TORONTO — Local growers have been invited to sign up for one of 21 new warehouse units proposed for the edge of the current farmers market, which is under a parking garage at the Ontario Food Terminal.

If it goes ahead, the project would be the biggest change at the terminal in 60 years,
said general manager Bruce Nicholas.

“Growers who have been selling products out of the back of a truck can now market their produce out of a warehouse if they choose,” Nicholas said.

He said any Ontario grower — not just current tenants — is eligible to rent a unit.

Each one measures about 2,000 square feet with a main-floor showroom and a second-floor office in the back.

“It would mean a commitment,” he said, “but a grower could market year-round in ideal conditions.”

The addition also would provide more loading space for the farmers market and allow big trucks to access the area more easily, he said.

While the rent for the new units hasn’t been established, they would be more expensive than the existing outdoor stalls, which won’t move.

The open-air spring flower market would also remain in the same place.

Nicholas said the project includes a large waste compacting station at one end, which would be easily accessible to tenants at the end of the day.

He has placed a full-page ad in a local trade paper to gauge growers’ interest in the project.

If approved, he said construction probably wouldn’t start until June 2015 at the earliest.