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.

UrbanArts virtual show this Thursday

UrbanArts and Artscape Weston Common have been hosting “Run It Black” for the past few weeks, and this Thursday will be their third (of six) live showcases.

You can tune in at 6:00 on Facebook Live to see Mighloe, a Toronto R&B artist perform.

UrbanArts says the series came about to respond to current events:

 In response to anti-Black racism, Artscape Weston Common, in partnership with programming partner, UrbanArts, and non-profit organization, MANIFESTO, has launched the ‘Run It Black’ live showcase series to amplify voices of young black artists, celebrate the rich diverse culture in Weston and Greater Toronto Area, and provide paid and safe performance opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Farmers Market to delay 2020 opening

Weston Farmers Market in August 2004 at the old John Street location. (file)

Weston’s farmers market can’t catch a break.

Run by the Weston Village Business Improvement Area, the market was supposed to open in its spanking (if constrained) new Hub location on John Street in 2018 and when the site wasn’t ready, the market was able to survive thanks to the generosity of Weston Park Baptist Church. They loaned their parking lot by the UP Express station.

The new WFM space photographed last November.

The 2019 booting out of long time trader (and actual farmer) Joe Gaeta was another setback and then as luck would have it, the following week, city inspectors withdrew the Farmers Market designation because of insufficient, er, actual farmers.

Joe Gaeta at work in August 2018. (file)

In yet another blow to the WFM, the BIA announced yesterday that the market will delay its 2020 opening until Saturday, July 4 at the earliest.

From the Facebook post announcing the delay:

“On behalf of the board of the Weston Village BIA, I regret to inform you that because of Covid19,and the city’s restrictions with respect to gatherings of 5 and over, we are delaying the opening of the 2020 market to Sat, July 4th or until restrictions are lifted by the city.

The market is a wonderful community gathering place, but, right now, the health and safety of our customers, vendors and market staff are the main priority.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Stay Safe. We are all in this together!”

For extra credit; read more here.

Shakespeare for young and not so young.

Click here to find out more.

 

Do you dream of taking the stage?
Have you always wanted to create, perform or design for a theatre play?
Are you over the age of 55?

Now’s your chance!

Shakespeare in Action with the support of the New Horizons For Seniors Program is proud to produce King Lear in Weston, a community-engaged theatre project that is created by and for seniors living in northwest Toronto.

Click here for more details.

SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDS SUMMER CAMP
has a NEW HOME for 2020!Now in conjunction with SHAKESPEARE IN THE SHELL, The Groundlings (ages 7-11) and King’s Company (ages 12 – 15) will design, rehearse, and perform a play on the by the Artscape Weston Common, Shakespeare in Action’s new home!

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

GROUNDLINGS (7 – 11)
KING’S COMPANY (12 – 15)

Discount available until May 3rd!

Spend the summer having fun, making friends, and performing outdoors!

Upcoming events

Tomorrow, the LEF will host a job fair and résumé critique from  11 to 2. The résumé critique might be particularly useful, because…


On Tuesday, February 11, Frances Nunziata is hosting a youth hiring event for job seekers from 16–29. The job fair will be at 50 Falstaff from 3 to 7 pm. Registration is free for youth.


The Artscape Weston Common is really hopping. This weekend, Piece of Mine Arts presents Black Women in Theatre, with an opening show on Friday night.

There are also ongoing drama programs for kids 4–14 and a robotics program. Good grief!


Speaking of Artscape, if you’re looking to get out of the house with your one-true-love on Valentines’, Kachan Quinlan Design Studio at Artscape is hosting a kids’ night with treats and painting.

Upcoming events

The city is hosting another chance to have input into the second phase of the Weston Heritage Conservation District. This phase of the plan will cover between Rosemount and Elm, and William and Church.

The meeting will be Saturday, January 18 at 1 pm at Artscape.


The York South Weston Tenant Union will be hosting a summit on Saturday, February 1 at 2:30 at the WKNC, 2017 Weston Road.


Shakespeare In Action has announced all kinds of new programming, including Story Tots, a March Break camp for 7–13 year olds, and a drama club.

Toastmasters is coming to Weston / Mount Dennis.

From inc.com.

Would you like to improve your public speaking skills and your confidence in front of others? Toastmasters is an organization that helps people do just that. They hold weekly meetings where participants perform fun exercises with the goal of becoming more confident in social situations.

According to an old survey, most people fear public speaking more than death itself. Toastmasters can help with that.

A brand new Weston / Mount Dennis branch of Toastmasters is opening on January 23 at 7:00 at the Artscape Weston Hub – 34 John Street. Meetings last 90 minutes and are held weekly.

For more information click here.