Farmers’ Market: “Awesome”

We don’t usually trade in hearsay here at WestonWeb, where we uphold the highest journalistic standards. I hope you’ll allow an exception today: I couldn’t make it to the opening of the Weston Farmers’ Market (I slept in and had a prior commitment), so my wife went in my stead.

She says it was was “Awesome”. There are many new vendors, including a high-protein cheese guy, Lebanese dips, Fred’s Breads, Collective Arts brewing, a new egg seller, and a swishy coffee vendor.

Almost all of the old favourites were back, too: Pina’s Italian meats, Thames River Melons, Mad Mexican, Grandpa Ken’s Bacon, the fruit and veg seller, the Wiff’s samosas and some others she couldn’t remember as she was getting into bed, though I did press her for the details.

I know that I wasn’t the only one worried about the market, which has had a few rough patches in the past few years, with the loss of some excellent vendors and several moves. It sounds like my worries were misplaced.

Thames River Melons again has a market box

Thames River Melons, a Farmers’ Market regular, is again offering a ‘market box’ subscription this summer.

Thames River Melons will deliver a box of fresh produce grown on their farm (perhaps their neighbours) to your door every week. The boxes cost between $25 and $75, and there are discounts for full-season subscriptions and upfront payments.

The content depends on the season, but includes everything from asparagus to zucchini. They also have superb strawberries.

Weston ten years ago: November 2010

The new steps at Mallaby Park as they appeared in November 2010.

Here’s a taste of what was happening in Weston back in November 2010.

Some new steps had replaced the wooden ones at Mallaby Park, near St Phillips and Weston Road.

The Weston Farmers Market had wrapped up for another year.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford nominated Councillor Frances Nunziata as Toronto Council Speaker; a powerful position she has held since then. She was being sued by a disgruntled ex-employee and Adam looked at her expenses.

Artscape was investigating the possibility of an arts hub in Weston and where it might be located.

The In Touch Retirement Home was under scrutiny after two residents and later, a third resident died.

A brand new soccer facility in Lions Park was almost complete.

Adam reported on what our local politicians had been up to.

The Clean Train Coalition was battling Metrolinx and rallying over electrification.

Farmers Market Opens for 2020

The 2020 Weston Farmers Market season got under way today in beautiful weather. As is normal for such season openers (usually in May), attendance seemed sparse and there was an added inconvenience for patrons to wait patiently until they were admitted into the market space.  The market, second oldest in the city, is in almost exactly the same place it occupied five years ago although narrower and today had fewer stalls.

For years, traders have insisted that the specially designed market area at the end of John Street was too small and wouldn’t withstand the weight of delivery vehicles. The B.I.A. saved the day with the solution to use the Toronto Parking Authority lot on the other side of the building.

For the last few years the market has used the highly visible UP Express and Weston Baptist Church parking lots. That option is off the table. Unfortunately, the location at the end of John Street is invisible to traffic passing along Weston Road and so it will be a challenge to lure fresh customers to the site. In addition, former anchor tenant and actual farmer, Joe Gaeta has moved elsewhere.

The entrance to the market on John street featuring new signs.

Patrons wait in line to be admitted.

The market cordoned off to allow for physical distancing.

Looking towards John Street, a panorama of the farmers market in almost the same location back in August 2015. Click to enlarge.

The much vaunted and intended home of the farmers market sits empty.

Because the market now occupies the parking spaces intended for use by people visiting the er, market, John Street was in effect one-way thanks to parked vehicles occupying the inbound lane. As patron numbers increase, parking will become a greater issue. Let’s hope that some of the kinks can be worked out quickly. Incidentally, Grandpa Ken’s was there today.

Extra credit: How the Weston Hub was financed here.