March 13, 2019 5:29 pm
Updated: March 13, 2019 5:45 pm

Downtown Edmonton farmers market confirms new indoor-outdoor space on 97 Street

March 12: Downtown residents and fans of the outdoor farmers market are sad and disappointed to hear City Market is leaving 104 Street and looking for an indoor spot. Sarah Kraus has the details.

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City Market Downtown revealed Wednesday it will be moving from its previous location on 104 Street to a year-round, indoor-outdoor location at 97 Street and 103A Avenue.

The new venue is the historic GWG Building just east of the downtown core, adjacent to Edmonton’s Arts District.

READ MORE: City Market moving from downtown Edmonton 104 Street location

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Officials with the market confirmed details and images Wednesday, one day after the move from 104 Street made news.

“Anticipated to operate as a market on Saturdays and Sundays, the building will contain complementary uses on other floors,” Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market said in a news release.

Accessibility and parking will be key features. There is also a section planned for street vendors. During market hours, 103 Avenue will become a pedestrian street and closed to traffic, officials said.

READ MORE: City Market Downtown world’s best farmers’ market: National Geographic blogger

The concept includes more than 100 vendors selling products every Saturday and Sunday on the ground and second storeys. The main floor will have open-air capacity “to create the outdoor feeling of fresh air and natural light,” officials said.

The second floor will feature a 230-seat food fair with a dozen kitchens. It will have an outdoor deck and seating for over 80 people.

“Local craft beer and baking will be another feature of this weekly Festival of Food,” the news release said.

The building itself is 118 years old. Originally built in 1911 as a department store, it was converted into a garment factory three years later, and in 1955, was sold to the Army and Navy department store. In 2012, the Red Strap Art Market brought back the original hardwood floors and pressed metal ceiling.

WATCH BELOW (Sept. 22, 2018): Kathryn Merrett wrote a book about Edmonton’s City Market Downtown and its history. Kent Morrison spoke to her on Saturday.

Art will be part of the new market scene as well.

“Giant murals painted on shipping containers will provide an exciting backdrop for street vendors and other special events.”

READ MORE: City Market Downtown ponders future location during LRT construction

“I’m sad to see them go from 104 Street,” Mayor Don Iveson said Tuesday. “I think that’s been phenomenal for the revitalization of that street.

“But really it’s their choice, and we want the market to be successful and the vendors to thrive.”

“I’m devastated. I’m so sad,” said Erin Dahlgren, who lives on 104 Street.

“The best part about a Saturday morning was being able to come here and the streets were packed with people. You could shop local, you don’t have to go far.”

While the 104 Street location was lauded by market-goers, it was also the scene of a lot of construction lately, including condo towers and LRT.

Once built, the Valley Line LRT would run right alongside the downtown market on 102 Avenue, and the construction footprint will take up even more space.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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