Council to debate moving farmers' market to Pelissier St.

Coun. Rino Bortolin is working to get the Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market moved to Pelissier Street, but the location has to be approved by city council.

Council to vote on matter at end of March, so market can be up and running somewhere by mid-May

A new location for the Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market will be debated by council later in March. (Steve Green/Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market/Facebook)

The Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market could soon be on the move, again.

Coun. Rino Bortolin is trying to get support to move the weekend market a few blocks west to Pelissier Street.

The market has been somewhat nomadic over the past several years. It used to be on the site of the former Greyhound bus terminal. For the past three years, it was at Charles Clark Square.

The goal is to set up the market on Pelissier Street and part of Maiden Lane, which would require shutting down portions of those streets.

That type of relocation has been in the works for about eight years, but has never happened, explained Larry Horwitz, chairman of the Downtown Windsor BIA.

"We've been talking and planning to move the event from Charles Clarke Square to the streets," he said. "Every weekend will be an event. There will be all kinds of activities."

The Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market has been at Charles Clark Square for three years. (Steve Green/Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market/Facebook)

The location has to be approved by city council and that's something Bortolin is trying to expedite.

He says the Downtown Residents Association also supports the idea.

One advantage of the move would be getting extra support from the BIA, which could offer sponsorship and marketing.

The committee working on the plan has already met with Windsor police, the fire department, Transit Windsor, "and just about any other group or body that needs to be consulted," Bortolin said.

All involved are in a rush to get the plan approved by council.

Sense of urgency

Ordinarily, a plan like this would have to go to the social development, health and culture standing committee.

But that committee doesn't meet again until mid-April, and those involved with the market hope to have it running in the new location by mid-May.

Council has agreed to bypass the standing committee and go directly to a vote of council at the end of March.

Bortolin says the move would cost the taxpayers nothing and that it should be a benefit to the community and the downtown economy.

He says that through the years, the market has spawned actual bricks-and-mortar businesses, but not of them are downtown.

The BIA and residents association hope by making the market a weekly destination, perhaps some of their market vendors might open shops and stores in the downtown core.

If the plan is rejected, the market will stay at Charles Clark Square, for now.

The city is redeveloping the civic esplanade there with the construction of the new city hall, so a lot will change at that location.