New home for Main Farmers’ Market – Advisory Group Formed To Refine Grande Allée Urban Park Design

John Dance

More community greenspace and a permanent home for the Main Farmers’ Market will be two key benefits of the new “Grand Allée” park leading from Main Street to the Deschâtelets Residence in Greystone Village.

Over the next few months, community representatives will work with the Regional Group and the City of Ottawa to refine the park concept originally developed in 2015 and to work through the details of all of the park’s elements.

The original schematic of the Grand Allée Park included 1. primary gateway, 2. market stalls and benches, 3. pedestrian nodes, 4. commercial walkways, 5. existing tree protection zones, 6. pedestrian priority crossing, and 10. Grand Allee walkway. Image by Reginal Group

The original schematic of the Grand Allée Park included 1. primary gateway, 2. market stalls and benches, 3. pedestrian nodes, 4. commercial walkways, 5. existing tree protection zones, 6. pedestrian priority crossing, and 10. Grand Allee walkway. Image by Reginal Group

“The establishment of the group is to help ensure that we’re sticking to the original intent of the park as we work through these details,” says Taylor Marquis, Regional Group’s coordinator of land development.

“The ‘urban park’ will be designed to accommodate the Farmers’ Market and will be focused around preservation of the Grand Allée trees with the replacement of the missing ones, incorporating heritage elements, and passive uses, meaning no playground or play structure equipment,” says Marquis.

“After years of the Farmers’ Market moving about from the Saint Paul University parking lot to the Museum of Nature and then to the Green Door Restaurant parking lot, it will have a permanent home with facilities that will make it easier and better for the vendors to sell their produce,” explains Cynthia Dwyer, co-manager of the Farmers’ Market.

“The market is on track to move to its final location across the street on the Grand Allée in the 2022 season,” says Brett Weddle, the other co-manager.

“The Main Farmers’ Market board has been meeting with the developers and a landscape architect to ensure that the new location will have everything in place to support the market. In the meantime, we are increasing our budget this year for new signage, communications and marketing to ensure that all of the new residents are aware of the Farmers’ Market, its location and hours.”

In addition to the Farmers’ Market, Sustainable Living Ottawa East, the Community Activities Group of Old Ottawa East, and the Parks and Greenspace Committee of the Old Ottawa East Community Association will participate in the advisory group. The Farmers’ Market is scheduled to open this year on Saturday, May 30.

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