The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market’s big move is less than one week away.
The historic market is moving its indoor winter location along the harbourfront to Pavilion 22, where it will also shift to a weekend-only market.
“I think when people see this new space, there’s a lot to be excited about,” says Lane Ferguson, spokesperson for the Halifax Port Authority.
Next Saturday morning, doors to Pavilion 22 will open to vendors and customers at 8 a.m.
“Anyone whose ever moved homes before will recognize this, there’s some excitement with the move and there’s of course a lot of memories tied to the old location.”
“Of course people are going to miss the old building,” Ferguson says.
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But people can expect positive change with the move, including more vendors participating at the new location.
“We’ve got about 30 vendors in right now and I think we’re looking at over 50 for next week,” Ferguson says.
“We’re also excited to say we have the ability now to bring back the artisan vendors,” he says, adding that with the gradual reopening following a pandemic shutdown, they couldn’t have all vendors present at the same time.
In terms of layout, the buildings are quite similar, Ferguson says, but there are some differences.
“Everything’s going to flow nicely… There’s more exposed brick so it’s a cozier feel, and it’s a lower ceiling as well. So it’ll be a different atmosphere.”
He says the vendors will mostly be the same ones that visitors have grown to love over the years.
Seafoam Lavender Farm co-owner Dave Belt says he’s excited about the move. He has been a vendor at Seaport for 11 years.
“I think our customers will greatly benefit from having free, close-in parking for the weekend markets — something they didn’t have before,” he says in an email.
“Nearly all of the existing vendors will be making the big move and I think we’ll see a reinvigorated, vibrant Farmers’ Market once again.
“I’m totally psyched — it’s going to be a win-win situation for vendors and customers alike!”
Belt says there will be an adjustment period for everyone, but he is sure the move will be praised.
“I am confident our customers will be delighted by the new market, once they see it,” Belt says.
The Seafoam Lavender Farm’s new spot will be located on the south end of the building in Pavilion 22.
At the start of this year, the Halifax Port Authority said the vendors will be set up outdoors from May to October, under a permanent overhead canopy in the parking lot.
But with cruise season canceled this year, Ferguson says there’s no rush to move.
“We’re fortunate right now in the sense that we don’t have to leave Pavilion 22 any time soon,” he says.
“We’ve got this space for as long as we need it. Right now we’re working on the layout and different options available to us for the outdoor market… but there’s no real rush.”
Ferguson says the Port Authority has done the best it can to keep all vendors up to date on upcoming changes.
“It’s been an interesting journey and we really do appreciate the fact that our vendors are staying with us on this next step, and we certainly hope that customers will as well.”
The former Seaport Market space will be developed into a transportation incubation lab designed to support innovation and research. It will be called The PIER at the Seaport and will include permanent leased storefront spaces for retailers and eateries to provide for its new tenants and customers along the harbourfront.
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