Revitalization

Farmers' Market Outdoor Stalls This Summer

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 29, 2013

The City of Hamilton has just announced that the Farmers' Market, 35 York Boulevard will have an outdoor pavillion this summer, for the first time in 33 years. The market will open outdoors on Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, starting on June 8 and running to November 2.

The City will close the eastbound curb lane of York Boulevard between Park and MacNab Street to accommodate the outdoor stalls. According to Donna Lee MacDonald, Farmers' Market manager, this will "ensure there is adequate space for the vendors as well as pedestrians to enjoy the outdoor market and visit the 60+ permanent vendors housed inside the Hamilton Farmers' Market."

The outdoor market will feature "a mix of new seasonal vendors and current existing vendors. Seasonal Outdoor Market vendors will be supplying only local, seasonal produce." Vendors will pay $35 a day, plus insurance, for a stall with 24-30 foot frontage.

When the City of Hamilton went ahead with the redevelopment of Central Library and the Farmers' Market, one of the exciting provisions in that plan was a glass curtain facade on the Market with removable partitions that opened so that the market could extend onto the sidewalk.

York Boulevard Streetscape redesign rendering (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)
York Boulevard Streetscape redesign rendering (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)

The Market moved into the redeveloped space in early 2011, but the promised outdoor market did not take place in the summer of 2011 or 2012. According to MacDonald, "This year we were in a better position to arrange and coordinate the seasonal outdoor market program and hope to continue with it in the years to come."

The Market was founded in 1837, and its first location was at the corner of York and James. It moved into the old City Hall in the 1880s, operating a floor below the Council chambers. Later it moved to an outdoor market square on York Street.

The Market has been in its current location since 1980, except for a couple of years when it moved into Jackson Square during the Market and Library renovation.

Hamilton Farmers' Market in 1920
Hamilton Farmers' Market in 1920

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2013 at 14:04:17

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 29, 2013 at 17:59:27 in reply to Comment 89141

nope. The curb lane is a live lane in front of the market. The only street parking is back by the Goodlife Fitness/Library entrance.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2013 at 18:42:11 in reply to Comment 89151

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2013 at 20:59:44 in reply to Comment 89154

Provided the weather holds, you get a pretty sweet deal: $770 (plus insurance) for five months of the prime market day in a high-visibility location. I'd say the greater potential for conflict exists between sidewalk vendors and the stallholders in the Market proper paying $25-$28 a square foot.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2013 at 14:08:37

I was still wondering who had stalled the spring!

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By E Sernie (anonymous) | Posted June 05, 2013 at 13:47:26

Hope the outdoor stalls work out and bring more shoppers downtown. Looking forward to seeing this improvement. Maybe it will even help to get rid of the passel of smokers usually blocking the main entrance to the Library.

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