Grocery shopping in Ontario: a skyrocketing price thread

That was a very unusual bargain, from the reduced quick sale section, where the ripe and bruised fruit goes. I have been checking it more frequently lately.

Grocery store Heirlooms are typically $5 Cdn/lb at Farm Boy which is something like a version of Traders Joe’s, but it’s owned by a national chain called Sobey’s.

I used to grow one heirloom variety but we have had trouble with tomatoes the last 10 years. I’m growing some in containers this year, to try to prevent the blight that comes mid Aug, but they aren’t producing too many tomatoes.

The field tomatoes at the farmers’ market were $4/quart last Friday, 3 or 4 mid-sized tomatoes per quart.

I agree, grocery store heirlooms usually don’t taste like the real deal. If they are greenhouse heirlooms, how could they?

The Farmers’ Market here didn’t have field tomatoes until last Friday (Aug 4)

The local farmers here in southwestern Ontario have been selling greenhouse tomatoes or partly sheltered tomatoes until now.



I never thought I’d see this. In Ottawa we have a chain of stores called Produce Depot that sells mostly (you guessed it!} produce. But they have a lovely selection of fish and meats as well as other staples like canned beans, bread, etc… Each week I check their flyer to see if they have anything on special that I need and noticed in this week’s flyer they have 2 loaves of Betty bread for $69. I hope it’s a typo…



Hilarious. Despite it being plain on the advert, and you also writing it out in full, my brain inserted 2/¢69 instead of reading it correctly as 2/$69. So I was about to ask you if you meant you hoped it was not a typo. Until I looked again and forced myself to read what was actually there instead of what my brain was translating it as.


I’m curious about what is meant by "heirlooms " in this context. Are they naming them; like “Mortgage Lifter”, or “Brandywine”, or are they meaning shapely beefsteak tomatoes in various colors?

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Haha brain cramps happen :slight_smile: If the bread really was 2/$0.69 I wouldn’t tell anybody then go to the store and clean out their stock :slight_smile:

In Ontario, the variety of heirloom tomato or any other tomato is rarely listed.

The heirloom tomatoes will be a mixture 5 or 6 different varieties, different sizes, some with the weird shapes or colours, all at the same price. I’m not sure if those tomatoes are considered multicoloured shapely beefsteaks. :joy:

I’ve grown some heirloom tomatoes, and I’ve never seen Old German tomatoes , for instance, available for sale.

Even at our farmers’ markets the variety of tomatoes is rarely listed.

I remember the Union Square Market in NYC having many varieties of potatoes and plums listed. I can’t remember their tomatoes, but I’m sure they were better labeled than tomatoes up here.

Thanks! I don’t see them labeled by variety in grocery stores here either, and think it would be easy to sell as heirlooms almost any thing that isn’t red and round.

My CSA tends to list their potatoes with names


Sometimes fingerling varieties are mentioned. No idea what variety of russet, reds or white potatoes are at the grocery store.

I try different varieties of seed potatoes. I didn’t keep track this year , though. Some reds and whites, and I planted a few fingerlings from the farmers’ market in the spots where a few potatoes didn’t come up!

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I try to grow fingerling varieties every year, with limited success.

I have much better luck growing tomatoes, but they are not technically heirlooms.


Everything looks great!

Have you grown Bintje potatoes? They’re not a fingerling. They’re a Dutch yellow-fleshed potato. I really like them.

We have been getting a late Aug blight almost every year for the past decade, so I only grew 3 full sized tomato tomato plants this year, in containers, 4 small tomatoes- 1 yellow cherry, 1 yellow pear shaped, 1 red cherry tomato and 1 other grape tomato in the ground. I have 3 other plants that I planted late, and aren’t flowering yet so who knows if they’ll produce by the first killing frost.

I’ve only harvested 4 full-sized tomatoes and maybe a dozen small tomatoes so far this summer!

I have not, but don’tget me started! I will try to limit my food gardening chat to the food garden thread!


Imported American fancy plums at my indie grocery store in London, Remark Market.I haven’t seen these varietals grown in Ontario.

Current price of local ON lamb at Remark.

Fresh halibut cost $37.99/lb today. It had been costing $29-$32/lb the last time I purchased halibut.

$3.19 for Carnation evaporated milk at Shoppers .It currently costs $2.79 at Sobeys, Metro, No Frills and Loblaws.

At least the “Flavor Grenade” are actually “pluots”.


Good to know! We didn’t even have pluots imported to Canada until the last 5 years or so!

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I was impressed with how clean and tidy the Source bulk store on Roncesvalles is. They even sell maple syrup, balsamic, black lentils, sesame oil in bulk. They Aldo’s elk empty jars and bottles… Very nice shop. I bought some sesame seeds, poppy seeds and freekeh.

@THECHARLES , have you been to the Spanish Pig?

Lots of Conservas.

British stuff at Sunnyside Provisions

Alimentari stocks 4 types of Rancho Gordo beans



They also sell

Just finished doing a little bit of grocery shopping at Vaughan’s ’ YUMMY MARKET '.
In the past, ( actually not too long ago, maybe about a year or so? ) I liked to splurge on a bit of ’ Wild Coho Salmon Caviar ’ ( Ikura ) once in a while. At $12.99 per 100gr, for an occasional lavish snack, they were borderline affordable/tolerable.
Today, out of curiosity, I dropped by the fish counter to take a browse…WOW!!! They are now selling for $26.99 per 100 gr!! Now, that’s inflation for you!!

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I’m impressed Cory Vitiello of Harbord Room, Flock , Megan Markle and Martina Sorbara fame, shops at the Source bulk food store on Roncy, Sunnyside Provisions on Roncy and Fiesta Farms on Christie, just like a Hungry Onion would do. :joy:

I’m sure he prettied up the place for the photoshoot, but that doesn’t look like a kitchen of someone who cooks at home a lot. :thinking: Just bending over to all those drawers would drive me crazy.


If you were married to a Cancon rockstar who also happens to be the daughter of Greg Sorbara, I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t be cooking at home too much.:joy:

I’m intrigued by the bowl lifestyle.

I am amazed that they choose Sukhothai as their staple, over of the other Thai joints in town. :joy:

I want to see Harry and Meghan’s kitchen now.