Food Community

Market Day Downtown

*Market day hours for 2018 are from 10am to 3pm.

This is now a year round market. During the summer months it runs every week at the Manitoba Hydro  building, and in the winter months, excepting January, twice a month at Cityplace.

Starting in the summer of 2021, they have been setting up in True North Square. If, as Covid-19 restrictions ease, there are more vendors, they may need to set up there and by the Hydro building. 

Broadway in Bryant Park Falls In Lo...
Broadway in Bryant Park Falls In Love With HIMSELF AND NORA

I enjoy the opportunity to visit farmer’s markets, but as someone who doesn’t drive, it usually takes a bit of planning to make them work within the course of my day.  I was therefore very pleased to hear that they were going to try and run a farmer’s market in the downtown area.  The location for this market is the Graham side of the Hydro building, and the market was launched yesterday.

The market runs from 11:30 to 5:30, and I went down during my lunch break.  The market was hopping.  Whether or not this was from first day novelty or is indicative of the desire to support such venture, time will tell, but on the first day of the market the people came out to support it.

Downtown ice cream vendor
Soft Spot ice cream is one of the great vendors downtown.

To their credit, the organizers have found a good combination, of fresh produce, baked goods and handicrafts to make the market a place to attract a wide range of customers. They also picked a good time to launch as the producers of fresh fruit and vegetables are getting to the point in their season where there is more variety and greater quantity of their produce available.

For myself, I visited several tents.  One drawback on the first day was that there was little signage indicating who the various vendors were.  As a result, when I say what I purchased, I won’t be saying where it was from.  What I ended up with was:  beets, cabbage, one tomato (they were all looking quite ripe), a zucchini, and a chicken.  I topped off my visit with a snack bar from my friend Natalie, The Bread Lady.

Downtown ice cream market
My ice cream.

My afternoon took me out of the office, and so on my way back I took a quick stop back at the market.  From talking to Natalie and from what I can see, the day had been quite successful for many of the vendors.  Some were already starting to pack up with about two and a half hours to go because they had no more product to sell.

A Good Start:

All in all the first day would have to go down as a success.  There are sure to be some growing pains along the line.  Firstly, the way the tents are set up along the area behind the lounge for Rudy’s means that if you get in that area, you have to travel the whole length before you can get out and then circle back if you want to go to where you started from.  Secondly, if would be good if they attracted a couple of food vendors beyond the frozen ice cream treats truck that was there.  While there are many fine places for lunch such as Twist Cafe (my second home), if you are on a limited lunch break, it’s hard to eat and shop.  On the whole, the new market is going to contribute to making life downtown a little better.  Take some time and check it out.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.