Good bye Harlan…a sad day at the market.

I did not know Harlan Clark – our conversations were generally limited to the weeks price or availability of eggs.  I am not a giant breakfast eater so even these conversations were scattered (or scrambled as the case may be).

Good bye Harlan...a sad day at the market. November

I frequently saw him from a distance.  A lot.  Harlan Clark was an egg farmer who, along with his wife Norine worked their egg stand for more than 60 years.

The couple have been a fixture at the market and missed only one weekend at the market over the last 60 years (after Harlan had a heart attack).  Their dedication included getting up just after midnight to make it to the early morning Saturday market and tended to more than 1,500 chickens in their flock.

Dana`s earliest memories of Toronto are of buying eggs from the Clarks in her pajamas as she lived close to the market.  It’s going to be a different market and he will surely be missed by many who were close to him – and many strangers, like us, who were touched and inspired by their passion.

Good bye Harlan...a sad day at the market. November

The family has requested that any donations in his name be directed to the Port Perry Hospital Foundation or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

We ran an earlier post on the Clarks (including a link to a great article from them) in February.  If you want to learn more about this amazing couple, click here.


  1. This is just the saddest news! I’ve bought eggs from Harlan and Norine for years it’s a sad moment for a lot of people in Toronto I’m sure. Thanks for letting us know Joel.

  2. There was a sweet tribute at the market today. The booth was staffed though selling no eggs. There were egg-shaped pieces of bristol board for those to leave their thoughts and thanks.

    I believe I heard that Norine is committed to coming for the next few weeks – I can’t imagine how tough it would be.

    I found it surprisingly tough to see the booth empty of eggs and it’s two fixtures. Sadder yet seeing people bringing their cartons back and you could see the connection through their sadness.

    I found myself frustrated at some of the questions and realized after that people simply didn’t know (and how could they?) One person abruptly asked if they were out of business before realizing…

    It was however uplifting to see people signing, genuinely affected and the reach of the Clarks on the hearts of Toronto was tangible. I hope we, as a city, find a way to remember them long into the future – to think they have been at the market for for all but one of the last 3,000+ Saturdays (since the late 1950′s) is incomprehensible.

    I can’t imagine ever going to the market and NOT thinking of them.

    Bittersweet day and amazing to know how many have been affected (egg-fected?).

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