Farmers market future at Barn in question

Windsor's downtown farmers market is looking for a new home after a three-year run at the old bus depot.
Windsor Arena was supposed to be home to a new farmers market, but those plans are on hold. (CBC News)

Windsor's downtown farmers market is now  looking for a new home.

It had been at the old bus station for the past three seasons but wrapped up its run there Saturday.

"I know the majority of the vendors would like to stay in the area just because it's familiar for people," said general manager Victoria Rose. "It would be, obviously, easier to tell people that we're only a few blocks away and its a great thing to have in the downtown core."

But the Downtown Residents Association  (DRA) which runs the market says the future is up in the air.

The association is waiting for word from the city on what is happening with Windsor Arena.

Plans to turn it into a public market have been put on hold. The DRA would like to know if it's going to be possible to partner with it.

"Farmers markets are relatively new in the area compared to other cities, so just generating that foot traffic is a really big thing," Rose said. "So working with someone else is definitely easier and more beneficial to everyone."

Doug Romanek of Nana's Bakery has been a vendor at the market for several years. He likes the idea of going into the Barn but he's open to the idea of other areas downtown as long as there's lots of space.

"Where we were at was a nice spot in that there was room for the vendors to have adequate space; adequate space for people to walk around," Romanek said.  "Someplace where the farmers can put their product out so everybody can see it nicely displayed."

The DRA expects to hear what's happening with the Barn in about a month. If it can't work out a deal there the city it may find a private landowner downtown to set up shop.

Vendors say the they really like the parkland areas near the waterfront or some of the downtown parks where some of the amentias are. They are looking for benches and lighting at their next location.