GUELPH POLITICAST #307 - New Year, New Market

19Jan

As of January 1, 10C Shared Space took over the management of the Guelph Farmers' Market. The goal is simple: turn an underperforming asset that’s only open five hours a week into a new economic hub and accelerator that ties together food security, sustainability, local markets, and opportunity development. Getting there is an ideal challenge for Guelph’s community changemaker.

According to the Farmers’ Market website, the property was home to Guelph’s first building, which was a market house, a central place where area farmers could sell their produce and goods. Essentially, this is was the beginning of downtown Guelph, and while the market house didn’t last, the area that became Market Square became a centre of local commerce by the middle of the 19th century.

Fast forward to last November when city council approved a plan for 10C to take over management of the market. It’s hard to think of a better partner to run the market, and 10C’s plan includes more hours, different vendors like a weekly arts and crafts market, culinary events to promote food tourism and education, and a common community space that can be used for a variety of different events. It’s a bold plan, so how does it begin?

10C co-founder and executive director Julia Grady joins us on this edition of the podcast to talk about why 10C is a good match for the Farmers’ Market, and what some of the plans are for the space.  She will also discuss the importance of a thriving Farmers’ Market to downtown Guelph, and the mandate to create a profitable market in the next five years. And finally, she will talk about how the pandemic has changed the market, and when people might start to see some of the changes 10C is initiating.

So let's talk about the Farmers' Market of the future on this week's Guelph Politicast!

To learn more about 10C, go to their website here, and to learn more about the Guelph Farmers’ Market, including a list of vendors and the current capacity limits, click here. To find out more about the potential changes coming to the Farmers’ Market, check out the highlights from November’s Committee of the Whole meeting here.

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