Revitalization

Farmers' Market Reopening Delayed

By RTH Staff
Published January 19, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

The City of Hamilton has delayed the planned re-opening of the Farmers' Market from January 21 back to February 1 to complete plumbing work and undertake health inspections in the new space.

The decision was made yesterday in a meeting with city staff and the Market Stallholders' Association, when it was made clear that the remaining work could not be completed in the two days remaining before the scheduled re-opening date.

The last day the market was open in the old location was Saturday, January 8. According to Ann Lamanes in the City's Culture Department, staff had recommended three weeks for the move but the stallholders pushed for a shorter time-frame to minimize lost business.

Health regulations at the permanent Market require working sinks at every stall. The Public Health Department cannot inspect the stalls until the plumbing connections to the sinks are completed.

Starting on February 1, the Market hours of operation will be:

Farmers' Market Hours of Operation
Weekday Open Close
Tuesday 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Saturday 6:00 AM 6:00 PM

Update: Culture Director Anna Bradford has provided more context on the decision to delay the reopening.

RTH asked whether it would be possible for the stallholders to stay open in the old space until the new space is available. Bradford responded that nearly everything has already been moved and that in any case, "the lease ends at the end of January."

She explained that the delay is related to issues with the vents and grease receptors in the stall sinks.

As for the Market hours of operation, Bradford noted that the times have not changed in many years. She added that the City and the Stallholders' Association may reconsider the hours "sometime in the future."

32 Comments

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By wmacphail (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 08:32:06

I'm betting on Valentine's Day.

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By SickOfHam (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 08:32:18

Moving the stallholders into the new space has nothing to do with the required plumbing connections & health inspections. Is the city trying to place the blame on the stallholders when city planners had to tear down newly built walls to do the plumbing? Another City F-up.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 08:41:19

I thought the hours were going to improve with this new reno?? It should have been written right into the new contracts. Now, if they try to change the hours in a year or two, good luck getting anyone to open up. These hours are so inconvenient for most people.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:12:28

This matter of operational hours is a pretty significant barrier to attracting new customers.

On a number of occasions, I've encouraged people to check out this Farmers' Market they keep hearing about, and they decide to pop in one day. As it stands, during a normal work week such people have only a 60% chance of finding the Market open when they arrive.

In several cases, after a couple of failed attempts to go to the Market they just gave up and wrote it off as too much bother to figure out when it's open.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:18:20

If memory serves, the "expanded hours" concession was to have the market open at 7am on Fridays. Maybe too ambitious?

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:26:51

They need to be open late at least once a week. The current hours are very good for retirees and welfare recipients, but let's give the poor working folks a break, if only for one day a week. Why the hell do they need to open at 6am anyways? Sure, some people like to go that early but for many those hours are useless.

I heard that in the new market stalls will be expected to be open during market hours. This is at least an improvement While the market was always open until 6, it always closed at 4 in my mind.

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:44:04

Would be nice if the market could open on a Sunday...

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:47:28

A lot of people at my work go to the market during the lunch. While this works well enough for them given the crappy hours of operation, they are now bitching and moaning because when the market relocates back to the old space, they'll have to walk 5 minutes farther through the mall to get to it.

I on the other hand normally walk all throughout the mall and as far as John Street sometimes on my break, just for fun. In fact yesterday I spent 10 minutes gawking at the restored Birks clock from the newly renovated library, then spent a further couple of minutes admiring the green wall on my way out.

That suburban attitude sure must be stressful.

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By Bernard N. Woodstein (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:53:03

Was the HFM opening designed to distract from the PAG deadline or vice-versa?

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:05:13

Yep. It's all an organic, grown local conspiracy.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:06:55

The hours may be more workable for our 24,000 downtown workers but lets not forget those 33% who commute out of Hamilton altogether. My options are to go at 6am before the GO train leaves, or to rush there after work 15 minutes before closing. The only real option is just to go on saturday, which is what I've been doing every saturday for years. I would be enthralled with just one weekday where the market is open until 8 or 9. Even the Jackson Square liquor store will give you that, and that says a lot.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:12:18

I would suggest Thurs and Fri until 9pm and for the market to open on Sundays as well.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:35:45

SPeaking of which, someone needs to wake the jackson square LCBO up to the changing demographics downtown. Some of us want something other than FAXE tallboys.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:01:51

@Jason

I totally agree. Something like this should, for a couple days at least, be open from, say 11am to 9pm. Burning hours when customers are at work seems pretty counter productive to me. And maybe I'm the wrong demographic, but opening at the crack of dawn seems to be rather inefficient -- however, I'm not up on the habits of farmer's market shoppers.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:09:08

I suspect communications with the market patrons have not been as good as they could be. I do not use the Hamilton Farmer's Market but my husband goes there very regularly, and walks there with my two year old daughter. He went there on a cold winter day recently, not realizing that it was closed.

Not sure if the fault was my husband's, or lack of information provided to the public...

Anyways, I'll inform him about the Feb. 1st opening... yet another reason to appreciate RTH!

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By Bernard N. Woodstein (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:11:07

FWIW, I was being sarcastic. Although it'll be interesting to see which story gets the ink.

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By CNuman (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:05:23

I wonder why the temporary location was shut down and moved when the sinks and plumbing were not completed. Why not adjust that so that the down time (significant for vendors, and for me!) could be most minimized?

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By michel (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 18:02:39

As per above, can someone explain why those sinks and plumbing fixtures were not installed BEFORE the move, as part of the construction of the market?

Comment edited by michel on 2011-01-19 18:03:51

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 19:21:15

I imagine the plumbing and sink locations were dependent on the stallholder's desired configuration, and may have been supplied by the stallholder themselves. Assuming the leaseholder agreement works the same way as every other leaseholder agreement ('here's an empty shell of a building; fill it'). Despite being broken up into individual stalls, the Public Health requirements may consider the entire Farmer's Market as a single entity for health purposes, which means all of the stalls would have to be complete prior to opening.

OTOH, I could be completely and utterly wrong...

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 00:48:23

The hours of operation have always been a complaint of mine. I'd love to see it open Tues-Sat. Where's the problem here? Is it with the stallholders or the City? To be a truly legitimate destination the hours must improve.

By the way, can someone get a pic of the Birk's clock, please? I'd love to see it.

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By mikeyj (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 10:59:49

@seancb The Jackson LCBO now at least has a small vintages section. I haven't had the privilege of trying a FAXE but I couldn't do without my Pabst.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 16:14:25

Alright, I get Sunday not being open and I get Monday not being open, but Wednesday?

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 16:17:50

@seancb & mikeyj

The Jackson square LCBO has disappointed me on several occasions. It's cramped, the lines are typically quite long and the selection leaves something to be desired. I ideally would love to see a much larger LCBO (ideally one with a Barton St LCBO style Beer fridge) moved into a large venue in Jackson Square. A swath of the old farmers market would be perfect for this.

I've been meaning to send an email to the LCBO regarding it, and maybe if they got some complaints regarding it, they'd consider moving to a spot with some more space.

Also, ditch the discount beer boys, and give a local craft brew a shot. Wellington & Mill St. offer some top tier brews.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-01-20 16:24:09

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 16:38:15

The LCBO seems to be agressively pursuing the big box model and losing interest in smaller locations. They recently closed the Union Station store, which was tiny and had limited hours but was always packed. It must have been extremely profitable for its size, and it was immensely convenient for commuters and travelers. I can't figure out for the life of me why they would close that down. I also can't figure out why, with the synergy being near 24,000 higher than average paid workers and the shopping of Jackson Square, not to mention the pedestrian traffic at King and James, that the LC would not see the market for a bigger and better location. How many would be customers have written it off for years because they know it's junk?

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 17:56:11

The Jackson LCBO was the relocated version of the Bay/York LCBO, which also sucked. Dundurn will be unassailable because of the income of the surrounding neighbourhood, but with the recent arrival of the 12,100 square foot LCBO store (the area's second largest, second only in size to the Ancaster outlet, it's twice as big as the old Stadium Mall store and contains a Vintages section about the size of the JS store) I wouldn't hold out much hope for a phenomenal LCBO reinvention in JS. After all, those 23,400 higher-than-average income workers tend not to live downtown, so their local may in fact be Dundurn or Dundas or the Meadowlands. Adding good-paying jobs to the core is great (though 2,700 net increase in the last decade is less than half the growth rate the city needs to hit its density targets), but if only a fraction of those who work downtown live downtown, the chicken omelette is still missing some ingredients. And going by yesterday's Spec article (a mistake, I know), the city seems to be using the combined jobs+residents figure as its yardstick -- so they could hit a density target and still have 3/4 of workers evacuating the core when the whistle blows. Note the evasive conjunction:

"The city's official plan, based on provincial urban growth targets, has set a goal of 250 residents and jobs per downtown hectare by 2031. But the city needs to add about 12,000 people living *or* working downtown over the next 20 years to meet the target and will fall short if it doesn't increase the rate of growth of about 300 per year over the last decade."

http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/475520--downtown-is-a-happenin-place


Back to the market, anyone know who the maroon is who raggedly painted the lower half of one of the easternmost columns red? Looks kind of odd tarted up like that.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 22:27:20

Jonathan...FYI...a new store opened up in Royal Bank Plaza right near the subway entrance (a much larger store too) replacing the one in Union Station.

http://twitpic.com/3a5xvn

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:22:24

Thanks for the tip. I had 20 minutes between trains and meant to pick up my christmas eve booze during that transfer, and when I found the old store empty I went on the LCBO site and it did not list a new Union Station store. I will have to check out this store next time.

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By Hamiltonguy (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 12:15:49

First the city screws up on the availability of letting " ALL " the stall holders back into the market. There was a petition brought in to grant EVERYONE a stall back into the NEW market.

That gets fixed.

And now this????????????? Literally folks WTF ? Is this city run by idiots???? Seems to me every which way you turn any of the recent projects the city has had done, there's ALWAYS a problem.

I don't dare even mention the Pan-Am games... I just did so...

It takes almost 2 years to come to a conclusion after all the threatening and fighting, to keep Ivor Wynn where it is and just retrofit it?

Again I have to ask....

Is this city run by idiots?????????

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 12:22:37

@Hamiltonguy

In the case of elected officials, you reap what you sow.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 12:47:12

every which way you turn every project in the history of the world, there's ALWAYS a problem.

Fixed.

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By Boblthree (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 15:30:15

Re HFM opening delays (plural).

Has anyone ever performed a "things gone wrong-things gone right" (TGW-TGR) analysis with the staff at City Hall. Folks moan about Council (with good reason, I agree) but the problem here is surely the City Staff who provide oversight (I hope!) on all City Projects? It sounds like a simple exercise at first sight but TGW-TGR reviews, if properly conducted can be quite illuminating in finding where a project has gone astray and (again, hopefully) provide guidance for future projects.

We can but hope!

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 04, 2011 at 12:07:42 in reply to Comment 57241

Belated detail on that 2,700 number:

"Since 2001, 1,500 new jobs have arrived in the core, as have 1,200 new residents."

http://goo.gl/I0Bim

And a dash of fresh employment perspective:

"Job creation is on the rise in 2011, with January seeing Canadian employment numbers gaining 69,000 jobs, according to Statistics Canada's latest figures. The impressive January totals follow December's 22,000 new jobs."

http://goo.gl/LMlSJ

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