Top Marketplaces in Durham Region: Where to Shop Local & Online Tucked away along the shores of Lake Ontario lies Durham Region, a vibrant hub of local businesses and charming communities. As one of Ontario’s most thriving regions, Durham is home to several major cities, including Oshawa, Whitby and Bowmanville. Known for its commitment to supporting local enterprises and preserving its unique culture, Durham Region boasts a diverse collection of farmers’ marketplaces, artisanal shops, and small businesses worthy of exploration. Durham Region: Vibrant Hub for Local Markets Durham Region’s roots run deep, with Oshawa established as Ontario’s automotive capital in the early 1900s. Today, Durham continues its manufacturing legacy through General Motors while also embracing emerging tech companies. This healthy mix of traditional industries and innovative startups contributes to Durham’s friendly neighbourhoods, flourishing local establishments and tight-knit communities. Residents take pride in supporting homegrown businesses, with various farmers’ markets, flea markets and specialty stores popping up across major hubs like Oshawa, Whitby and Bowmanville. From farm-fresh produce to handmade crafts, the Durham Region offers an abundant marketplace for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. Best Durham Marketplaces to Buy & Sell Whitby Farmers’ Market 🔷 Location: Whitby & Brooklin, Ontario 📞 Phone: (905) 668-7812 🕘 Hours: Whitby: Wednesdays 9AM – 3PM Brooklin: Saturdays 9AM – 2PM 💠Top Features: Outdoor markets selling fresh produce, baked goods, crafts Live music and a lively atmosphere Online Shopping? No, open-air in-person venues Since its founding, the Whitby Farmers’ Market has connected residents with fresh, locally-grown produce straight from nearby family farms. With markets in both Whitby and Brooklin, the organization sets up outdoor shops every Wednesday and Saturday throughout spring and summer. Farmers arrive early, unpacking bushels of sweet corn, vine-ripened tomatoes and fragrant strawberries picked just hours prior. Alongside the rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies sit artisans’ booths, where visitors can browse homemade jams, mouthwatering baked goods and even dog treats. Beyond outstanding products, this Durham marketplace provides a lively community atmosphere with live music performances scattered throughout the venue. Urban Market Oshawa 🔷 Location: Relocating to 1000 Simcoe St N, Oshawa 📞 Phone: (905) 555-1234 🕘 Hours: TBD after move 💠 Top Features: Stock a variety of goods from local and Canadian purveyors Customer-driven offerings and strong community engagement Online Shopping? No, physical grocery store Urban Market Oshawa first opened its artisan grocery location in April 2021 along downtown Oshawa’s main Simcoe Street strip. Housed within a historic 11,000-square-foot building, this marketplace in Durham supplied shoppers with quality foods and goods from local vendors and top Canadian purveyors. However, following customer feedback indicating a preference for increased accessibility, Urban Market relocated north near Highway 407 in early 2023. The new supermarket offers exceptional service and community engagement, stocking beloved items from previous vendors while also expanding offerings based on shopper surveys. All in all, founder Alexis Kofman remains committed to supporting Oshawa’s growth through ethical business practices. Active Marketplace – Durham Flea Market 🔷 Location: 19 Notion Rd, Ajax 📞 Phone: (289) 555-2468 🕘 Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 10AM–6PM 💠 Top Features: Affordable booths for 100+ small business vendors Diverse products – clothing, crafts, jewelry, services Family-friendly entertainment and events Online Shopping? No, indoor in-person marketplace When COVID-19 restrictions shuttered vendors’ stalls at a popular Pickering flea market, owners Zahid Malik and his business partner saw an opportunity to uplift small businesses in need. Transforming a property in Ajax into Active Marketplace – Durham Flea Market, the duo opened a sprawling indoor venue to over 100 merchants from across Durham Region and the GTA. Ranging from custom clothing prints to vinyl records to mystical aura readings, Active Marketplace allows independent vendors to grow their storefronts affordably. Beyond the economic impact, Active Marketplace also focuses on fostering connections through lively shopping experiences chock full of vibrant sights, sounds and scents. Special seasonal celebrations with food trucks, live music and kids’ activities aim to support locals while having fun. Bowmanville Farmers’ Market 🔷 Location: Garnet B. Rickard Complex, Bowmanville 📞 Phone: (905) 432-9987 🕘 Hours: Fridays 9AM–3PM, May 19–Oct 13 💠 Top Features: Fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, crafts Opening day kickoff with swag bags & $800 raffle Online Shopping? Yes, visit bowmanvillefarmersmarket.ca Running weekly from mid-May through mid-October, the open-air Bowmanville Farmers’ Market is located conveniently within the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Farmers transport ripe produce while area artisans offer fresh-baked sweets, colourful candles and aromatic soaps. On the opening day each year, this marketplace in Durham also gives away 50 swag bags stuffed with samples, discounts and surprise gifts courtesy of beloved vendors. Beyond exciting perks, the backbone of Bowmanville Farmers’ Market remains its focus on people over profits. By spotlighting homegrown makers and growers, the weekly market strengthens its community from the inside out. Where to Find Specialty Stores in Durham, Ontario Beyond bustling markets, Durham Region houses fantastic specialty shops carrying everything from expert butcher cuts to hand-poured soy candles. Standout storefronts include: Angelo’s Butcher Shop (62 Harmony Rd N, Oshawa) – Known for sublime Surf ‘n Turf, Angelo’s also offers custom meat boxes, deli lunch platters and inventive sausage rolls to residential and business clients. Honam Naturals (197 King St E, Bowmanville) – Find nourishing face oils, mineral makeup, essential oil rollers and other plant-powered personal care products at this Bowmanville oasis. Cherry Board Shop (245 Queen St, Port Perry) – Creating stunning charcuterie and kitchenware right in Port Perry, Cherry Board’s artisan boards make excellent gifts. Artisanthropy (156 Durham Regional Rd 21, Port Perry) – Supporting community causes through creativity, Artisanthropy sells locally handmade jewelry, décor, accessories and more. Online Shopping in the Durham Region While exploring Durham’s charming communities offers enjoyment itself, consumers also appreciate the simplicity of online shopping. Luckily, many beloved area businesses now sell through online stores and markets as well. For example, Whitby Farmers’ Market vendors Little Bees Honey and Emili’s Edibles Bakery operate popular web shops shipping tangy honey and wholesome baked goods nationwide. Similarly, Bowmanville’s Rocha Vida Creations shares vibrant plant art on Instagram while taking orders via Etsy. Even Honam Naturals now stocks their homegrown skincare on online retailers Well.ca and Sustainable Planet. By ordering through these digital platforms, shoppers enjoy convenience while supporting regional makers financially. Supporting Local & Enjoying Convenience With its welcoming towns and focus on community, Durham Region provides the perfect playground for seeking hidden gem marketplaces and stores. Yet residents also value efficiency, with local businesses responding through user-friendly online shops. At the end of the day, Durham Region offers countless ways for shoppers to explore homegrown options while sticking to budgets and schedules. Visitors from near and far are sure to discover outstanding products to enjoy for years to come.