We had hoped to hear that there would be a reprieve, but sadly it’s looking like this year’s Farmers’ Market in Riverdale Park West is not to be.
The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation Department had taken over management of the market a few years ago after the death of long-time organizer Elizabeth Harris in 2011. The City sent notices to regular vendors earlier this year indicating that they would no longer be organizing the weekly event that usually ran on Tuesdays from May through October. In the letter, they wrote “we’ve all worked together to revive the Riverdale Farm Farmer’s Market but the increased numbers of competing neighbourhood markets, the difficulty securing certified organic farmers, decreased visitor participation, the Market hours, and the number of inclement weather days have proved to be challenges we’ve been unable to overcome.”
Can it be revived?
Some local community groups have begun discussions as to whether the market should be revived and if so, how it might be done successfully – but it seems unlikely that there will be any markets this year. The Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept. have left open the door to using the park on Tuesday evenings for this purpose if a suitable group of organizers takes it on, and Councillor McConnell has voiced her support for the market to be revived also.
In the end, the only way that a market will be successful in the neighbourhood is if we as residents make it so. If you are interested in being involved – please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep your name and details on file for any meetings or discussions on this subject.