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.

3 thoughts on “Farmers Market Opens for 2020”

  1. Let us be reminded, it was the BIA who fired anchor Joe Gaeta.. and cheered the new HUB site drawing assuring the community-it had everything in hand- it knew best. Obviously the community was duped. We have lost our former Farmers Market land, and our main real farmer, so familiar a friendly face to our community is now at Eglinton Market and we are left to drive to Eglinton- and here we have to settle with a flea market, a tiny parking lot. Its very sad- The Market was once the gem of Weston that brought the community together and now its just an intrusion of highrise apt dwellers that we sold out to. Sorry to point out the obvious, but its the Bia who management miscalculations that delivered a flea market, where there was once a successful bustling happy farmers market and here we are, as an intrusion to apt dwellers on Farmers/mrkt land that we sold out for a highrise in the promise of a hub that, like Cinderellas magic coach- turns back to a pumpkin in 20 yrs and all of it is apt. So the “something different” they are flogging this year is a makeshift venue that offers flea market space, no parking, and obligated all Weston residents that if we want our real farmers market- which we all wanted-its over at Eglinton market. I feel very sorry for the remaining farmers who got their numbers from people who came for Joe. Its so important to support all Real Ontario Farmers and real farmers markets, like we were so lucky to have here, so I will be loyal to my usual eggs and apples vendors and hope that soon they can iron out a location and possibly a year round one- and top of the list-re-enlist our Weston/ Gaeta Farms tradition of success and this community will come.

  2. Well said Leya,
    Remember the artist rendering of the “new” market space, that we could all see did not seem adequate. We need development (gentrification seems to be a bad word theses days), but let’s take the lessons from this, to help guide future developments, that currently don’t better the community.
    We moved here 13 years ago, and the farmers market (we had much more variety of true farmers then) was more than just a market. It truly was where we were able to meet new friends and neighbours.
    Let’s hope and work to a path forward.

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