Marta Grygo, Sales Representative 416-637-8000

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"The volume of clients Marta sees in a single day must be overwhelming. But she doesn’t see it this way."

Her Career: Marta Grygo, Psychologist, Real Estate Agent, Multi-tasking Wizard

 

I’ve met some of the most unique, kind and interesting people through the yoga community. One of them is Marta Grygo. When she’s not downward dogging at our gym, she is working at one of her TWO super demanding jobs: a psychologist by day, and a real estate agent by night.

 

A Polish-born ninja with blue eyes and a whole lotta work ethic, Marta starts her day at 6am with a coffee in one hand, and dog leash in the other. She checks emails and any listings that have hit the market overnight, then starts job number one. I caught up with her to talk about multi-tasking, her first career as a paper delivery girl, and making it work on the go.

 

“My day is spent counselling clients as my background is in counselling psychology,” she says. Upon her triumphant return home, she heads out to the dog park with her pup Sophie once again, and catches up on neighbourhood gossip.

 

She loves and lives for the St Lawrence Market area, which is essentially job number two.

 

“Evenings are spent showing clients listings they are interested in or working on any offers. If I don’t have any showings I go spinning or to yoga at Movemeant in the west end.” After grad school, Marta spent a year teaching English in Japan, which she says was formative: “It was pretty amazing and my love for urban living really grew from that experience.”

 

She says an important part of a successful, busy life is having a caring support network who can keep up with her. “I have had some great people in my life who have encouraged me to take on new challenges, explore the world, and not be afraid to fall flat on my face as long as I get up again and keep going. I’m very grateful for the support and encouragement.”

 

The volume of clients Marta sees in a single day must be overwhelming. But she doesn’t see it this way: “There’s no better feeling than helping someone get the home they were dreaming about or a fixer upper that they turn into something beautiful. I also love helping people through what can be a very stressful and complicated process.” As we speak I realize that there’s a commonality to Marta’s careers: her passion is helping people, whether this means grief counselling or the perfect two bedroom.

 

And balancing a number of jobs isn’t a new feat for Marta, who says she embraces the challenge and grows from it. “I’ve learned a lot from all my jobs: from my first delivering the paper at 6 in the morning in -40C weather in Winnipeg when I was ten, to working abroad, to working with people who are in crisis situations. It’s taught me a lot about connecting with people.”

 

So what does one wear for a 24-hour work day? “I live in JCrew pencil skirts and their cashmere cardigans,” she says.

 

“It’s really tough to get going but you can really make [a career that] you want if you have a strong work ethic and don’t get discouraged too easily.”

 

As for the future, don’t expect Marta to slow down: “I’ve done several large scale renovations and am convinced I would make a great general contractor. Who knows, it might be the next challenge.”

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Wandering the St Lawrence Market area of Toronto can yield some amazing (and delicious) gastronomical discoveries. This market was set apart by National Geographic as being the best food market in the world, and a visit here certainly shows how it won the title. In the market itself you'll find food from all corners of the globe. A personal favourite is Buster's Sea Cove at the southwest corner of the market. Here you can dig into a plate of fish and chips or go for something a bit less traditional, like the grilled Swordfish Sandwich! Whatever you order up, you can count on it being very fresh!

 

During the browsing and the shopping though, you may want to pause and enjoy something yummy in one of the nearby restaurants, or grab a drink in one of the local pubs. Whatever might be tempting your appetite, you're sure to find it here!

 

Wandering the area you'll discover restaurants specializing in cuisine from France, Japan, Morocco, Italy - you name it! From the grunge-style pub to the classy wine bar, the burger joint to vegetarian eateries, you're sure to find a spot that will lure you in for a tasty experience. Let's take a closer look at just a few great spots you can visit!

 

Out for an early morning browse? Stop by Le Petit Dejeuner at 191 King St E for a bit of breakfast. The waffles are a must-have on the menu; pair them with a great cup of coffee or a mimosa to start off the day!

 

If you're out for drinks in the St Lawrence Market area, and looking for a great atmosphere, check out C'est What located in the cellar of a historic 19th century building . It gives you that fun pub feel and has 42 craft beers on tap, which you can enjoy on a cold winter day by their fireplace. You'll find them at 67 Front St E.

 

At 38 Wellington St East you'll find Swish by Han, and if you're in the mood for Korean fusion, then this is the place to go. Order up their spicey pork buns or spicey pork neck tacos and let the flavors take you away.

 

If you're craving sushi and looking to find the perfect authentic Japanese meal, drop by Nami. You'll also find great, friendly service as well as amazing food! If you are feeling adventerous check out the Omakase, a tasting menu of chef's creation using seasonal and special ingredients! This restaurant is located at 55 Adelaide St E.

 

If you're browsing St Lawrence Market for something a little exotic, you'll definitely be happy to discover the multi-cultural range of food!

 

At 49 Front St E, The Sultan's Tent & Café Moroc specializes in Moroccan dishes, and provides a full-on experience with belly dancers and music. A little pricier, this can be a great place to treat a special someone to a romantic night.

 

You can also spice up your life a bit at Sukho Thai! At 52 Wellington St E, this restaurant really delivers authentic flavor. Order up the khao soi or some of their spring rolls and discover what Thai food should taste like!

 

 

St Lawrence Market really is a fantastic area to find great food. Whether you prefer to buy amazing ingredients fresh from the market to cook at home, or enjoy eating out at one of the fabulous restaurants, you'll never run out of great food here!

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The energy when you enter St. Lawrence Market is contagious with over 120 merchants to discover and interact with. There has been activity at this block bordered by Jarvis, King, Front and Wellington since 1803 when the market block was designated by Governor Peter Hunter as the city's first farmer's market.

 

At that time, people had farms within what is now Toronto's city limits. Framers brought fresh vegetables, fruits in season, animals and fish to markets stalls for sale or barter.

 

The South St. Lawrence Market building still serves as the farmer's market selling delicious organic foods, fresh seafood and meats, coffee, flowers and offering famous classics such as peameal bacon sandwiches and montreal bagels.

 

This vibrant market was designated the top Farmers Market in the world by National Geographic Traveler in 2012 and and after a few minutes walking around taking it all in and chatting with the friendly merchants you will know why. Pop in on a busy Saturday when the north market is open with the local farmers market and you will feel like the entire city has descended on this special spot.

 

 

Part of Toronto's history


The original St. Lawrence Market building that opened in 1803 was a wooden structure with stalls to protect sellers from the cold, wet weather. The building was also used for local government offices.The wood building was replaced by a brick structure in 1831. By 1834, the City Council was meeting in the building and the basement of the structure served as a jail. The building was open in the center for vendors. But the Great Fire of 1849 destroyed most of the city, including the brick building that housed the market.

 

The St. Lawrence Market was rebuilt within a year and another building, the Great Hall, was added for concerts and major events. The new buildings were designed by William Hall. A separate building opened in 1851 at the north section of the market block at Front and Jarvis streets.

 

A new City Hall opened in another location in 1903 and the old market was demolished in 1904. It was replaced by a more modern structure that continued to serve as a market place for six decades.

 

The south building was facing demolition in 1971 but it was saved with renovations financed by the Federal Winter Capital Projects Fund, the result of a proposal by Toronto citizens determined to keep the historic building.

The Great Hall on the third floor of the St. Lawrence Hall was restored to the elegant 19th Century style in 1967 as part of Toronto Centennial Project. A visit to the Gallery on the second floor of the south building gives a glimpse of what the neighbourhood used to like with tons of old photos and paintings of the city. This is the room that once served as City Council chambers.

 

New North Market


The north building in the market was demolished in 1978 and rebuilt but it is being replaced with a four story structure scheduled to begin construction in 2014. The new structure will include a glass atrium area for the farmer's market.

 

Antique Market and Gallery


The north market building is the site of the Sunday Antique Market. This market is open to everyone but buyers come early. Interior designers looking for a special lamp or table mingle with shoppers just looking for a piece of vintage furniture at a good price. The selection of antiques and collectibles changes each week.

 

Market events and classes


The south St. Lawrence Market building offers a variety of events including classes in knife skills and my favourites cheese saavy entertaining and Which Cheese? Which Wine?

 

The South St. Lawrence Market is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8am to 6pm. It closes at 7pm on Fridays and it's open from dawn to 5pm on Saturdays.

 

I hope you enjoy your next visit to the market and feel as lucky to have it a part of the neighbourhood as I do.

 

 

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