An ingenious, new mobile food market in Toronto is bringing fresh produce to neighborhoods where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain. Called the Mobile Good Food Market, the bus-turned-market was designed by LGA Architectural Partners (LGA) and commissioned by FoodShare Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto and United Way Toronto. By going to geographically isolated, often underprivileged “food deserts,” the Mobile Good Food Market gives residents a chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables without traveling long distances or paying exorbitant prices.
To convert a donated Toronto Transport Commission Wheel-Trans bus into an accessible, traveling market, LGA installed a series of aluminum shelves, which fold out of the bus underneath an awning to display the produce when the vehicle is parked. Colorful cascades of fresh lettuce, okra, onions, berries, broccoli, apples, and other delicious foods fill plastic bins that line the shelves. The interior of the bus, which is wheelchair-accessible, holds the checkout counter and room to peruse more shelves of produce, allowing the bus to operate even in inclement weather.
With food prices marked up only 20 percent to cover the costs of running the bus, the Mobile Good Food Market helps locals save money and pursue healthier lifestyles. While the bus is currently able to hit the road only twice a week, FoodShare hopes to expand the mobile market’s service in the future with more funding.