Ottawa

Farmers markets to open in Ottawa, mayor says

Ottawa's mayor says farmers markets will open in the city this summer, but they might look different to enable physical distancing during the pandemic.

City exploring curbside pickup at Lansdowne

Ottawa's farmers markets will open this year, Mayor Jim Watson said, but there will be measures in place to protect vendors and customers from spreading COVID-19. (Josee St-Onge/CBC)

Ottawa's mayor says farmers markets will open in the city this summer, but they might look different to enable physical distancing during the pandemic.

During a teleconference Monday, Mayor Jim Watson told reporters his team has been working with the city, farmers market organizers and Ottawa Public Health for weeks to figure out how to operate markets safely.

"Farmers markets will open. The exact date we're still working on," he said.

"There will have to be some kind of cordoning off [to] only permit so many people into the vicinity at one time."

Watson said at the Ottawa Farmers' Market at Lansdowne curbside pickup could be an option.

"Making sure we protect both the customers and the vendors and the farmers is of paramount importance," he said.

While Watson expects to see farmers markets open across the city, he said some present special challenges, including Westboro's, which is a narrow space.

In Carp, the farmers market is on private land but is still allowed to open, Watson added.

On its Facebook page the Carp Farmers' Market said Sunday its board of directors has been "working diligently on the best and safest way to proceed" with the market. The market's opening is delayed and will not happen in May, the post said.

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