Hamilton Farmers’ Market Visioning Exercise

Share Hamilton Farmers’ Market Visioning Exercise on Facebook Share Hamilton Farmers’ Market Visioning Exercise on Twitter Share Hamilton Farmers’ Market Visioning Exercise on Linkedin Email Hamilton Farmers’ Market Visioning Exercise link

Earlier this year, Council directed Staff to undertake a review and consultation on the vision and role of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market given its location and neighbourhood, with a focus on engaging surrounding neighbourhood and other interested stakeholders. The purpose of this engagement is to examine opportunities for the potential future role of the Market and its downtown neighbourhood, and report back to the Sole Voting Member of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, prior to completing the governance and operating review.

As Hamilton evolves, the City of Hamilton wants to ensure that the vision for the historic Hamilton Farmers’ Market reflects the changing needs of the community. The historic market, dating back to 1837, has gone through many changes over its lifetime, circulating from an open-air market to a permanent market hall and back again, eventually landing in the permanent market hall where it operates today.

The market’s resilience in the face of neighbourhood change and various challenges over the years reflects the community’s commitment to preserving this valuable public asset. The goal of this project is to learn what it will take to ensure this historic public market continues to thrive for decades to come.

Today, due to potential plans and improvements to the surrounding area of the market, the City wants to ensure that the vision for the market reflects and is reflected in this new phase for downtown Hamilton. From September 2022 through early 2023, the City will collect input and ideas from the Hamilton community at large, existing market vendors, customers, and neighbouring businesses.

Thank you for engaging with us!

Thank you for helping us gather lots of ideas quickly from as many people as possible to carry out a preliminary prioritization of topics.

  • Public Survey - public feedback to learn how we can improve the market and support its successful operation for decades to come.
  • Ideas brainstorming - ideas were a way for the community to share what inspires them. Participants could include images with their ideas, other participants could like and comment on ideas created by others.
  • Virtual comment cards - a safe, moderated space that collected open-ended comments from the community.

Earlier this year, Council directed Staff to undertake a review and consultation on the vision and role of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market given its location and neighbourhood, with a focus on engaging surrounding neighbourhood and other interested stakeholders. The purpose of this engagement is to examine opportunities for the potential future role of the Market and its downtown neighbourhood, and report back to the Sole Voting Member of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, prior to completing the governance and operating review.

As Hamilton evolves, the City of Hamilton wants to ensure that the vision for the historic Hamilton Farmers’ Market reflects the changing needs of the community. The historic market, dating back to 1837, has gone through many changes over its lifetime, circulating from an open-air market to a permanent market hall and back again, eventually landing in the permanent market hall where it operates today.

The market’s resilience in the face of neighbourhood change and various challenges over the years reflects the community’s commitment to preserving this valuable public asset. The goal of this project is to learn what it will take to ensure this historic public market continues to thrive for decades to come.

Today, due to potential plans and improvements to the surrounding area of the market, the City wants to ensure that the vision for the market reflects and is reflected in this new phase for downtown Hamilton. From September 2022 through early 2023, the City will collect input and ideas from the Hamilton community at large, existing market vendors, customers, and neighbouring businesses.

Thank you for engaging with us!

Thank you for helping us gather lots of ideas quickly from as many people as possible to carry out a preliminary prioritization of topics.

  • Public Survey - public feedback to learn how we can improve the market and support its successful operation for decades to come.
  • Ideas brainstorming - ideas were a way for the community to share what inspires them. Participants could include images with their ideas, other participants could like and comment on ideas created by others.
  • Virtual comment cards - a safe, moderated space that collected open-ended comments from the community.

Leave your thoughts, feelings, advice, suggestions and tips here...

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

I think we need to take the Hamilton Farmers Market back to the future or something like that. By 'back' I mean returning to the way I remember it's best features to be - stalls loaded with local, farm fresh produce and goods, a really good bakery with different varieties of bread, and handicrafts. Many of the shops there now are good - wouldn't want to see them go away - but much can be done to make the market a place residents want it to be - like the way Toronto's St. Lawrence Market is swarming with people on its peak Saturdays. On weekends, block off a street or two beside the market and let local producers spill out onto the sidewalk and the street. And above all, as an economic initiative, subsidize the cost of a stall so local producers an afford it. Make these changes then advertise it widely and I'm sure you'll get lots of new patrons flocking to the downtown.

Dorothy over 1 year ago

Have spaces where local farmers can come and sell their goods on an as needed basis.
I understand that it is difficult for farmers to be both food producers AND dedicated market vendors (committed to 4 days a week.) Create opportunities for our local growers to come 1 or 2 days a week on the days that work for them, which are either low cost or no cost, to facilitate interaction between the public and their food producers. Technically this "exists" as there are market carts that can be rented, however the Market Manager is a huge barrier to accessing any space at the Hamilton Farmers Market. They are ignorant and biased, and cannot identify great opportunities or entrepreneurs. This person routinely shows preference only to white males.
Another option would be to have a stand which is run by someone (an employee, a not for profit, a savvy entrepreneur, etc) where any local farmer can drop off their products to be sold on their behalf.
This market could also do a lot to improve their digital footprint and optimize the consumer experience online. Pre-COVID and during COVID, many markets moved to organizing centralized shopping and CSA boxes to enable consumers to buy market goods online in a centralized fashion.

kvanbeek over 1 year ago

Keep it local! Local produce, grocery, meat, dairy etc. primarily. Meeting the needs of the community.

Prepared food vendors should come with more seating (indoors and outdoors) and perhaps extended hours for these prepared food sellers (dinner, lunch etc). This could be attractive to more "tourists" but not overwhelm the core community service the market provides

sej62 over 1 year ago

I feel if you want more farmers and their produce you cannot extend the hours and days. What farmer has the time to run a stall and a farm. You can't have it both ways. Either change the name "Farmer's Market" to just "Market" and have it open like any other retail store. Or have an actual "Farmer's Market" limit the hours so farmers can run their farms then bring their produce to the market and sell it. Fri, Sat and Sun 8-5. Or along those lines.

Missb over 1 year ago

Change free parking to 2 hours. Add more prepared food vendors. Build a patio. Have monthly events. Promote on Instagram every week.

Moriah over 1 year ago

I have been coming to the market for well over 10 years with my son and the market was CRITICAL to our weekends. Raising an active child in
a 2 bedroom, the market provided a space where we could get food then head to the library for some books. During our trips I met many other parents/families in the same boat. Ultimately with so many condo's going up and existing appartment buildings in the area I hope city planners don't forget how valuable a space like the market/library are for families who need a place where kids can run around without paying for entry fees or lessons. This linkage becomes especially important in the winter.

Agdennis almost 2 years ago

The market is integral to (healthy, fresh, etc.) food access in the downtown area. Without the market, the surrounding neighbourhood would be in a food desert. We absolutely need and love the downtown market. Please protect this important and valuable asset.

Nicole almost 2 years ago

I struggle with comments about promoting the market as a tourist destination *and* local grocery market for the nearby residents. I'd like to see it maintained as a local market and geared towards the community while adding elements for tourism. For example, St. Jacobs Market and St. Lawrence Market, have become more touristy. Having regularly shopped at both, sometimes it gets too crowded with tourists in the summer that you can't actually do your shopping. Or catering to that kind of customer starts attracting novel or foodie-related vendors when we need more practical and day-to-day vendors. It's definitely hard to balance, but hoping it's more geared towards the local grocery shopper since Nations is the only other grocer downtown.

ebang90 almost 2 years ago

Farmers should be given priority and should be able to come when they have produce to sell. They should not have to staff a place long hours year round. Initially there was talk of having occasional vendors on York by the Dave Hind barn installation. What is the overall plan for the whole area?

zil almost 2 years ago

Hey! I've tried to reach out to open a spot several times but instead of a response I was completely ghosted by your market manager. I've been a chef for 10 years and would have loved the opportunity.

Dana miele almost 2 years ago

We absolutely LOVE the market. Lots of great prepared food vendors to choose from and lots of fresh produce. We would love to see more organic and local fruits and vegetables, more bulk food options and options for less plastic/packaging (incentive to bring own containers and bags). Thank you!

Christie M almost 2 years ago

The City fails miserably at every commercial operation it tries to run, and similarly they should just lease the entire market to a private sector entrepreneur to run for a nominal lease equal to the net current annual cost. Do a quick RFP and hire someone to run it as a successful business and get City staff and politicians out of the way. It will never thrive with City staff running it.

pnera almost 2 years ago

I personally think it’s hard for farmers and small vendors to turn a profit at an offsite market with all the overhead required. Every penny counts and Marketing is so exspensive.! The Farmers Market 2.0 should be a food emporium (mix of vendors and small restaurants) that showcase MENUS that focus using local ingredients. Make it more niche imo. How buying local does make your dish taste better. Once it’s sold out it’s SOLD out….make it exciting! Hard to get and everyone will be buzzing.

Gizmo1978 almost 2 years ago

I personally think it’s so hard for farmers and small vendors to turn a profit considering all the overhead required. Every penny counts! If you want local corn go to the actual farm. You want apples go to the orchard and pyo…they prolly appreciate it more with very little overhead. The Farmers Market 3.0 should be more about the benefits of using local ingredients. A Food Emporium and of local artisans, small vendors and food kiosks that use Local ingredients in their menus. Show people how using local food actually makes your food taste better. Should be very niche , exciting and hard to get. Once it’s gone it’s gone mentality. I also agree there should be more education on buying local which should be leveraged by the Farmers Market council .

Gizmo1978 almost 2 years ago

When plans for Jackson Square were drawn up the market and library were meant to be situated on King Street. The biggest mistake they made was to flip this design. If the market was up front and I expect that many more people would visit. It is now hidden from view, especially from newcomers and visitors to the city. I am guessing that many people do not want to go to York Street for several different reasons. You need to bring it to people's attention by bringing it to the people. In other cities they thrive because people from surrounding businesses will come in for lunch, especially now that the clean food movement and Buy Local is so popular. The politicians screwed up again.

PatWard almost 2 years ago

might be worthwhile to draw some inspiration from very successful markets around the globe; hamburg/munich, victoria or south melbourne markets in australia, granville island, nova scotia farmers market etc. while balancing the needs of the current community/vendors and reflective of local populations/businesses/culture etc

nat almost 2 years ago

it is very exciting that this conversation is happening!
-increased visibility and marketing
- allocate some rotating stalls to feature smaller vendors + advertise when they are in
-increase spaces to sit/eat/drink
-increased variety of vendors (similar to food district in mississauga)
-events or ways to engage community ex: cooking classes, farm or craft/decor learning sessions ex- how to create a bouquet, how to plant seeds etc. from vendors, education clinics
-safety is a huge priority, unfortunately is a deterrent for many (I have heard this esp from many females)
-inside could use a general facelift - maybe have a local artist paint some of the columns featuring work reflective of the community
-love the free parking idea!

nat almost 2 years ago

Work with farmers to get more local produce into neighbourhood stores. Create online shop to pre-order fruits / veg / bread for pick-up. Have rotating stalls to allow smaller growers a chance to sell. Advertise same online. Keep it in doors and year round. Create space like 5-4-1 cafe on Barton accessible for those with no / low income through buttons / social enterprise. Lower costs for local farmers to have a stall.

JUg almost 2 years ago

Later hours or opening on Wednesdays would be great, would love a second location on the mountain

Ashh almost 2 years ago

As a resident of Hamilton and now I am about to retire next year I would love to either get involved or help out in any way at the Market
I have a lifetime in the produce industry and currently working at the Ontario Food Terminal
Produce has been my life and I’d love to help out if needed….good survey as needs are changing

Stevephilchuk almost 2 years ago
Page last updated: 10 Jan 2023, 03:50 PM