Revitalization

New Farmers' Market Glass Curtain

By Jason Leach
Published December 02, 2009

Our first look at the new Farmers' Market glass curtain wall:


Construction workers install the new glass curtain around the Farmers' Market

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 01:39:51

Keep it coming.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 08:25:20

I was anxiously awaiting this.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 08:32:10

I must say, it looks better in person than in this picture (taken with a phone which doesn't help either)

Just based on these first few panels, I'm starting to think that we might finally have a project that ends up looking better than the renderings.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 10:55:02

I'm also very excited for this project. However, it really wont be worth it unless/until the York Blvd Streetscaping & Two-Way Conversion is complete.

The whole 'Market Square' plan looks fantastic... on paper..

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By MattM (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 12:03:30

I think it will still be awesome regardless of what is done with York Blvd. That will just highly accentuate the project.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 12:32:34

^^ You're right MattM, if it's kept one-way people may still notice it out of the corner of their eye as they desperately speed towards the James Street stoplights hoping to make the green!

Ever been at the James & York intersection as the lights are about to change? Scary!

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 12:39:17

York streetscape and two-way will be completed by the time the new market opens at the end of 2010. Sadly, the truck route will still direct trucks to rumble through this new 'pedestrian friendly' district.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 12:47:51

"the truck route will still direct trucks to rumble through this new 'pedestrian friendly' district"

Well you've gotta have priorities. And this city's priorities are pretty clear.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 12:54:54

"Oh No! The hand is flashing!! I better speed up to 70km/h in order to make the light! Last thing I want is to be stuck without a parking spot at that Shoppers Drug Mart at Wellington & Cannon!"

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By Dave Kuruc (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 13:18:43

"If it's on time, it's a Fluke."

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 15:02:49

Fantastic! Very sexy!! But can you tell what the level of transparency will be like? It looks pretty opaque in the photo - will this actually visually connect the farmers market to the street?

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By crhayes (registered) - website | Posted December 03, 2009 at 15:11:35

Really?: Is that really the only intersection in the city that this happens? You act like it is, and like this is the only city that pushing red lights occurs in. It happens everywhere, get over it.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 16:50:24

crhayes >> Nope, never once suggested it was the only intersection where this happens. Clearly, this is Hamilton!

This is, however, probably the only intersection where an Historic Farmers Market is placed on a one-way speedway, denying its patrons the ability to fully enjoy a market experience (sit/chat/eat/shop), without having to dodge speeding vehicles or yell overtop of air breaks.

There's a reason most people access the Market from Jackson Sq rather than York Blvd.

The Streetscaping is apparently 100% happening, which is great. I'm simply saying without IT, the Market Renos could prove useless --as most people would be too busy speeding, keeping their eyes on the prize (streetlight) to even notice a new market, or anything in general.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 16:53:04

Very cool! Hoping this turns out as intended.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 17:02:14

kdslote>> "Fantastic! Very sexy!! But can you tell what the level of transparency will be like? It looks pretty opaque in the photo - will this actually visually connect the farmers market to the street?"

The photo above is showing the wall that faces the McNab St Underground Garage entrance, so I'm not sure how necessary it would be to be able to look in/out from this p.o.v. Also, I believe the stalls that used to line this section will still exist, so if that were an actual window, it would be covered with their product/display racks.

The glass they're using looks very nice, can't wait to see it lit up at night (LED)!

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 22:27:09

the second rendering here seems to show a more transparent glass once you get closer to the York Blvd corner.

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog.asp?i...

I still wish that on the west side of the complex they'd have designed the new glass exterior to include the skinny outdoor walkway that leads to Goodlife Fitness.

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By Dave Kuruc (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 23:02:21

I have from very good sources there was plans to adjust(tear down) that Goodlife Fitness building (old Marty & Karl's) and install a wide staircase to the Jackson Square rooftop that would also double as seats for an outdoor amphitheatre for festivals and concerts. Kind of a cool idea.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 03, 2009 at 23:13:42

that idea is shown as an option in the York Blvd master plan documents from the city. Actually, the main floor of that building looks vacant. Goodlife is in the basement, but I'm not sure what is upstairs in the old restaurant section.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 04, 2009 at 02:18:48

Pete and Marty's has been empty for ten years... I don't get it?. Why not a steak house or something in that space... inside is brilliant....

to tear it down for stairs? I guess that's better then having it empty for another 10 years. But it's too bad a decent sit down restaurant can't make it there. Could it be because there is a halfway house across the street? Or that Copps is not used 250 days out of the year? There's a parking garage across the street, can't blame parking.

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By frank (registered) | Posted December 04, 2009 at 11:15:16

Nice pun on the skinny walkway to the fitness place Jay :) As far as I know, everything's full steam ahead as planned on the project. My involvement is pretty much finished now though. Looks great :)

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted December 06, 2009 at 03:49:36

It's also worth pointing out the roof is recently on the structure and for Local History and Archives you now have a lovely view of the air conditioner compressor!

Does anybody know for sure if the apparently LED illumination as illustrated is going to actually be built into the structure? Or was that just computer drawing frosting?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 06, 2009 at 23:25:42

Does anybody know for sure if the apparently LED illumination as illustrated is going to actually be built into the structure?

I've discussed this with the architect, David Premi, as well as HPL general manager Ken Peters. The LED technology is definitely going ahead - apparently it's real cutting-edge stuff. I can't wait to see how it looks once it's finished.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 07, 2009 at 00:15:56

I don't want to sound like a naysayer because I've been really supportive of this project and the York streetscape, BUT I am a little worried that if they don't open up the market to the street and actually have some stalls or cafes out there that we might end up with a nice glass box on a completely dead street.

I wish they'd have gotten rid of the ramp in the market on the north wall and instead made 2 floors with one being streetlevel and opening up via the glass wall.

Unless I'm missing something in the drawings, it seems to me that a long glassed in hallway will separate the market from the street.
Stalls, vendors, buskers and cafe patios would help animate the street, so hopefully that will happen.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2009 at 09:50:27

Jason, it's important to keep a couple of things in mind:

  1. The glass curtain is semi-permeable. Several panels will slide out of the way so that you can pass in and out of the market from along the sidewalk.

  2. The city plans to widen the sidewalk as part of the York Blvd Streetscape plan so that the market can spill out onto the sidewalk on nice days.

It isn't hard to imagine how this would work: stalls could abut the closed part of the glass wall on either side, with wide corridors between them leading in and out of the interior of the market.

Remember also that the street is being configured so that it will be easy to close half or all of the lanes to traffic for special events.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 07, 2009 at 10:01:04

yes, I know that, however when you look at the video fly through simulation or the floorplans, the main corner doors that used to lead into the market are still the only doors leading into the market from York (other than the small entry on the west side of the market). I can see where the street-facing wall will slide open, but what is it sliding open to?? From what I can tell it's sliding open to that long hallway that connects the library to the market. In other words, it's completely disconnected from the interior of the market. We really should have spent the extra money to level off that ramp and bring the market to street level so that we could truly open it to the street.

On another note, I had an idea recently after enjoying several meals along the outdoor patio section of the St Lawrence Market that wraps around the south market building in TO.

The rooftop of our market should have had a collection of cafes/ restaurants with large patios. I realize that would have been more money, but perhaps it will be looked at in the future.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 07, 2009 at 12:37:51

Jason, next time you walk by during the day time, take a look where the ramp is. I'm pretty sure they've levelled a lot more out; probably at least twice the size of the old Stalls along the (York St-facing) ramp.

So, once they open up, there will be plenty of room for cafe-type stalls. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as the LAST thing I want for the Hamilton Farmer's Market is Gentrification similar to Torotno St Lawrence Market, or worse yet, London (ON's) Covent Garden Market.

The HFM is the best in our area, in my opinion. St Jacob's is a good competition... but I mean, it's not nearly as conveniently located as the HFM. To lose that 'feel' would be worse for the HFM than one-way streets & closed glass boxes combined!

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By frank (registered) | Posted December 07, 2009 at 12:57:08

The ramp is levelled out a lot more. It was a real pain in the butt to do but it's done... There's supposed to be a living wall at the one side as well. From the architectural drawings it looked to me like stalls/vendors on the street would be easily accessible.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 07, 2009 at 15:21:58

cool, I really hope so. This project has great potential to reclaim a horrendous downtown freeway and make it a great space for people.

It should be exciting to see it come to pass over the next year.

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