Will again operate outdoors outside the former CPR station
A staff report going to the community services committee next week says the process of transferring ownership from the former CPR building to the city is not yet complete. Because the building has a heritage designation, it's more complicated than other real estate sales.
The season will run from Saturday, June 28, until Sunday, Oct. 26, opening from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.
Not mentioned in the report was a previous suggestion to open on Friday evenings instead of Sundays, when sales drop significantly. In 2013, Saturday sales at Market Square increased 7.3 per cent, with average traffic reaching 591, compared to 551 in 2012. Sunday traffic, however, dropped to an average of 180 visitors, compared to 228 last year, when the market operated at its former location further up on Elgin Street.
But the report said the Market Square Working Group, which runs the facility, decided to not make changes for the time being, and will instead increase marketing to try and boost traffic Sundays.
“Based on a review of traffic patterns during previous market seasons, the Working Group has determined that these hours will make more efficient use of resources on the part of staff and vendors alike,” the report says.
While staying outdoors, the report calls for spending about $130,000 to improve safety and access to the site. Money would be spent on:
-- Retrofit of the existing canopies for the additions of gutters and improved drainage for better protection from rain;
-- Addition of a raised floor to provide a level surface, with stairs, ramps and handrails to be constructed to ensure full accessibility;
-- Removal or lowering of existing curbs to reduce tripping hazards and improve consumer traffic flow.
Rental costs vary at Market Square, ranging from $2,256 to rent the largest stands for the entire season, to $1,185.84 for the smallest. Daily rental rates go for between $283 and $77.