HomeDomesticSaskatoon gets funding to refurbish Riversdale Farmers’ Market - Saskatoon

Saskatoon gets funding to refurbish Riversdale Farmers’ Market – Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon is now looking to refurbish the Riversdale Farmers’ Market that has been sitting empty for many years.

The building was home to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for more than a decade.

In 2019, the city chose not to renew the lease for the building 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 intention of this will not be to take away from other businesses but to add to and provide different ways in which people can experience farmers markets in a variety of vendors,” City of Saskatoon General Manager Lynne LaCroix said.

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She said they are looking to make the location a hub for shoppers, creatives and producers with the hope of adding 25-30 vendors, a stage for musicians to showcase their talents, and a seating area for people to spend their time.


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

When the city did not renew the lease for the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market, many moved on to create their own businesses and the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market signed a 10 year lease at another location.

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Shawnda Blacklock, co-owner of Little Market Box, was selling her products at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for years before the Riversdale lease was discontinued.

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Through uncertainty, she decided to open a business with her partner in 2019 creating a consignment store for growers and creators giving them less work to do and fewer fees to pay.

“I don’t think they’re gonna want to go sit in a booth or set up another store because they have a pretty sweet set-up here. They come and they drop it off and then we facilitate all the movement for them, and that’s a pretty good deal,” said Blacklock.

She suggested the demand for producers wanting to take their products to the farmers market may be dwindling.

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“They’re out in the field; they’re calving right now; they’re planting right now; they’re making, they’re baking, they’re growing; the gardeners are in their gardens… they’re busy,” said Blacklock.

The city is finalizing their deal with entrepreneurs hub, 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 reached out for comment, but did not receive a response in time for broadcast.

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

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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