Up to 10,000 people have been going to the new Seaport Market since it opened on Aug. 7. ((CBC))

The new Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market will only be open one day a week until at least after Thanksgiving due to construction delays.

Fred Kilcup, the general manager of the market, says there is still no firm start date for the six-day market, which was originally to be in place for June.

"We're in the process of commissioning the building, getting all the systems operational," Kilcup told CBC News.

"We expected to be fully operational by now, but construction issues and timing — as you find in many construction projects, particularly one as innovative as this one — run into glitches, so we've had some delays."

The Seaport Market is still an active construction site every day except Saturday, when the market is currently open.

Work is continuing to integrate the air quality and computerized lighting systems, with solar and renewable heating systems.

At 4,050 square metres, the new Seaport Market is almost double the size of the old market at the Alexander Keith's brewery, which is open only on Saturdays.

Kilcup said the six-day opening at the Seaport Market is expected to begin sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The plan is for crafts vendors to open six days a week, with fresh, local food on sale three days a week — Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.


Fred Kilcup is the general manager of the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market. ((CBC))

"What works for the vendor as far as their production cycle or seasons, we customize their participation around their needs for that," Kilcup said.

While the number of vendors will vary depending on the season, Kilcup said as many as 140 operators are expected during the peak summer season. A major portion of those vendors will be people selling fresh or processed food.

Up to 10,000 people have been jamming the new market each Saturday since it opened on Aug. 7.

While some shoppers have expressed disappointment that the Seaport Market is as congested as the old one in the brewery, Kilcup said that will resolve itself once the construction is finished.

"Then these issues of trying to get everybody into one day a week will disappear, because people will have the option to come on a Sunday or a Wednesday," he said.

Despite the delays, Kilcup said he expects the final cost of the building to stay in the $12-million range. The municipal, provincial and federal governments, along with local investors, paid for the project through a community economic development fund.