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New Farmers Market to open in June

Thursday, February 20, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

City Council has approved a lease agreement between the City and Mill Market Inc. in order for the company to establish a Farmers Market at the former Municipal Fish Hatchery site at 35 Canal Drive.

Mill Market Inc. is a division of Riversedge Developments (pictured).

The Fish Hatchery has been closed for some time, and, as soon as Mill Market has prepared the building for use (at no cost to the City), a temporary five-year lease of the site will go into effect March 1 and end March 31, 2019.

Long before then, however, Mill Market intends to eventually relocate the Farmers Market to a permanent home at the Riversedge Board Mill Building on the former St. Mary's Paper site.

Mill Market has agreed to then demolish the property at 35 Canal Drive.

The facility will give Sault and area food producers a new area to sell their goods, including produce, eggs, dairy, honey, meat, fish and plant nursery products.

The permanent Farmers Market at the Board Mill Building would be one component of a plan for a multi-use development (known as Destination North) by Riversedge and Blueforest Ventures, a plan approved by City Council last August.

Riversedge Developments purchased the old paper mill site in April 2012.

Riversedge Chief Executive Officer Justus Veldman and Mill Square Design Director Martti Lemieux spoke with Wednesday about the Farmers Market plan.

Lemieux said: “The Board Mill building lends itself perfectly as a face to the Farmers Market.”

“The designs are ready for that, but the building (the old Fish Hatchery) is an interim solution to get us up and going until our actual long-term Board Mill Market is ready.”

With the demand for a Farmers Market for Sault and area producers definitely there, Veldman said: “The current market has about 19 vendors at peak with the market near the Roberta Bondar Pavilion and Wellington Square Mall, but looking at the Board Mill Market, if it gets done in 2015 or 2016, there’ll be a huge leap in the number of vendors.”

“There’s enough momentum right now to have an interim market as a transition,” Veldman told us, estimating there is room at the old Fish Hatchery site for 32 to 38 vendors.

Discussions between the City and Mill Market Inc. regarding the use of the old Fish Hatchery site began in November, Veldman said.

Redevelopment of no-longer-used properties such as the former St. Marys Paper site and the Fish Hatchery for new purposes is the area of expertise for which Riversedge is known.

Veldman anticipates there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony in May.

The 2014 Farmers Market season at The Mill Market, located in the old Fish Hatchery building, will begin June 1 and run through to October 12.

Hours of operation will be every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stalls for vendors will be located both inside and outside the building, with a layout provided to confirmed vendors prior to the market.  

Mill Market states: “Only approved products that are made, baked, grown, raised, caught or wild harvested by the approved vendor in Ontario may be sold at the market.”

No reselling of any produce or products will be permitted without express permission of Mill Market.

Vendors must follow food vendor guidelines and may also need to seek approval from Algoma Public Health.

Veldman told us: “Vendors that have an interest in selling home-made crafts, jams, vegetables, fruits, home-grown or farm-grown, are welcome to reach out to us and fill out an application form to become a vendor at the Mill.”

Vendors may contact The Mill Market by going to the company’s website at or by e-mail at

Meanwhile, the Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Heritage Committee, at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, recognized Blueforest Ventures and Riversedge Developments as the recipients of the 2013 Municipal Heritage Committee Heritage Award.

The award is presented every year by the City of Sault Ste. Marie in recognition of contributions to the preservation, restoration and enhancement of the city’s heritage resources.

The redevelopment of the former St. Marys Paper site, now known as Mill Square, includes five historic buildings planned for a variety of uses.

The historic buildings are part of the Clergue industrial empire that dates back to the late 19th Century. 

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
theprotector 2/20/2014 9:26:19 AM Report

so why not show a pic of the hatchery
saultbie25 2/20/2014 9:26:28 AM Report

Hopefully they will have better hours of operation for those who work Weekends!!

Great Idea and location!
Ski-Dude 2/20/2014 9:32:28 AM Report

Nice and good luck. I hope the foot traffic is good there though. Most markets I've attended in many different cities are amongst the hustle and bustle of the cities (practically bump into them).....making them very easy to access while browsing shops in the core....oh we have a core?
Concerned citizen 2/20/2014 9:46:24 AM Report

How do they figure this new location will help the farmers? Unless my memory is faulty, there is next to no parking there. Forget about foot traffic. Just my opinion.
superior87 2/20/2014 9:55:33 AM Report

There's tons of parking. Look it up on Google Maps.
razor25 2/20/2014 10:31:11 AM Report

Gotta say I like the idea of a permanent farmer's market here in the Sault.
Wicket 2/20/2014 10:47:11 AM Report

there is a snow dump located in front of the building right now, the old fish hatchery building is the one on the left before you pass the power plant. There is more than enough parking.
Sam C 2/20/2014 11:01:07 AM Report

Lots of parking on site, and its right next to the Hub Trail leading in from the Station Mall. Granted, very little of the Sault is convenient for pedestrians.
Sam C 2/20/2014 11:02:10 AM Report

@the protector -- likely they don't have a stock photo of the hatchery.
Bobbi1969 2/20/2014 11:03:38 AM Report

That is awesome... wonder if they are going to have the same concept of Farmers Markets in southern Ontario, such as in St. Jacobs and Elmira.... has market all year round for meats, cheese, crafts etc... great attraction for visitors to the Sault... and to promote heritage... hope it is successful...
Stedmister 2/20/2014 11:28:41 AM Report

I was at the City Council when they requested it from the city, there plan is a permanent farmers marker, Butterfly Conservatory, Visitors Centre, Native American heritage Museum, and a better home for the tour train, as well as better train station, better and a better home for the SSM casino, I applaud this move, one step closer to making the Sault great again.
Ski-Dude 2/20/2014 11:34:23 AM Report

Def things that will help. Still lacking a wow factor here. We used to have a water slide lmao
pizza-guy 2/20/2014 12:07:43 PM Report

Bobbi- there is a winter Market in the Wellington Square Mall on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. They have eggs, honey, smoked fish, aplaca wool products, baking and sweets, maple syrup and tons of crafts! Check it out! Our summer market is amazing! I really had no idea so much is grown/produced locally!
Bobbi1969 2/20/2014 1:43:16 PM Report

yes I have been to the indoor market on Saturdays at the Wellington Square mall.. I live around the corner... and I visit the downtown market every chance I get in the summer... What Im referring to is a little larger scale and there are there all year round. This would be a great thing...
Opstday 2/20/2014 1:55:00 PM Report

You could actually bike to the market on the hub trail, good reason to hurry up and put the bike trail on Queen street!
sportsfan17 2/20/2014 3:11:31 PM Report

Fantastic! I will continue to be a regular at this market, this will be a great injection of culture and local business in the downtown!

And for those mocking the downtown core, it's developments like Riversedge that will help to revive it! Big investment like this will hopefully spur other investments from local entrepreneurs!
superior87 2/20/2014 3:24:46 PM Report

This is nothing but positive for the city.
JB 2/20/2014 5:40:17 PM Report

I hope they can get all that pigeon crap out of the board mill ceiling,before they sell fresh veggies there
sportsfan17 2/20/2014 6:20:53 PM Report

I'm sure they will JB. Riversedge seems to be doing a pretty thorough (and thankfully legit) job!
Roome for Rent 2/20/2014 10:11:37 PM Report

I'm wondering why they will be demolishing 35 Canal St. after the market moves in 2019? It's a beautiful building where they are now putting money into. I hope they can find another use for it instead of demolishing it!
R0FL0L 2/21/2014 11:08:40 AM Report

This will be great for the City just too bad they keep the same opening hours "Hours of operation will be every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m."
But maybe, just maybe this will change in 5 years. Never to give up hope
KBO 2/22/2014 12:01:30 PM Report

Great idea, but not being able to walk very far and no bus stop it's something I will not be able to support.
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