in the middle of it all. on July 18, 2011:

Sounds like a wonderful, magical place. Wish I lived closer. The entire family would go, including the dogs. I love fresh fruits and veggies. Nothing worse than going to the store and buying produce that looks good but tastes horrible. Produce picked before it was ripe and shipped miles and miles to the store losing all taste and nutritional value. Great hub!

joyroller on July 18, 2011:

very festive atmosphere and wondful place.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, Thelma Alberts. Thanks a lot for the the comment and the vote!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on July 18, 2011:

Congratulation for the hub of the day. I love strolling around farmers market. Thanks for sharing and voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you so much for your congratulations, Fennelseed. I appreciate your comment very much.

Annie Fenn from Australia on July 18, 2011:

Congratulations AliciaC, this is a great hub, I enjoyed it the first time around and so glad to see it as Hub of the Day, so well deserved.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, RedElf. Thank you very much for the visit and the great comment!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you for the congratulations, Patty Inglish!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share, J.S.Matthew! Vancouver and the surrounding cities have lots of farmers markets too. It's fun to explore them all!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, JSParker. I've never been to Quebec or to Montreal. I would love to visit Quebec and take lots of photographs! I hope that you enjoy your trip. Thank you very much for the comment and the vote.

RedElf from Canada on July 18, 2011:

Congratulations - this hub of the day award is certainly bringing some great hubs (and writers) to everyone's attention!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 18, 2011:

Congratulations on this being chosen Hub of the Day!

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on July 18, 2011:

Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day!

This is a great article and is very thorough and well written. I live in New England and there are many farmers markets all over. My city alone has at least 3. Great Hub! Voting Up and sharing!


JSParker from Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 2011:

What a gorgeous hub! I'm sorry I didn't get to this place when I toured Vancouver. Such a beautiful city, I'd love to visit again. We're way over here in Michigan, though, and this year plan a trip up to Montreal and Quebec City. Voted awesome!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, FloraBreenRobison. I see that we are (almost) neighbours! Thank you for the congratulations. Yes, farmers markets are great places.

My avatar cat is Nevin, one of my ragdoll cats. People have commented that he looks so serious in the photo, but that's his normal expression!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Yes, reg5566, the naming process for natural areas is sometimes strange, or only made sense when the area was first named!

FloraBreenRobison on July 18, 2011:

Aren't farmers' markets grand? I love the local markets here for fruits and veggies especially (I live in Chilliwack.) Congratulations on being chosen hub of the day.

ps. your avatar cat is beautiful.

reg5566 from Santa Clarita, Ca. on July 18, 2011:

Your welcome!And in Michigan there is a lake that is called Bass Lake and only has Perch & Blue Gill fish.

Go figure...

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Thank you so much for the kind comment and the votes, applecsmith! I hope that you enjoy your trip to Vancouver and that you do get a chance to visit the market and John Hendry Park.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:

Hi, reg5566. Thank you very much for the interesting comment. It's strange that "Trout Lake" in Vancouver is named after trout when there are no trout living there!

Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on July 18, 2011:

Congrats on being the Hub of the Day! This is my favorite hub featured so far. In a year I hope to plan a trip to Vancouver and I am going to put this farmer's market and park on my list of sights to see. Thank you so much for sharing, I enjoyed reading this a lot.

Voted up and awesome!

reg5566 from Santa Clarita, Ca. on July 18, 2011:

Wow thanks for the wonderful Hub. It brought back a lot of fond memories. I have not been fishing for a very long time. Growing up in Michigan I would go fishing almost year round. In the winter Ice fishing, summer just lake fishing and my step-dad and me go on a two week stay and Trout fish in the streams of Northern Mich. We always do fly fishing to catch them. Take them right out of the stream and cook them oh boy that was some fine eats.

Thanks again for taking me down memory lane. (next time I pack bag) see ya!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 06, 2011:

Hi, Simone. Thanks a lot for your comment. Yes, the Trout Lake market is very nice. I hope that you're able to visit Vancouver some time. I’ve been to San Francisco, and enjoyed my visit very much!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 06, 2011:

I adore farmers markets, and this one sounds particularly exquisite! I love the photos, and hope I might make my way to Vancouver- to see this and many other things- someday.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 06, 2011:

Hi, Tina! Thank you for your comment. There is something for everyone at John Hendry Park, which is why it's so popular. The market and the lake are the highlights for me. Natural habitats have been created around the lake to attract birds and other animals, but the lake is big enough to have an area for swimming and sunbathing as well.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on July 06, 2011:

Another great hub from you! This looks like a both useful and fun event. There is nothing better than to be able to bye fresh products that haven't been transported around half the world. There seems to be something for everyone! Great photos, they are beautiful and the dogs seems to enjoy themselves:)

Thanks for a glimpse of Trout Lake farmers market!


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 06, 2011:

Thank you very much, John. There are some lovely places in Canada. I've lived in three provinces since I moved here from Britain, but British Columbia is my favorite. It has some beautiful scenery.

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on July 06, 2011:

Great hub AliciaC. This place looks and sounds lovely. I'd love to visit Canada one of these days. One day as I was waiting for my car to be repaired, this lady was telling me to visit Canada, so I made it a point to added to my 'bucket list.'

Thanks for posting and take care of yourself


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 05, 2011:

Thank you for the comment, Chatkath. You've described the benefits of a farmers market very well! I look forward to the opening of my local markets every summer and miss them when they close at the end of the season.

Kathy from California on July 05, 2011:

Sounds like a wonderful market Alicia, I too love to visit the local Farmer's Market whenever possible to get the best produce, breads, flowers, etc. and it is a fun way to meet with growers, make new friends, visit with old friends and I usually learn something new each time! Great write! Fresh is always best!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 04, 2011:

Thanks a lot, kashmir56! You're right - although I wrote about one particular farmers market, all farmers markets are interesting in some way. It's great that they are becoming more popular. I love buying vegetables and fruits from a farmers market. The food is always so fresh and it's interesting to see what local growers are cultivating. The markets in my area have a wide variety of produce, especially if I arrive soon after the market opens. Some of the popular items are sold quite fast, so it's not a good idea to reach the market shortly before it closes!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on July 04, 2011:

Hi AliciaC, very interesting and informational hub about Trout Lake Farmers Market, farmer markets are always a great adventure no matter what city or town they are in .

Awesome and vote up !!!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 04, 2011:

Hi, b. Malin. Yes, the markets are fun, and, as you say, they have something for everyone! John Hendry Park is a good place for a farmers market, which is very supportive of cyclists. They really want to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

b. Malin on July 04, 2011:

Farmer's Markets are such Fun...Something for Everyone. Quite an Interesting and Informative Hub AliceC. I so Love the picture of the Dogs enjoying the water...And a save place for Bikes and Riding, what more could one ask for!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 04, 2011:

Thank you very much for the comment and votes, Fennelseed! John Hendry Park is a very dog friendly area, which is one reason why I like it, since I love dogs. I enjoy visiting different farmers markets, even though the Trout Lake market is my favorite one so far. The markets provide a lovely selection of fresh produce, and have other interesting foods too.

Annie Fenn from Australia on July 04, 2011:

A wonderful account of an awesome farmers market. The great bicycle valet concept and dog friendly also, then the opportunity to take a walk around the beautiful lake is a bonus. Farmers markets are becoming popular here in Australia and are a great way to buy fresh, buy local and catch up with friends of the community.

Thanks for sharing this great event that combines shopping and a great time out. Voted up, awesome and useful.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 03, 2011:

Thank you very much for the comment, Gordon. You’re right – although the general idea behind a farmers market is the same everywhere, they all vary in character. There is actually a farmers market much nearer to my house than the Trout Lake Market, but I much prefer traveling a longer distance to get to Trout Lake. I haven’t encountered quite the same festive and friendly atmosphere of the Trout Lake market anywhere else, plus I love walking around the lake and park after I’ve been to the market.

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 03, 2011:

Fabulous Hub, encapsulating not only the wonders of your Trout Lake Farmers' Market but the benefits of shopping at farmers' markets in general. I've been to many farmers' markets in the UK and mainland Europe and love the way that each one always affords something that little bit different. No way is it a case of that when you've seen one, you've seen them all!

What I am really ashamed to admit is that, since I have moved back to my home town, I haven't yet visited the one which now exists a mere five miles away. I really need to put that right and maybe I will share that experience in a Hub.

Thanks for the information and the much needed prompt! :)

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