Saskatoon Secures Funding to Renovate Riversdale Farmers Market – Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon is now looking to renovate the Riversdale Farmers Market which remained empty for many years.

The building housed the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for over a decade.

In 2019, the city elected not to renew the building’s lease, noting the need for repairs, including ongoing water issues with the building’s roof.

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Now the city will use $750,000 in federal funding through a PrairieCan Grant Program to revamp the location.

“The intent of this will not be to take away other businesses, but to add and provide different ways people can experience farmers’ markets at a variety of vendors,” the town’s chief executive said. of Saskatoon, Lynne LaCroix.

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She said they were looking to make the location a hub for buyers, creatives and producers in hopes of adding 25-30 vendors, a stage for musicians to showcase their talents and a lounge area. for people to pass their time.


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However, some say the location overhaul is too little too late.

When the city did not renew the lease for the Saskatoon Farmers Marketmany started their own businesses, and the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market signed a 10-year lease in another location.

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Shawnda Blacklock, co-owner of Small Market Boxwas selling its produce at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for years before Riversdale’s lease was terminated.

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Uncertain, she decided to open a business with her partner in 2019 by setting up a consignment store for producers and creators, giving them less work to do and fewer fees to pay.

“I don’t think they’re going to want to go and sit in a stall or set up another store because they have a pretty nice setup here. They come in and they drop it off and then we make all the travel easier for them, and that’s a really good deal,” Blacklock said.

She suggested that demand from growers wanting to bring their produce to the farmers’ market could decrease.

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“They are on the ground; they are calving now; they are planting right now; they make, they cook, they grow; the gardeners are in their gardens…they are busy,” Blacklock said.

The city is in the process of finalizing its agreement with the hub of entrepreneurs, Idea’s Inc.to run the Riversdale site at least six days a week and create the vision for what the interior will look like.

Global News asked for comment, but did not receive a response in time for the broadcast.

Construction is expected to begin on the Riversdale Farmer’s Market this fall.

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James V. Payne