Gaeta Farms ejected from Farmers’ Market

Gaeta Farms has been ejected from the Weston Farmers’ market, which is causing great concern and may have serious repercussions.

Gaeta Farms has been an anchor tenant since the market began  38 years ago. The farm posted on their website this weekend that they had been told they had breached the code of conduct and would no longer be welcome. They dispute this:

Breaching the code of conduct they say: My dad has always loved this market, this is where we started. His voice is for the market and what’s best for all farmers and the other vendors who attend, he wants this market to succeed. Is his voice too loud? The community needs to know that the board is giving the farmers a hard time with the move to the new location next year, which doesn’t give us enough space to operate safely. His voice is sticking up for us farmers.

In an email, Sabrina Gaeta, Joe’s daughter, said the issue goes back three years.  “Vendors have left, customers are no longer attending and nothing is being done to promote the market or address the issue that we have less vendors year after year.”

Next year’s  move to John Street has also been very contentious. Sabrina Gaeta says that vendors do not want to move to the John Street location because the space is not big enough. She also says they have not been supported by the BIA.

The Gaetas say the new John Street location will be too small for all the vendors and their wares, and cannot be used safely with the trucks and loading that needs to be done.

Losing Gaeta Farms may have serious repercussions for the market. Several people have told me that an inspector came on Saturday and found the market had too few vendors to qualify as a farmers’ market. This appears to mean it will be downgraded to a flea market.

I’ve emailed Frances Nunziata and the BIA, but I haven’t yet heard back.

Sabrina Gaeta said, in closing:

After 38 years my dad just wants to retire peacefully from the market and move on to spend time with his grandchildren. He doesn’t want me to pursue this, but the community needs to know how unfair we were treated. Out staff lost their jobs on Saturday, income they rely on. What hurt us the most: they took away the opportunity to say goodbye to the community, our customers who have become friends. We deserve the right to say goodbye.

 

Your job is easy

You think your job is tough? Try dressing like Marie Antoinette and standing on the pavement when it’s 42°. It has to be brutal.

My favourite performance was by Kate Mior, who returned this time as Madame Guillotine. Her performance was brilliant. She ‘executed’, with audience cheers and encouragement, an innocent man drawn from the crowd, before her own death by baguette. It was funny—and a slicing commentary on the difference, if any, between audience and mob.

The BIA, the performers, and volunteers did a great job in really tough conditions this year. Hats–or heads!–off to them!

 

WVRA hosts AGM in Weston Hub

On Tuesday May 14, the Weston Village Residents’ Association held its annual general meeting inside the new Weston Hub. The Hub interior still needs some final touches but is essentially complete. Landscaping is a work in progress but it’s coming along nicely and will be ready for next year. The official opening is on May 25th and 26th.

WVRA Chair Dave Bennett opened by talking about some of the ‘heat’ encountered when the Hub was proposed. This was later echoed by Councillor Nunziata.

For some warm reading go here, here, here and here.

You’re welcome Dave and Frances.

This area will house the Farmers Market next year. (click to enlarge).
Landscaping work has been done at the Hub entrance. Note the bridge connecting the multi-storey parking lot to the rental building.

The new space easily accommodated the 50+ people in attendance. LoriAnn Givran from Artscape, talked about the new facilities, Marlene Mackintosh from UrbanArts and Michael Kelly from Shakespeare in Action introduced themselves and the programs that they offer.

The highlight of the evening was to be a presentation from former Toronto Chief Planner Paul Bedford but because of illness, Mr. Bedford was absent but ably represented by colleague and Urban Lands Institute Executive Director Richard Joy. The presentation dealt with the ULI Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) Report tabled last August.

From the TAP report (Click to enlarge).

Richard dealt with the five big ideas from the report, namely,

  • Promote and plan Weston as a riverfront community
  • Market Weston as an affordable commercial and residential location for airport workers
  • Bring a brewery to Weston
  • Build partnerships with Universities and Colleges
  • Establish a co-op grocery store.

Later, Councillor Frances Nunziata spoke and talked about local issues including the upcoming paving of Weston Road and widening of sidewalks in the stretch between Lawrence and Little Avenue.

Sidewalks along this stretch of Weston Road are being widened.
Sidewalks along this stretch of Weston Road are not being widened. Go figure.

During the break, some mouth-watering goodies were available (well done Suri) and attendees enjoyed a tour of the new facilities.

A conference room.
One of the two large event rooms.
The lobby of the Weston Hub; WVRA Chair Dave Bennett (3rd from R) talks to residents.
The lobby – entranceway.
Michael Kelly of Shakespeare In Action speaks to the audience in the main presentation space.

Some aspiring politicians were in attendance including Yafet Tewelde and Chiara Padovani.

Chiara Padovani and brand new WVRA member Ryan Demchuk chat during the break.

It was a busy evening with lots of information – to hear a recording of the full meeting click the two links below:

Audio Part 1

Audio Part 2

Weston Santa Claus Parade a huge success

The Santa Claus Parade was a blast this year. The weather was great, and the floats and entertainers were really terrific. My favourite was probably the Burlington Teen Tour Band. Boy, does that bring back memories.

The Weston food bank was raising money and accepting donations, which they certainly need. Toronto.com says they serve about 750 people a month.

If seeing the big-hearted big man has put you in the spirit, you can donate online.

 

Farmers Market ends its 39th season.

Weston Farmers Market traders prepare to close their stalls for the 2018 season.

The Weston Farmers Market closed for the season yesterday and there was a good turnout despite the rainy and cool weather. Next year the market will return to John Street after an absence of three years and will open its 40th season on Saturday, May 11 at the new Weston Hub location.

There’s a chance to win $500 at Buskerfest on Saturday.

Weston B.I.A. is holding a raffle for a great prize at Weston Buskerfest On Sat, July 28 ,2018

WIN A $500 PRE-PAID MASTERCARD

  • If you spend $25 or more per person at any of the stores or a combination of the stores on Weston Rd from Church, south to Wilby Crescent, and on Lawrence West from Weston to Hickory Tree Rd on Buskerfest day, you will be entered in a draw to win a $500 pre-paid MasterCard. 
  • Simply, present your receipts to the volunteer at the information booth in front of RBC at 1906 Weston Rd and she will give you a raffle ticket to fill out in and put in the box.

 For more information on Weston Buskerfest: please visit the Weston BIA website or call our office at 416-249-0691

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