Farmers’ Market moving

The Weston Farmers’ Market will be moving, according to their Twitter account. They announced today that they “Just received great news. We will be moving after 30+ years to the main streets of Weston road in the new GO STATION parking lot.”

Your humble correspondent has asked for more details but he has time to write now while the family is asleep.

A new Farmers’ Market was supposed to be a fixture of the John Street development and the Artscape Hub. There had been plans to add stalls to the new market, but vendors were worried that there would not be enough space for trucks to unload produce.

The farmer I spoke to last week hoped that this would happen. I’m less enthusiastic. The new GO lot is not as pedestrian-friendly as the old one is (the considerable troubles caused by construction aside). The move will, however, bring good food closer to an area of high density homes of lower-income residents.

T The market stalls are in dark red. John Street is at the bottom.


Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

27 thoughts on “Farmers’ Market moving”

  1. While it is slightly disappointing to see the market move a little farther away from me personally, I think this the move is an improvement overall. The GO station lot affords a plenty of space and while the pedestrian frontage along Weston Road isn’t the greatest, the new entrances on the north part of the lot are actually a huge improvement and aesthetically not too bad. When the John Street bridge is opened (shockingly it is behind schedule) accessibility will be further improved. The new location is closer to residents of the southern part of Weston, and to those who live across the river in the Raymore Drive area.

    Also consider that with the market adjacent to the GO station, where we can anticipate off peak service soon, we might get yuppies up from Bloor West or other areas farther afield. Weston’s farmer’s market is surely one of the better ones in the city so it is not hard to see it as a potential draw for visitors. That is good for everyone.

    As for the proposed tower development, I do hope there is some future opportunity for residents to voice their objections to this. The M.O. from the pro-tower camp has been to point to the “revitalized” market, which we now see was an infeasible afterthought, or the purported cultural dividends of Artscape, which we were expected to believe would turn Weston into an artistic nexus, but always seemed like a smokescreen for the developer. In view of Artscape’s recent bad press looks the whole thing looks to be an outright sham. What is the selling point of this monstrosity now?

    1. The suggestion that the new location is closer to those living across the river is incorrect. I just measured it. Entering the old location via Little Ave. and Elmere Ave. is a bit closer over the new location via Weston Rd.

      1. ….and that the lower income residents are less inclined to go to a farmers market to buy produce when Asian farms and no frills are close by. Those residents will not have the extra income to buy higher priced goods/non essential items. I drop about 100 bucks a week on the market in addition to my regular grocery shopping.
        How can someone on a fixed income do that? So the idea of gaining customers from the apartment buildings due to the proximity of the new market location is weak if that at all.

      2. Hans, Eric is right; the people in the Raymore Drive area will find it 200m shorter if they use the Humber footbridge to Lions Park and up the stairs to Bellevue.

        1. 🙂 Roy, I hope you didn’t make the rookie mistake of crossing Weston Rd. at Bellevue Cres. You have to go to Lawrence Ave. and cross at the lights! That adds 160m to the distance. Now I know you happen to live right by Raymore Park but Eric’s “Raymore Drive area” is a pretty nebulous concept that definitely includes locations where my original analysis is correct. Let’s call it even. OK?

          1. Hans, that’s no rookie mistake – it’s perfectly legal to cross at Bellevue as long as you give way to traffic – I do it all the time. The rule of thumb is 30m or more from a legal crossing point, you can take your chances.
            In the interest of good sportsmanship, I’ll call it even too. Nice blog BTW.

  2. I like the move based on the proximity to the trains (both UPS and GO) and the added benefit of more visual exposure based on being close Weston road and Lawrence.

    Slightly worried about traffic and pedestrian safety (overall I think will be good for the streets as it forces drivers to slow down and be more mindful)

  3. IF the “leak on twitter” is true…..first lets find out who actually wrote the nonsense it is the stupidest move in the history of the Weston BIA. more stupid than losing the loblaws parking for a condo….more stupid than making the white elephant of 33king/Weston marketplace.

    People from all over the city know that the market is on John. If it were managed better it would be the jewel in the crown of Weston. For whatever reason it is not. To place the market south of Lawrence Ave in the GO lot is a disaster and will mark the end of the market.

    If the John/South Station square is to be the focal point and destination for pedestrians and visitors to our area, then why the hell move the market away from the square?

    I for one will “STRENUOUSLY OBJECT” to any move of the farmer’s market and let all my clients know too so they can join me in the fight to keep the market WHERE IT IS.

    1. Interested in hearing how you’d run the market better? And also why you think moving the market south of Lawrence would be the “end of the market”

      (I think it would work based on the proximity to the trains that pass by Weston and the convince of having the TTC extremely close by. I’m not quite sure the market can be seen from any of the 52 series of buses that run east/west on Lawrence or the 79 scarlet).

      1. Mike- on how I would run the market better? Just to let you know, the powers that be squashed my bringing in a beer gardens last year….it’s that short sighted thinking that has led the market to its decline. Did you know that all farmer’s markets were able to have Ontario wines for sale as well too? This is the 2nd year of the 3 year pilot project. Have you seen any wine at our market? Those are just two minor additions that would enhance the market. Long have I suggested to advertise on the 400 series highways like other busier markets do. Deaf ears. There are so many other ways its sad that they haven’t been touched.

        As for south of Lawrence, well you put it best…
        PASS BY WESTON. If anyone riding the ghost trains on Saturday morning will most likely not stopping in Weston to visit a “C+” farmers market. The Lawrence bus? market won’t be visible from the route….and the Weston bus? I don’t think those riders will be getting off except for transferring to Lawrence buses.

        People are already complaining about the extra walk around because the john bridge isn’t finished…..October 2015….do you think they will walk an extra block and half there and back with produce weighing them down?

        Listen I love our market and am there each and every Saturday showing my support before I open up shop. I dont think it will be better moving the market south.

        1. Not sure a beer garden works based on the time the market operates. I think the wine idea is good though, do you know if that could be extended to craft brewers as well? I’d say more of a tasting area (maybe a 4oz sample) for beer and wine would make more sense, again that would be a time of day matter both legally and logistically.

          Also, interested in why you would consider it a “C+” market. I’d like see the grading system you use for markets.

          As for the bus and train comments:

          Bus – I believe there is a small window of visibility heading west on Lawrence (looking left) between the bridge and church. Also, what about ads on the bus routes that go into Weston? (59, 52 series, 89, 79 and even the 73) That way your capturing riders that have an idea of the area and connects are good for mobility.

          Train – While I can’t for sure give you exact numbers on users. I think this opens the door for better north south transit that will help over all expose. Perhaps the Farmers market could put ads on the train, capturing daily commuters that are familiar with the line and travel pricing?

          Also, I think advertising on transit would be an excellent way to get people out of their cars since I can see parking being an issue if the market does move.

          The walking part I don’t fully understand (I enjoy walking and routinely carry items home from the superstore). I’ll skip giving feed back on that.

          1. That’s what I had planned for the beer and had 7 local brewers all excited to participate….when I had to tell them the idea was squashed.

            Do you see though Mike, the market lost 2 years on doing this. Weston could have had it already but CHOSE NOT TO DO IT.

            Mike, I don’t know how long you have been a part of Weston, but my family has been here to see crown and anchor games free pancake breakfasts walking tours real entertainment kids events over the years….the current layout including parking and pedestrian appeal…well lets just say its like there is little thought or effort put in. definitely no love put in. that’s why I give it the rating. I remember better.

            Was that the small window if you happened to be looking left zipping at 60 km/h trying to make the green light 🙂 ?

            Advertising on transit takes away from the money that can be used for entertainment and perhaps guests like a specialty chef demonstrating or subsidizing to bring in a corn roaster for a corn themed day. The average person wont spend 20 bucks on the UP train to carry produce. The GO Train DOES NOT STOP in Weston on Saturday.

            Some of the market shoppers are not as healthy as you Mike. Those are the ones that you see at the market each and every Saturday. It is harder for them to walk let alone carry produce.

            Bottom line, the market has been neglected and not been treated as it should. Unfortunately our market is an after thought when actually it should be getting more attention and planning than the santa claus parade….but that’s another debate.

            gotta get back to cutting 🙂

          2. Been in Weston 30 years. I remember the things you talk about. I was at the Artscape Wychwood barns on the weekend and they didn’t have of those things you had mentioned, but I still found the market enjoyable. (Artscape had a lot of green space, which is something the Weston market lacks)

            “Was that the small window if you happened to be looking left zipping at 60 km/h trying to make the green light :)?”

            I’ll point out a few issues with that:

            1. You advocate for Advertising on 400 series roads for vehicles going almost double that speed? Their is also a few other problems with encouraging more vehicles to the area (such as parking and congestion) and also the fact that the 401 at Weston is 2.5k away & the exit at black creek is 3.2k give the fact you can’t cross at king at the moment.

            2. You say advertising on transit would take away money from the ability to provide entertainment and guest for the market? Would advertising on the 400 series also take away money? Advertising on Transit has a 2 fold affect, you’re targeting residents that actually live and shop in the city and the ad money goes back into the overall system(s) that benefit all the users,

            3. Yes the GO train doesn’t run on weekends..right now, but GO transit is adding off peak service to Weston starting after labour day (although weekend service is unclear at the moment, so it stands as a 50/50) Having the market close to the station is the perfect catalyst for Weston to get weekend service (on Saturday’s at least). Also given the fact that the move takes place next year and the expanded service starts next month, that is more than enough time for all interested parties to discuss service options. Once again, this is the larger transit picture that benefits all people along the Kitchener Train corridor.

            You bring up the health of Market goers, How are they getting there now I ask? If they are as unhealthy you say they are? The move could be a way to help create a service for those who need it in Weston (which is a great way to foster community)

          3. Mike-
            all advertising costs money. I believe the 400 series has more prestige and attracts more views for the money.

            so I read as well maybe weekend service.
            so don’t you think that the GO train would need their parking lot for users of the train?

            so that would mean the market would have to be relocated again?

            Too many variables.

            Too many hands outside of Weston spilling the broth.

            Too bad for the market.

    2. Unfortunately, the “John/South Station” square is not going to be a focal point or destination, that’s the problem here. In all likelihood it will end up as a bleak, inhuman eyesore just like most of the other “public spaces” put in by private developers as part of high-rise projects.

      (bottom line: Public squares should not be owned by private landlords.)

      I can understand the frustration of business owners north of Lawrence, but the organizers of the market saw the writing on the wall.

      There are several good reasons for the move, but the most obvious is that the market will not be feasible in its present form if vendors can’t bring trucks into the market space. Without that, many of the vendors would simply pull out.

    3. As the coordinator of the Weston Village BIA,the organization that runs the Weston Village Farmers’ Market, the information about the market moving to the new GO station for its 2016 season is correct. However, what is incorrect is that this will be a permanent location. The market is being re-located next year because the construction for the Cultural Hub on John Street is starting in the spring/summer so the market had to find another location until the construction is finished at which point it will return to John Street as part of the Cultural Hub.

      In addition, the Weston BIA has not posted any comments to the contrary. Someone has created another Weston Farmers’ Market face book account and has been posting falsehoods about the market since last year. The person has even been using the Farmers’ Market logo on each posting, making it look very authentic which is a breach of business ethics. Also, the culprit has been using the site to promote his own business. We’ve contacted Face Book about this but there is nothing they can do. In the future if you have any concerns or questions about the market, please contact the BIA office at 416-249-0691 or email us at: [email protected].

      As an aside but a very important one, the BIA wishes that the Weston Web had contacted us before posting information about the market that is false and very unsettling for our market vendors and their customers.

      1. Thank you for your comment, Marion. The Weston Farmers’ Market Twitter account (not an account on Facebook) said, when I asked them, that “we have been told it would be permanent.”

        Further, I think you will see if you re-read the article, that I did not say that it was permanent. In fact, I made it clear that more information was forthcoming: “Your humble correspondent has asked for more details but he has time to write now while the family is asleep.”

        I look forward to finding out the final answer. I have also asked Nunziata’s office for comment.

        1. Adam you have done no wrong. The twitter account is run by the farmers market. Then according to this thread, the WESTON BIA runs the market… so then does not the WESTON BIA operate the twitter account?

          If the twitter source representing the market told you such then how can it be false?

          and then people wonder why I shake my head

      2. Am I correct in assuming that Weston Village BIA knows who this nefarious individual is who has created a false face book account? “Also, the culprit has been using the site to promote his own business”

        Why not out this person here and now? What a scoop for Weston Web!

        Also, Marion, with the sorry state of most stores on Weston, I would think there are more pressing matters than Adam not double checking this story.

        1. amused anon:
          adam got his story from the farmers market twitter account….are you suggesting now that the farmers market and the Weston bia doesn’t or didn’t have the foresight to create their own social media pages to better promote themselves and the area and other market vendors took it upon themselves in creating these pages?

          If that were true, then doesn’t it once again show the apathy shown towards our village and its greatest draw meaning the market by the people who are supposed to be in charge of it?

          ………sorry couldnt hear over the crickets

          fact. the market is moving.
          fact. the market is moving south of Lawrence Ave.

          theoretical. the market will move back in 2 years.
          theoretical. the market will move back to John St in 2 yrs.

          going by the fast moving work done on the John bridge, King Street and Denison…YEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH….

          we wont see the market again on John for at least 5 years……

          and that’s suggesting that the market will last 2 years never mind 5 south of Lawrence ave.

          and in my opinion amused anon…. the market has way more pull in bringing visitors from outside our village…
          so why screw it up?

  4. Eric, you share the same worry that others have for the square. It is unfortunate because there is so much room and potential to make that area similar to the shopping area in Ottawa or Unionville, Kleinberg, or Bracebridge. Or at least that’s what we were led to believe with led. lighting cobblestone roadways flowers trees benches etc.

    The “organizers” of the market have not been proactive in looking after the markets’ best interests but rather the easy way out. the unpaved city owned lot adjacent to the green P lot would hold the market. John Street could hold the market. John has been closed in the past years many times.

    Vendors have threatened to move out for several years just like the complaint that weston has no parking. wards parking lot opposite shoppers could potentially hold the market.

    The bottom line is that people don’t like walking south of Lawrence. Plain.Simple. The last time south of Lawrence saw people from the north side was the initial metrolinx meeting for blue 22.Fact.

    Visitors to the market know where it is by radar. Move it and you will lose them.
    advertise the move? ah…..then why haven’t they been advertising and promoting the market all this time and let it rundown? Is it that no one will notice the market being gone for good as less and less people attend…..hope I don’t hear crickets breaking the silence.

    1. You’re right Peter, I am concerned about the square. There are several problems with it and several reasons while despite all the boosterism from the developer, it will not be an analogue for the other examples you’ve cited, or other successful markets elsewhere.

      There’s the issue of capacity. There’s the fact that (as far as I know, but correct me if I’m wrong), it’s a privately owned space with little incentive for the landlord to facilitate the market in the long-term. And as far as the aesthetics are concerned, If anything, it’s the cobblestones and the lighting etc. that are in a sense, part and parcel of the problem. We will get a sanitized cramped space under the looming presence of 30 story megalith. As much as architects and developers like to stick their head in the sand, this sort of environment is anti-human and people will not want to be there. What is needed is a contiguous space of asphalt; it does not have to be pretty.

      Forgive me but I’m skeptical of the ability of John Street and the Green P lot to fulfill the role, both because it’s still a reduced area, particularly compared with the station lot, but also because the Green P lot provides parking to those visiting the market.

      I don’t think the GO station parking lot is a perfect solution but unless we, as a community, can somehow put the brakes on redevelopment of the tower and retain the property for community use, the alternative could very well be loss of the market as a viable enterprise, or else its decline from a place one can go to get actual shopping, into a few stalls selling trinkets and crap.

      And for the record, I think the beer garden is a great idea. I for one have no objections to drinking before noon particularly in combination with a pork sandwich.

      1. well said.

        the unpaved lot has been acquired by the city for the redevelopment.
        but I see it in the grander scheme of the new development as being used as weston parking and widening Pantelis Kalamaris Lane to accommodate increased north and south traffic.

        if that’s the case, then that space could be used for the market during the construction as no serious digging would be done or needed to be done at that site.

        The new twist to the south GO parking at Lawrence is that if it’s true that Weston will see weekend service this year…..then GO would need parking space for rider usage or pick up drop off….that said,

        where would the market go then?

        cheers to cold beer 😀

        1. Ward funeral parking lot…st.john parking lot or even better …Real Canadian Superstore parking lot.

          Move the market out of Weston and shame the Weston BIA and Weston Resident Group for endorsing this crazy 30 storey tower.

  5. Judging their decision on its merits, this new location sounds like a better option than existing location on John. A farmers market needs easy access and parking for vendors (Weston road/GO station parking lot), good visibility (out in the open on Weston vs. tucked away by the tracks on John), and plenty of customers (high-density apartment blocks and 1&3 Hickory Tree condos).

    Believe it or not, the high-density towers are full of potential customers, and I’m sure the organizers know that quite well.

    Now, I’m inclined to feel a little sorry for my fellow Weston residents north of Lawrence, south of Church, east of Raymond, and west of Jane who have to cross Lawrence to the south side to get to the farmers market. If you are carrying a lot of produce, and walk with a cane, the extra 100 meters of walking can be a challenge. But for those who just don’t venture down south for any number of reasons, my message to them is simple: as a resident of Weston who lives south of Lawrence, I can guarantee that here there be no dragons.

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