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‘Supporting street vibrancy:’ City of London launches Dundas Place vendor pilot program

The Dundas Place vendor pilot program is set to attract artisans and small businesses downtown, according to the City of London. Andrew Graham / Global News

The City of London has launched a new pilot program to permit small business and artisan vendors to use outdoor spaces along Dundas Place this year.

“Introducing more vendors this year helps make Dundas Place London’s most exciting street and a vibrant destination downtown,” said Ryan Craven, manager of core area programs for the city.

“Vendors have been a part of larger events on the street for several years, and this pilot program makes it easier for vendors to operate on Dundas Place more frequently.”

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Between Ridout and Wellington streets, locations for vendors are determined with MainStreet London and the Downtown London BIA. Spaces are selected based on the street’s amenities, business types nearby, as well as pedestrian activity.

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According to the city, access for pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicle traffic will not be impacted by stalls and stations. Vendors will be able to continue sales operations when the downtown core is both open and closed to vehicles.

Vendors will also be provided with various equipment including tables and tents upon registration and proof of insurance.

“The desire is to sort of fill in some of the gaps where there are brick-and-mortar vacancies,” Craven added.

Merchants with existing concrete locations can also participate in the pilot program, he explained.

However, the program does not apply to food-related vendors as carts are permitted through a different licensing process and “operate in prescribed locations awarded through an annual lottery.”

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Currently, six potential food cart locations are already situated along Dundas Place, according to the city.

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The program for outdoor vendors in the core will complement MainStreet London’s Pop-Up Shops program that couples businesses to vacant indoor spaces for temporary events and are primarily used by businesses testing new products and or independent artists for film, music, performance, and other activities.

Kathy McLaughlin, business development manager at MainStreet London, echoes a similar statement.

“The new street vendor pilot program adds to the dynamic energy of Dundas Place and helps expand the variety of products available, while creating more affordable entry points to our local entrepreneurial ecosystem,” she said.

“We look forward to working with this new group of vendors and helping them grow their businesses downtown.”

“The hope is that this is all part of a broader ecosystem that’s supporting entrepreneurs downtown and supporting street vibrancy,” Craven added.

For more information about programs and events happening around Dundas Place visit the City of London website.

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