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Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market closed over sprinkler system permit issues

The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market opened up its new indoor location on 97 Street on Oct. 26, 2019, but was closed Nov. 2 after an issue with city permits.
The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market opened up its new indoor location on 97 Street on Oct. 26, 2019, but was closed Nov. 2 after an issue with city permits. Caley Ramsey / Global News

More permit issues have led the Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market to cancel its second weekend, just one week after it finally opened at its new location at the historic GWG Building on 97 Street.

On a notice on the market’s website, the organization says that the City of Edmonton identified another permit issue.

“We are deeply disappointed in having to deliver this news,” the notice said.

“We know this is frustrating and confusing.”

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The City of Edmonton confirmed to Global News on Saturday that the issue was related to permits involving the building’s sprinkler system.

“We know how important this is to everyone, but public safety comes first,” said Anthony Toderian, the communications manager for the city’s building permit and inspection services department.

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“We are continuing to work with them and we’re hoping we can resolve this in a timely fashion.”

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Toderian added that he believed the sprinklers had not yet been inspected when the market had opened last weekend.

Vendors are feeling the frustration of this weekend’s closure.

“It’s the only market I do,” said Darrell Pydde, who owns and operates Prairie Cedar Creations.

“For small vendors that rely on this market, it’s been a struggle.”

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Pydde said he’s operated his woodworking business out of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market since 2004, but says the bureaucratic process of getting into the new building has left many vendors scrambling.

“I understand, heritage buildings, there’s lots of little issues… I think there was a lot of lack of foresight.”

Pydde said he believes the summer itself was detrimental to the market, when it moved back and forth between its old outdoor location at 104 Street and a temporary outdoor location at 96 Street and 103 Avenue, as renovations were completed on the GWG Building.

“It looks bad on us, even though most of it has been out of the control of the market association itself.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market officially opens new indoor location

The market said it waited until Friday to announce the closure because it had hoped the issue would be resolved by then.

This isn’t the first time the market has been forced to deal with permit issues. It had to delay its original opening plans after a similar permit problem between the city and the building owner.

READ MORE: Permit issues to delay opening of Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market’s new indoor space

In the statement, the Downtown Farmers Market said those behind the event are “doing everything in our power to keep the market operating on a regular and predictable schedule.”

Pydde said he remains committed to the market, regardless of the delays.

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“I’m excited… that’s why I’ve committed to it,” he said.

“I foresee in the future, something like Granville Island or Pike Place Market in Seattle. Something that’s unique to the city, in an old heritage building.”

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READ MORE: Vancouver’s Granville Island ‘fading,’ at risk of losing creative roots, warns new group

The market’s new building is located at 10305 97 Street, with regular hours set to be Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Permit problems causes delays for indoor farmers market in Edmonton
Permit problems causes delays for indoor farmers market in Edmonton