Farmers’ Market in New Location

Today was the first Saturday in May so the Farmers’ Market was open but in a new location.  Operating since 1839 – mostly from the parking lot behind Victoria Hall – it is now located around the concrete pad that serves as a base for the rink in winter and a fountain in summer.  I counted 28 booths, mostly with tents although the weather was kind: sunny and cool.  Vendor trucks were parked in the adjacent lot so there was parking available for customers behind Victoria Hall.  The day opened with Mary Ito of the Cobourg Legion Pipes and Drums providing a ceremonial “Piping in”; she led Mayor Gil Brocanier and Councillor Séguin around the central space.  Vince Ruttan provided entertainment for this first day.  There will be entertainment from a local performer each week.

Farmers Market Opening
Farmers Market Opening

Although it’s called a Farmer’s Market, it seemed that few vendors were actually selling produce – that will probably improve further into the season.  But the mission statement of the Cobourg Farmers’ Market Association is broader than fruit and vegetables – it does include crafts and “local products”.

The concrete pad was used today by kids (see photos below) and when the Fountain and pool is setup after the July 1st Waterfront Festival they will no doubt have more fun.  On the Saturday of that Festival, the market will revert to their old spot – but just for that day.

It seemed that the total number of vendors was more than last year and there also seemed to be more customers.  It is certainly less cramped.  Council was represented (when I was there around 10:30) by Mayor Gil Brocanier, Suzanne Séguin and Aaron Burchat.  You might be able to spot them in the lead photo.

This change will add another activity to the space; it’s already used for Christmas lights, winter skating, the Rotary tent for the Waterfront Festival and the fountain.  The south end of Rotary Park features the mid-town creek with its bridge and love-locks.


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9 May 2018 7:46 am

The concrete pad is an improvement on the fountain, which is singularly the most unspectacular, senseless and annoying addition to the town yet. It could serve as a standing example of ‘what not to do’ in any city planning manual. We don’t have many views of the lake left in that part of town and, when the fountain is on, the flicker and sparkle of those pathetic man-made jets of water obstruct any possibility of just looking at the lake. It’s particularly annoying on a very sunny day. It’s blinding, if fact. Whoever made the decision to place a water fountain in front of one of the greatest lakes in the world has degraded sensibilities. Millions have been wasted developing that area as a “tourist attraction” complete with butterfly streetlights, but it has never been anything more than a pleasant and tidy front yard for the adjacent condo owners. I pass there often without seeing a single person. And now, those condo owners who have enjoyed this yard for years, compliments of the taxpayers of Cobourg, are complaining about noise when the regular folk want to gather one morning a week to buy fresh food and crafts.

Reply to  Tim
9 May 2018 9:50 am

There are entirely too many giveaways in this town, too much wasted money, too much planning and too many elaborate, senseless schemes to attract tourists. If you have a beautiful, safe town, tourists will follow. Hopefully, the farmer’s market will continue to emphasize fresh wholesome food and a few interesting local crafts of quality because that’s exactly the kind of thing that will attract tourists. Our town is blessed with unsurpassed natural beauty so the less intervention, the better. I don’t think we have enough toilets at the beach but we have endless plans for more development. We don’t have any French-only speakers in town but the Council is allowing someone to build a French only school. We have an entire palliative care ward at the hospital that sits empty at this moment and Lou Rinaldi, to attract voters, is rounding up grants from the provincial government to construct a new building for palliative care patients. It’s insane. If you break an arm, you have to go out of town to get a cast – one of the most basic procedures in medicine and yet, this Town puts out a recent brochure claiming that Northumberland Hills is a state-of-the-art hospital. Most tragic of all: a woman collapses in our hospital and she dies because no one has the wit to walk a few feet to the emergency room and scream for a doctor but, instead, they call an ambulance. And our police can’t make an arrest even though the thief is in the house when they arrive. We’re a laughing stock and it’s our own fault if things continue as they are. We’re not The Feel Good Town, we’re The Town of Idiots.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Tim
9 May 2018 12:28 pm

If the shoe fits …..

Reply to  Tim
14 May 2018 11:13 pm

The fountain obstructing views?? Laughable! I suppose you can see right through the large tree south of the fountain. IMHO the fountain is a wonderful oasis with a calming feel to it in an otherwise bustling downtown. I pass by there often too and see plenty of people walking, sitting, eating lunch or just watching time pass by. Lose the negativity Tim – it’s getting tiring

7 May 2018 5:34 pm

Great meeting place – centre pad. Love the vendor layout, more vendors – LOOKS ALIIIIVE!

Pamela Jackson
7 May 2018 3:50 pm

Thanks for the wonderful photographs John, happy memories of the Cobourg Farmers’ Market. Love the new
location and wonder why they didn’t think of it before. A perfect spot.

Bill Thompson
7 May 2018 11:26 am

Has anyone noticed that the flags are now flying at the Frink instead of the Cenotaph in Victoria Park ?
Bare flag poles in the park still there today and even on Vimy Day April 9th.
Lest We Forget does not apply only to November 11th.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
7 May 2018 5:05 pm

Good call. That should never be.

Reply to  Bill Thompson
8 May 2018 2:10 am

It’s a disgrace but we shouldn’t be surprised. We’re in Cobourg, after all. I remember attending the 60th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings at the Cenotaph. Over 18,700 Canadians died or were wounded on June 6, 1944. When the service was over, I walked up to King Street and stood to watch the parade returning from the park. There was only a small handful of D-Day veterans who were able to march in the parade and I stood on the sidewalk to honour them as they passed by. I counted about eight other people who had also stopped to watch. As young boys, these proud veterans had sacrificed so much and, at the end of their lives, their hometown was showing its gratitude — they were parading down a virtually empty street. The following day, there was a beauty contest for dogs on King Street and the crowds were so great you couldn’t move for people. I’ve never been as disgusted in my life.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Tim
8 May 2018 10:17 am

Cobourg Poet Laureate recites a poem

Reply to  Bill Thompson
8 May 2018 12:44 pm

I noticed they were removed sometime after the Remembrance Day ceremonies. Today they are up again.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Gerald
8 May 2018 1:13 pm

Great …
My email to the mayor and council on April 8th to have them flying on Vimy Day (9th ) finally was acted upon … albeit too late

7 May 2018 9:19 am

Hope the Market can maintain credibility with local growers and avoid the mess that Peterborough Market has got itself in. Peterborough should not even call itself a market. Commercial resellers have driven locsl producers out.

Walter L. Luedtke
6 May 2018 10:40 pm

Splendid idea!
And a big ‘Yay’ to the Market people, the Cobourg Rotary Club and former Mayor Peter Delanty!
Cobourg is MOOOOVIN!

Jayne Finn
6 May 2018 9:17 pm

I always ride my bicycle to the market. There are two spots to tie up beside Millstone Bakery, none on south or east side. Not so great for a town that just won a cycling friendly award.

6 May 2018 9:16 pm

well I guess you just have to talk to the people that live there
and as what they think of this happening with out prior notice
or even a little consultation .

Yes I guess you could compare this to having a never ending parade That stalled at your front Door at 6 AM and lasts for at least 6 + hours every weekend .
I am sure these home owners won’t be enjoying a private tranquil Breakfast on their front decks any more .
I am sure No one moved here having anticipated this .

Reply to  perplexed
7 May 2018 4:53 am

Anyone that moves into the very heart of the community and didn’t anticipate these type of things happening is an absolute fool.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  perplexed
7 May 2018 10:38 am

There are 168 hours in a week. The farmer’s market is 6 hours long, consuming a measly 4% of the week. It happens on one day of the weekend, and only a fraction of that day. It disturbs only a miniscule percentage of the many thousands of Cobourg residents who own the property outside their door.

I always found it peculiar that a townhouse would be build such that the front steps end where a public park begins. I could spread a blanket at the foot of those stairs and enjoy a picnic. What fool would buy into that predicament?

Reply to  perplexed
9 May 2018 5:11 am

Choose life. Cobourg’s already too much like a tomb — no train whistles, no fog horn. There are people who would put an end to birdsong if the Council would OK it.

6 May 2018 9:04 am

I am sure everyone thought it was just a Lovely location
But what about the Poor Residents on either side ? what about their wrights
to peaceful enjoyment .
Yes I am sure some idiot will spout the NIMBY thing but common sense should prevail .
surely there are other areas in town that would be just as suitable for a Farmers Market
that won’t be Pissing OFF / affecting the immediate Residents .
I don ‘t think the Condo or the Town home owners
on either side ever expected to be Wakened at 6 AM
by all the noise and Commotion and wake up to this literally on
Their Front Door steps . Some people do Work and like to sleep in a little on their weekends
I notice the Photos were carefully taken to not show any of that .
as to just how close this really is to Peoples homes ,
I am sure if this were your street front and Lawns you would not be so enthralled
and yes more benches that may keep the public from sitting on some poor homeowners front steps .

Greg H
Reply to  perplexed
6 May 2018 11:47 am

Your extreme nimbyism comments are perplexing.

In France most towns have a weekly market, which may take up half the town. Nobody objects, it is what towns do.

All the people who attend the Cobourg market are happy. Presumably people who live next door to the harbour like other people, otherwise they would live elsewhere.

We live just north of King Street in Cobourg. Every time there is parade, which is quite often, our street is full of people and parked cars. We often offer our drive for friends to park in, and sometimes offer it to strangers with children who have nowhere to park. This is what people do, it is not a bah, humbug moment.

Reply to  Greg H
6 May 2018 12:05 pm

Yep. I live near the dog park and hear dogs barking all day. It’s what you get when you live in an urban area. Tough nuts!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Greg H
6 May 2018 4:40 pm

Very considerate, very generous, very community-minded. Kudo Greg

Reply to  Greg H
7 May 2018 1:51 pm

Comments right on Greg…..Perplexed seems to be negative on everything, kind of getting a bit tiresome. That rink and park belongs to all the people, and I for one think it’s great that the market is there…..
Good for you to offer parking to those people needing it….a nice thing to do. Kudo’s to the vendors and the town for being forward thinking.

Reply to  Pierre
14 May 2018 11:22 pm

Buying downtown/central waterfront condos next to an active marina and public park thinking what? Peace and tranquility? No community events? No noise? No traffic? Right, like buying a condo in downtown/waterfront Toronto….absolutely perplexing, Perplexed

Stan G
Reply to  perplexed
6 May 2018 1:36 pm

Isn’t it tiring to be so negative all the time? I know I find your constant complaining on here to be tiresome, I can only imagine what it must be like for you that have to live with yourself 24/7.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  perplexed
6 May 2018 3:05 pm

perplexed posted, “But what about the Poor Residents on either side ?

They are not poor.

Reply to  perplexed
9 May 2018 1:27 pm

Peaceful enjoyment of our property does not mean living beside a monastery. When we bought here on Third St, our building frames the west side of Rotary Park; we asked a lot of questions from our agent about markets, fairs, festivals, water events, tourists, and last but not least noise.
We have lived in Cobourg a comparatively short period compared to some. After six years residing in Cobourg, we are still happy with our choice.
While consultations do include residents sometimes the notification can be short we are still brought into the mix.
Some living in the area down here at the Marina would seem to want anything other than a tranquil atmosphere. Others during the summer season some of us love the activity. Most days there is a mix of both. However, when all things get to be a bit much, I remind myself it is only for a couple of days, and on Tuesdays, it is quiet again.

Bill Prawecki
6 May 2018 8:25 am

Great idea. Much more accessible for those in scooters or wheelchairs. The rink itself provides space in the future for kids to play in as seen in the photos and possible area for buskers. Definitely less crowded given the large walking area and looks like there is space for more vendors. Bravo for moving it there.

6 May 2018 8:24 am

It was a fabulous atmosphere – brilliant choice.

Russ Hulme
6 May 2018 8:18 am

Terrific idea ! A great setting, easy access, and it now really looks and feels like an outdoor market. Some people were already picnic-ing on the benches and perhaps a few more benches would encourage that. We spoke to several vendors and they were all much happier with this new arrangement. Kudos to whoever came up with this idea.


6 May 2018 8:07 am

I was there and it was wonderful. Less cramped. I was happy to see new vendors there and hope it continues to expand. Well done Cobourg!

6 May 2018 6:31 am

Great location, will it remain here once the area around the market building is redeveloped?

And you since people we were touting former Mayor Delanty’s foresight on the west beach I feel like the same should be said for the highly successful frink. It is booming all winter, providing a much need downtown destination in those month, and here we have yet another use for the space. Once the Waterfront Festival is over the farmers market will look quite nice with a fountain right in the middle of it!

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Waterboy
6 May 2018 2:11 pm

On your question, as a market patron I’m hoping that long term plans include the Saturday market occupying all the area including Second Street, the former market location around the Market Building and this new space in the park.

Growing interest in local food and products as well as seasonal and festival celebrations could enliven market day … definitely an attraction that may also benefit downtown merchants, too.

One of the market vendors told me yesterday that they would like to see a video captured by drone to showcase the market, its new location near the lake & harbour and downtown as a marketing piece on the farmers market web site. Great idea!

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
6 May 2018 2:35 pm

And, the big concrete pad was popular with children playing on Market Day. When the pond goes back in … how about little toy sailboats on the pond for children and children at heart?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
6 May 2018 3:26 pm
Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
6 May 2018 10:53 pm

Love the model sailboat idea, Miriam!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
9 May 2018 10:37 am

great idea. renting boats with sails bearing the Cobourg logo. Fill a small reservoir with food colouring so the fountain spouts different colours.