Guelph’s Farmers’ Market

GuelphFarmersMarket-Spring2The Guelph Farmers’ Market is back in its Gordon Street location. There were a few would-be market-goers passing the house this morning, on their way to Exhibition Arena, where the market has been this summer while improvements were made to the interior of the space it has used downtown. I can’t say how many cars pulled into the Exhibition Arena parking lot this morning, looking for the market.

I wrote about the temporary market this summer. For those who missed it, here it is:

Temporary move to Exhibition Arena has re-energized the farmers’ market, July 19/13.

This was relayed to me from a conversation overheard this morning at the Red Brick Cafe, downtown:

Did you come to the market?

Yeah, but it was so packed I couldn’t get in and just stayed outside.

Me too. But it’s so nice to have it back downtown, the energy downtown is so much better now.

Yes, it is so much busier downtown with the market here.

It was one conversation, but I’m guessing it won’t be unlike many that happened today and will be happening over the course of the week. Clearly, it was not about the market, but about the downtown, though — which is the starting point for an honest dialogue about the future of that market, especially for those who understand the bigger-picture implications that go with not just a strong farmers’ market — the appearance of which can be somewhat manufactured — but a growing farmers’ market.

Beyond today’s bump of curiosity about the new old location, and the spill-over of new interest from a positive experience at the Exhibition Arena location, time will soon tell if the gains the market has made, hold.

But typically, having a venue that doesn’t allow patrons to enter isn’t a winning strategy.

Perhaps the time has come to rethink that location… and the Baker Street project… though vehicular access remains an issue there as well. It starts with a compelling business case.

Catch this Guelph Mercury Editorial: Farmers’ Market reopening will spur discussion

And here is a list of what was reported on it:

Exhibition Arena to be the summer home for Guelph Farmers’ Market, Apr. 19/13 [Aspects of the renovation project were dropped due to costs.]

Downtown Guelph business group unhappy with planned move of farmers’ market, Apr. 19/13

Farmers’ Market vendors welcome renovations, not move, Apr. 22/13

Guelph councillors upset at ballooning cost of Guelph Farmers’ Market renovations, Apr. 24/13

Guelph official defends decision not seek bids in market floor renovations, June 5/13

Market renovations could stall vendors’ return to core, June 26/13

Guelph Farmer’s Market to return downtown in September, Aug. 3/13

Farmers’ Market to reopen Sept. 14, Aug. 14/13

Guelph Farmers’ Market returns to its Gordon Street location, Sept. 9/13

As you will recall, this is not the first time in recent memory that the market was pulled from the Gordon Street location.


About Craig Chamberlain

Ward 3 Guelph resident, dad and step-dad.
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