Farmers Market – my 2 cents.

I made my first visit of the year to the Weston Farmers Market on Saturday in its new location. It’s not for lack of trying but a family vacation, a sick relative and Saturday morning forgetfulness have kept me away until now.

It was re-assuring to see many familiar traders there such as Grandpa Ken and the Egg Man.

Other traders I spoke to seemed to feel that business is slow but has been picking up recently. This makes sense as at this time of year, there is more legitimate produce from actual farmers.

Just a couple of observations from the point of view of a ‘naive’ visitor looking at the location for the first time.

Seen from Weston Road, there is little to indicate that a farmers market is happening.
Seen from Weston Road, there is little to indicate that a farmers market is happening.

One of the big advantages of this new temporary site is that the market has a much higher visibility, being situated in full view on Weston Road. There seemed to be interest from passing vehicles; cars were slowing but moved on, possibly because they couldn’t figure out what was happening.

The best view of the market is from the station side rather than the road.
The best view of the market is from the station side rather than the road. There is no mistaking from this angle what is happening here.

Strangely, the best view of the market is from the station end of the stalls rather than the Weston Road side. Cars and end stalls block the view from the street.

Even from this close, it's not that obvious what is happening.
Even from this close, it’s not that obvious what is happening and it looks a mess. The gold and red SUVs hide the market from the street. Photo taken at 10:15am.

It would seem that a couple of simple adjustments would make a big difference and attract more passing traffic. It might also remind people who haven’t been this year that the market still exists.

  1. There is a need for a large banner outside the market to indicate what is going on and entice people to stop.
  2. Traders’ vehicles should not be blocking views of the market from the road.
  3. All traders should be arranged in rows perpendicular to Weston Road for maximum attractiveness, accessibility and visibility.

Discuss.

7 thoughts on “Farmers Market – my 2 cents.”

  1. These are excellent suggestions, and I hope the BIA will take them to heart. The market needs to be more visible and welcoming in its new location to thrive. Worth the effort!

  2. I checked out the market over two weeks ago…would I go again?…..tough question.

  3. I’ve said the same thing over and over Adam…..even almost to the point of grabbing the old banners from the old site and bringing them there myself.
    I’ve also suggested a large entrance with a couple lesser ones like the Christmas market down at the Distillery district.
    The layout needs to be revamped and more weekly special events to draw different groups.
    corn roast…..strawberry day…..different ethnicity days……Halloween…..
    this is also the last year of the pilot project having VQA wines at farmer’s markets…..why was it never attempted here?
    Every Saturday I’m information telling people where to find the market due to a lack of LARGE PRINT DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE……

    I’d better stop because I’m very passionate about OUR market and I always seem to get in trouble every time I start…..because OUR market should be the example to others of how a market should be not how it shouldn’t. OUR market should a showpiece for OUR village. OUR market should be handled with extreme care so we can all enjoy its fruits…..not viewed as a weed to be crushed underfoot.
    I have to stop.
    For now anyways…..

    1. Great suggestions Peter. These would not cost a lot of money and would pay off for traders and indeed the BIA by increasing demand and thus provide greater revenue for all.
      The VQA was a successful pilot in selected markets and unfortunately Weston was not a participant. The program has gone mainstream and any producer of grape or fruit wines can sell at a farmers market if they have an existing retail outlet. A wine producer would need to feel that the effort would pay off in sales. Currently 13 Toronto farmers markets are selling wines. Perhaps Weston is not viewed as a good prospect but an outreach from the BIA to a vintner might be in order here.
      As for signage, you’re right; it really needs to be beefed up considerably and the venue itself could be the biggest signpost if done well with a large entrance.
      Themes would draw more people but would require organization and publicity.
      You certainly don’t need to apologize for being passionate about the market. Rather than feeling that they are under attack, the BIA needs to take constructive comments on board and attempt to implement suggestions.
      People are frustrated but we all want the market to be a success. Yes, the current location is temporary but for now, the market has great exposure on Weston Road. This is a golden opportunity that has been known about for some time.

      Roy Murray

      1. The BIA needs new management, there is too much old blood where the BIA has its “favorite vendors” who receive special treatment. : better locations, coffee I’ve even seen the manager give back rubs to some vendors on a day to day basis, even cheaper rent from some vendors. It’s not right. And should be stopped. The biggest change that needs to be done is new management…

        Yes Peter we need signs one over our location would be best so not only on market day they see the sign but everyday. Having tons of signs on johnstreet office is stupid due to the road closures as well as the bridge isn’t open. Signs away from Weston would be smart to have one at Weston & 401 as well as Jane and Lawrence. Some all vendors besides a few come from out of Weston… Signs are cheap, last for ever and they work.

        Adam, go out of Weston, see a proper market how it’s layout. How it’s advertised & how it’s successful than look at what Weston has become the last few years. Take a day, take the family to the old brickworks on a Saturday’s it’s beautiful walk and view of the city but also Torontos best market.

        We can’t keep hating on what we have if no one steps forward and helps out. Change is good sometimes but the change needs to start with the BIA. Who claim to be ” short fund on advertising ” but hasn’t added signage, but using social media… A free advertising host.

        Let’s see change.

  4. Funny went to market today and some farmers are thinking of not returning if they are forced back onto john st. Alot of the visitors to market are not even from weston. The market sucks. Period…besides bacon man and a couple of real farmers there is really no reason to go to the market. Too many better options out there. Just like P&M and Peter’s Barbershop are the only businesses I know people visit in Weston..but thats once every couole of months…..but its not enough. Time for BIA, Resident Association, actual residents and especially the Councillor to step up to the plate.

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