On Thursday, sellers received a note from the Halifax Port Authority that the market “will be redesigned as a vibrant outdoor operation during the warmer months and a successful indoor farmer’s market on weekends operating in the pavilion 22 during the winter months.
Pavilion 22 is located next to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 on the Halifax waterfront.
The new outdoor weekend market will operate “in a dedicated space close to the current location and include coverage and amenities.”
Jane Mason-Browne is an illustrator and runs a kiosk at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Sundays. She sells her books, maps and illustrations and has been a market vendor for “over” ten years.
Mason-Browne said she was “actually very excited” about the market relocation.
“I really enjoyed this building in particular, I enjoyed looking at the harbor, watching the harbor activities, I enjoyed the people who passed here as well, but the other building near the Pier 21 museum is a another interesting option, ”she added.
Mason-Browne said she believes having the market outside in the warmer months will increase her visibility and there will likely be more foot traffic as people seem more comfortable doing of outside shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Instead of being hidden in a building, being outside, being visible, being on the go, it’s probably a good thing for the market,” she said.
“The market will therefore become an anchor for the waterfront and the waterfront.”
The owner of the Ashwurks, Donna Hopper, also welcomes the move.
“I had already made plans to expand my business and the kind of move plays into my plans,” said Hopper, who sells wood products made mostly from ash at the market five to seven days a week.
“I see it as number 15 in the history of the market since 1750, and I think the market has to change, and it’s a big change, and I hope that will inspire enthusiasm among suppliers and customers. . the city. ”
Hopper noted that the COVID-19 restrictions have “significantly reduced our traffic” in the market and believes foot traffic will increase depending on “how we present ourselves” at the new location.
“Love the view of the outdoor market with the big tent and the European style lights. For me it’s a romantic vision and it will be interesting how they get there, but I can’t wait to see the change because what is going on right now is not working very well, ”she added.
While the change is embraced by some, others like Jim Legge are not on the same page.
Legge and his wife Kathy have been selling handmade sheepskin mittens, slippers, hats and coats, among other products, at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market for about 12 years.
Over the years, Legge has said that there are many changes in the market that have negatively impacted suppliers. On the one hand, he said the artisans were forced to move to the upper level of the building at one point, which cut his business in half.
Then he and his wife were only allowed to sell their produce on Sundays rather than Saturdays and Sundays.
Legge said the number of vendors has also declined over the years, reducing the flow of customers “considerably”.
“It was alive, it was dancing,” he remembers the early days of the market.
Legge is reluctant to move into the new market location and said “getting down there is up to the rules”, which have yet to be set. He is also concerned that his products could be ruined if exposed on rainy and windy days.
“From their point of view, it’s a good decision. From a salesperson’s point of view, this is a bad decision, ”he added.
Once the Farmers’ Market is moved, the Halifax Seaport Market Building will be renamed The PIER and will be transformed into a “living laboratory for the transportation industry,” according to the Port of Halifax. PIER stands for Innovation, engagement and port research.
The Halifax Port memo says The Pier will include “leased storefront space for retail and restaurant use,” which will benefit from weekday traffic from those working at the Living Lab and customers of the traditional farmer’s market on weekends. The Port Authority says it “will further activate the region and help attract more people to the historic Halifax Seaport District.”
The change is expected to take place in the spring of 2021, starting in mid-March.