Farmers Market update

Weston Farmers Market has finally moved to its designated temporary location in the UP Express parking lot on Weston Road south of Lawrence. As readers know, this year, the market had to find a new home as the old site was sold by the Toronto Parking Authority and is being ‘developed‘. Metrolinx was persuaded to allow the market to use its UP Express parking lot but unfortunately dragged its feet and didn’t have the site ready for the market until late last week. Thanks are due to MPP and provincial cabinet minister, Laura Albanese for applying pressure on behalf of the market through many letters to Metrolinx.

Thanks should also go to Weston Park Baptist Church who, when asked, donated their parking lot to the Market while the Metrolinx site was unavailable. Weston B.I.A. Chair Masum Hossein tells me that without Weston Park’s generosity, the market would have had nowhere to go while waiting for Metrolinx to release the site.

This week, in a new location and layout, the market looked much more like a market from the street and if there was any doubt, the B.I.A.’s Deborah Gibson was pulling in passing traffic in fine carny barker style.

Deborah Gibson from the BIA doing a fine carny barker routine.
Deborah Gibson from the BIA encourages passing traffic to try the market.

The larger space of the Metrolinx lot allows for a better arrangement of stalls that has much more appeal from the street.

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Now that’s what a market looks like. Wychwood Barns it ain’t but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. Those two SUVs are still blocking the view (we’re talking to you smoothie man and Grandpa Ken).
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Grandpa Ken’s bacon sandwiches are still big sellers. Perhaps Grandpa Ken could encourage his clients to line up so that they don’t block access to other traders.

Masum also mentioned that the market area is patrolled on Friday nights until early on Saturday mornings and then cones are strategically placed so that people aren’t tempted to park overnight in the market area.

Councillor Frances Nunziata was there keeping an eye on things (you can see her in the second photo far left). Traders I spoke to seemed pleased at the numbers this week and the weather cooperated. It also helps that there is a large amount of fresh Ontario produce available, much of which comes directly from farms and orchards. I bought some peaches and they were delicious.

Is it too much to hope for a beer garden?

5 thoughts on “Farmers Market update”

  1. Question to the phase “Thanks should also go to Weston Park Baptist Church who, when asked, donated their parking lot to the Market while the Metrolinx site was unavailable.” using the word donated. Why was the traders rent rasised $10 more if the property was donated for the past 12 weeks? Where does all the money go to because it definitely doesn’t go back to the market. There is no new signage, social media is free.. Etc. Let’s do the math.
    There is roughly 35 tents or spots taken by vendors many have more than one. So 35 x 1400. $1400 per week is 22 week season = $30800.00 per season. $31,000 is collected by the BIA. Most likely more since as the crops grow they have more booths. But when the property is donated unpaid for where does all the fees go. Yes I know about city paperwork to be a vendor but it’s not costing close to 30k.

    Adam 30k is on the low side. For a online paper why is it never questioned. The BIA wants jumping castles at the market. That isn’t helping the vendors. The money should be spent to grow the market not to be pocketed by the BIA

    1. Hi Alex,
      I wrote the article that you commented on. Are you saying that the rent per stall is $1400 per week or per season? If it’s per season, a total of $31,000 in a season isn’t a lot to show for their efforts, especially when there are legitimate expenses such as paying people to guard the site overnight etc. Additionally, the church may have received some compensation – I’ll find out from Masum. Hopefully since the BIA is partially publicly funded, these expenses should be made public so people can see where the money goes.
      Roy Murray

      1. I don’t think “get a life” comments helps the argument even if one disagrees with the original post.

        From my understanding this blog is done by volunteers with their money and time and I don’t expect or hold them to the same standards as a major newspaper. Actually I think they’re doing an amazing job – so well that we sometimes think they should be doing this or that when writing an article for an ‘online paper’. I’m just happy to get a decent source of news in Weston/Mt. Dennis on a regular basis.

        But going back to Alex’s post – possibly some good points here. I say research some more, present the evident and submit and/or write something up to the authors of this site. It will go a long way in helping them update the original article or do a follow-up (if it makes sense to do so).

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