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Jul 20, 2008 09:50 AM

Calgary Farmer's market in the Herald

Well nothing new in this story I guess but it sadden's me that the market's days as it stands appear numbered.

I guess we are going to get another bland, generic Sobeys, Co-op or Safeway in it's place & a large vibrant piece of Calgary will die.


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  1. I read the article too but didn't get the sense that CFM's demise was a foregone conclusion; although that would explain why so many vendors have been opening up on their own. If we have to lose CFM I hope the grocery anchor tenant is at least Whole Foods.

    1. I'm trying to imagine a strip mall being ok with an anchor that is open 3 days a week. I'm also not sure how the tenants of CFM would react to having to be open the kind of hours that a regular supermarket is.

      I sincerely hope they find a place but I doubt being the anchor of a strip mall will be it.

      12 Replies
      1. re: sharonanne

        Good point...I don't know any mall that doesn't require the shops to be open at least 6 days a week (how I conveniently forgot that when I originally posted I'm not sure...DH used to be a commercial real estate lawyer) Still it would be a shame for the market to close. Lets hope Canada Lands Co sees a place for CFM on the land even if it's not that hangar.

        1. re: maplesugar

          I am a huge supporter of the market, and I think it is one of the best things in the city. As foodies, I am hopeful that we can use this board as a means of exchanging information. If there is a campaign to save the market, I would be happy to join it!

          1. re: shopwinedinefine

            This incredible Farmers' Market, chosen the best in North America, needs to stop waiting for Canada Lands to change their plans. They are going to go with the plan in place, which also supports Calgary's urban plan. CFM needs to act on a Plan B now, rental option rather than purchase option (takes too long, costs too much).

            This Farmers' Market must be saved and kept within the City. Over 7,500 people a day (average) visit this place, and we love what we get. The Market's shareholders need to show some social responsibility and focus on getting a new Market in place now, not the selective and un-businesslike approach taken to date. Calgary wants and needs this wonderful Farmers' Market, and the food options it provides our great (but glass and concrete) City.

            1. re: Bob Taylor

              WoW, the best in Canada? Where did that result come from? Now does that survey include Public Markets as well? Because if it did I have a hard time believing CFM is better than Granville Island or Kenisington Market or Atwater Market for that matter.

              1. re: throwdown

                The North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association said this: "The market has been reviewed by a NAFDMA delegation, and their response was that the Calgary Farmer's Market was "the best planned farmers' market they had visited anywhere on the continent."" See

                A planned farmers' market is significantly different than a public market, be it covered like Granville or open air/a neighborhood like Kensington.

                1. re: throwdown

                  "Kensington Market" is a neighbourhood, not a farmers market.

                  A brilliant, fantastic place, but not the same sort of thing as CFM.

                2. re: Bob Taylor

                  I am wondering what is meant by "getting a New market in place now" location, new business structure?

                  1. re: shopwinedinefine

                    I meant new location. Canada Lands will make a decision soon. In the meantime, a new rented location should be sourced as part of a Plan B. The time lag to acquire land for a custom build is too long (past 2009) and too expensive. By the time Canada Lands announces its final decision, the search for a new rented Market would be well along, whereas waiting for their long-delayed decision could mean the Market would disappear for a couple of years while it gets new land. To sit and wait, which - contrary to some reports - is the current strategy, is simply not a good plan.

                    1. re: Bob Taylor

                      Not sure where you got the idea they were sitting and waiting?

                      "Komick said he has searched out alternate locations in case the Calgary Farmers' Market isn't chosen as the anchor tenant but has not found anything worthwhile.

                      "I've turned over a lot of rocks and looked under a lot of park benches. So far there's nothing that's suitable."

                      1. re: sharonanne

                        Yes, they did an extensive search, but exclusively with a view to buy. The rent option was not seriously considered. The search ended some weeks back, and the current plan is to wait for Canada Lands to (re)make a decision.

                    2. re: shopwinedinefine

                      On the Global morning show today, it was suggested that the Stampede might step up and offer itself as a location. Good in that it would be accessible to many more people since it is on the C-train line. Bad in that I am not sure the Stampede would not eventually drive it into the ground by screwing over the tenants.

                      1. re: cancowboy

                        A Stampede location is an excellent option. A Farmers' Market there would bring a wonderful elemewnt to a new and developing area, and would attract people all year round. This would certainly help develop the Stampede expansion area nicely as well as preserve a fantastic Farmers' Market. Perhaps Mayor Bronco can support this idea, and help bring fantastic food from Alberta farms to Calgary.

            2. Interesting that there was no protest or uproar when the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Market closed this summer.

              3 Replies
              1. re: crispychewy

                The scale of that market was not one fiftieth what CFM is and wasn't year round. I don't think you can compare the two.

                The Beltline attempt at a farmers' market at Connaught Park fell apart too- these neighbourhood things come and go.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  I think if we're talking about Calgarians supporting our local Alberta producers and wanting access to their products, we can compare the two, even though one is on a far smaller scale than the other.

                  1. re: crispychewy

                    I agree, the Hillhurst-Sunnyside market will be greatly missed.

              2. An opinion piece in the Saturday Herald.

                Calgary needs inner-city farmers' market
                City could help with solutions
                Richard White, Calgary Herald
                Published: Saturday, August 02, 2008
                Everyone loves a market -- and the Calgary Farmers' Market is no exception, given the outpouring of support it has received the past few weeks since announcing it is in negotiations with Canada Lands Co. to renew its lease, which expires in 2009.

                Although I am not convinced the best way to renegotiate one's lease is through the media, that is what is happening.

                I thought it would be interesting to look at this unique urban development issue from an objective economic perspective.

                ... more