Inside Farm Boy’s first downtown Toronto store, at Bay and College

Inside Farm Boy’s first downtown Toronto store, at Bay and College

Name: Farm Boy
Contact: 777 Bay St., 416-979-7367,,
Neighbourhood: Bay Street Corridor
Formerly: Sobey’s
Covid-19 measures: Separate entrance and exit, with a maximum capacity of 35; hand sanitizer stations and social-distancing stickers throughout.
Accessibility: Ramps are available at the building’s entrances

Downtown Toronto’s grocery game has just gotten stronger with Farm Boy’s long-awaited opening at College Park. The big draw is Farm Boy’s 1,200 private label products—hey, it’s called the Canadian Trader Joe’s for a reason. Focused purely on food (sorry, they don’t carry toilet paper), this location devotes more space than other Farm Boys to grab-and-go and prepared foods. We stopped in for a tour with executive chef Josh Drache, who gave us the lowdown on how they packed everything into a relatively cozy 8,000-square-foot space.

Here’s the entrance:


“If you look around, there is no backroom, no storage,” Drache said. Due to the small-ish space, everything has to be restocked daily, including the produce:


About 300 new products are added to Farm Boy’s private label each year, including this just-launched peach kefir:


Toffee Cappuccino Crunch gelato and lemon-vanilla stroopwafel ice cream sandwiches are two of Farm Boy’s many custom creations:


Need any eggs, milk or dairy alternatives? This corner is for you:


Many produce items come from farms that are located near Farm Boy’s original Cornwall store:


In addition to the must-haves, the cheese counter also carries special finds like pumpkin-spice Wensleydale and an aged vegan camembert coated with black ash:


And fresh, daily-delivered curds from St. Albert:


Here’s where most of the store’s private-label goods are found:


These double-roasted almonds and hazelnuts are coated in a thin, customized coating of Callebaut chocolate:


Believe it or not, these tortilla chips are Farm Boy’s second-best-selling item:


The top seller? The Lemon-Garlic dressing, one of many potential salad-toppers:


These oven-ready frozen flatbreads include sweet-and-savoury Prosciutto and Pear and umami-packed Mushroom and Black Truffle:


The Meat Shop is where to find steaks, skewers and even marinated spatchcocked chickens:


Neighbouring the meat department is the seafood department:


This was supposed to be the self-service salad bar, but the station has been converted to a pre-packaged salad and hot bar:


There are 19 varieties of soup, just in time for peak soup season:


Let’s get this bread—and pies and keto buns and “cruffies” (croissant muffins) and all other manner of carb:


The hot counter features made-to-order Neapolitan pizzas, stir-fries and burgers:


There’s also a large grab-and-go sushi counter:


There’s one more chance to grab something sweet on the way to the checkout: