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Brickworks 2010 - opening week-end

We couldn't make it this week-end. Who went? How was it? Any new chow discoveries?

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  1. It seems like the number of vendors has been reduced significantly. There is a large space taken up by a green gardening space that seems affiliated with the facility. Not there this weekend were Akiwenzie, Forbes, Cookstown, and Lee. Much more offerings from Scotch Mountain. Didn't see the game meat folks either. Apart from that, the focus seems to be moving to prepared foods.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      Was Fifth Town Cheese there? I'll endure almost anything for their product. Will be sad if they stop coming.

      1. re: tuttebene

        Fifth Town are at wychwood every couple of weeks. I think wychwood may be getting even better than brickworks. If only we could get JK's son's fries over there.

      2. re: Snarf

        Akiwenzies were there or at least they were at 8:00AM when I got there. I thought Cookstown was as well but I may be misremembering. Lee won't be back, they were uninvited last year when someone finally noticed they weren't using any local produce as the rules require.

        Don't be confused by the weather, it's still only May and a lot of the farmers simply don't have product to sell yet. This is exactly what it was like last year at the beginning, it feels like the prepared food dominates but it will shift as soon as fruit starts to arrive, with everything running ahead of schedule this year I'd expect the strawberry madness to kick in in a couple weeks.

      3. Hi peppermint_pate. I went - my third time ever. And was disappointed. For the third time. Tried a spelt fruit muffin which was $2 and as hard as a rock. My DC had a breakfast crepe from a cart that was making a killing... was tasty but $9 for egg, cheese and a bit of ham in a crepe. He wanted a fresh fruit smoothie -- but they cost $5.50 so I suggested we head out to St. Lawrence or ... basically anywhere else for something more reasonably priced.

        The only upside: St. John's had a lovely current scone for $2. I really enjoyed that. But St. John's is available elsewhere.

        This market is definitely pricey and yuppie-central. I think this'll be my last time making it out there...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Yum2MyTum

          What I don't like about the Brickworks market is how commercial it feels, not like what I think of as a "market" at all. I notice the trend at many of our Toronto markets toward prepared food, baked goods, etc. While I appreciate some of that, I am really interested in the fruit, the veggies, the eggs, the raw meat, the cheese... I wonder if those vendors weren't there because it's too early for their product, or if they're not on the roster for this season...

        2. Sadly, the Farmers Market felt like a shopping mall. The parking lot has been paved, and the first person to approach me was a sales rep for 'Auto Share. I agree that it felt as though there were less vendors. The bustling market-like excitement was diminished - the bigger bustle was trying to park my car . Last year I lingered for hours - this year I had a lemonade - then took my dog for walk.

          1. With respect, who could expect anything different after the "development" cycle this place has been through? You're fish in a barrel if you show up. I took my kid there 6 weeks ago on a week day to take pix of the geology and was shocked by the herds of prissy observers, consultants, and corp types getting in the way of the construction crews. I'm sure most vendors were priced out once the new reality took hold.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagemusha

              I don't particularly disagree with your POV but I think a more simple explanation, for the moment, is that the harvest season is really only just beginning. Give it a few weeks.

            2. Wow, not the responses I was hoping for. We're planning to go in the next week or two so I'll see for myself and yeah, hopefully as the local produce season unfolds, there will be more and more on offer. What exactly is the development going on down there? What are they building and hoping to do in the space once they finish construction?

              7 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate

                Stay tuned and see. It was never my belief, given the megabucks shoveled into the place, that the Brickworks would be about "access" or "community" as many thought. More like the Distillery with a "Green" veneer. Suspect your produce guys will be priced out or, as likely, price you out. Should be interesting...

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  It's not a development. It's a public space.

                  1. re: Snarf

                    I'm just curious as to what all the construction is about. Are they hoping to have a year-round market there? Eco-minded workshops? Anyone know?

                    1. re: peppermint pate

                      Here's the website for the Evergreen Brick Works. Scroll through and you'll find out everything... http://ebw.evergreen.ca/

                      1. re: peppermint pate

                        Some of it (the 40 acre former quarries now converted into wetlands with boardwalks and trails etc.) is not run by Evergreen but by the city parks department.

                        Evergreen has the "former industrial pad". A bunch of different things are happening there, when you say "eco minded workshops" you hint at a big chunk of it, there will be kind of a botanical garden in two parts, there will be 13 small garden beds on different themes and a larger discovery garden with native plant and food gardens, these will be used for workshops, school visits, kids summer camps etc. In the winter time there will be a skating rink in this area.

                        There will also be a quasi-museum with exhibits about the industrial heritage and the ecology of the site as well as art shows etc.

                        There is supposed to be a "Marche" with farmer's produce and a cafe (Originally was supposed to be run by Jamie Kennedy but recently they quietly changed to Brad Long) it's not clear yet exactly how this is going to work.

                        The garden center now taking up part of the farmer's market is a permanent, year round thing.

                        There will also be a building with office and conference space.

                    2. re: Kagemusha

                      The Distillery is a commercial enterprise that always existed on the premise that they were in it to make money off their tenants, no surprise. Evergreen is a charity mostly funded by donations, they don't need to make the money spent on construction back and they're not in it to make a profit, in fact they legally can't so I don't see how you can make the leap that Evergreen will price the farmers out of the market.

                      1. re: bytepusher

                        I live very close to the Brickworks and have shopped there quite a bit in past years. I too was disappointed and the few stalls selling anything other than prepared foods. But I reminded myself that it is early in the season and only fhe first weekend that it opened.

                        I did break one of my rules and did buy something prepared which was a small waffle with icing sugar. I was shocked when I asked "how much" (after it was already in my hand and I was about to take a bite) and they said "$3". I literally ate it in 3 bites. $3 is absurd for such a small waffle, let alone one without anything on it but a bit of icing sugar.

                        I am wondering if the feel of the Brickworks (Autoshare etc) was a bit affected by the fact that it was one of the Doors Open weekend sites. Probably.

                        I'll go again and see how it improves.

                  2. Interesting to see these responses. I went and was not disappointed. I was there ~9am. Forbes and Cookstown were both there (I bought products from both of them), along with most of the other vendors from previous years. Please keep in mind that it's still early in the season and a lot of produce hasn't developed yet. As in past years, we will see more vendors with more produce as the year gets going. Perhaps that's why there is more prepared food now.

                    The parking situation is different, yes, but I had no problem with it. I would give it another month before passing judgement on whether the market has changed.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SMOG

                      I was there around 11. Nice to hear that they are still there. I was there at 11, so they must have sold up at that time and left.