Cornwall Ontario Farmer’s Market Goes to Council to Test Friday Run – Concern in South Stormont for Long Sault Farmer’s Market

Actual Produce Vendor at Long Sault Market (Avonmore Berry Farm)

South Stormont ON – Being good neighbors is what living in Eastern Ontario is generally about, but concerns are growing over a motion that’s being voted on at a special meeting of Cornwall City council.    The City, Downtown BIA, and Heart of the City have been trying to support and nurture the Cornwall Farmer’s market in George Assaly Lane now for three seasons.

After solid growth this first two seasons a new direction and design had been taken and Keitha Fisher and Tony Lackoix hired to market and manage, but after a promising start numbers of visitors and vendors have dwindled which has led to a request to move the time to Friday afternoons for two test dates this year with the hope of either adding Friday afternoons or moving from Saturday mornings; partly to attract more vendors some of whom are at nearby markets.

I spoke with Heart of the City honcho and City Councilor Denis Carr about this and he stated regarding the proposal:

I think it’s a good idea if it works.

Councilor Carr had no issue with potential parking or traffic issues on the busy downtown thoroughfare nor any concern about the nearby Long Sault market on Highway Two in South Stormont.   And that is where some of the concern has come from as the Long Sault market has evolved steadily without government subsidization. (The Cornwall Market received a $10,000 grant this year for marketing and advertising)

Mayor Bryan McGillis stated that he was going to speak to some of the councilors in Cornwall about this as he and both Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart and council shared some concern at their Township meeting Wednesday night.

Vendors at the nearby Saturday morning Market on Pitt Street in the north end of town also voiced concern that some of the produce at the market is sold via The Agape Centre who purchase the produce from Farmboy, some of which isn’t remotely local.

Popular Swiss Baked Goods available at Long Sault Farmers Market Fridays

The meeting is at City Hall today at 4 PM.

What do you think?    You can post your comments below.   I’ll be at the Long Sault Market on Friday and both Cornwall Markets Saturday morning to video comments from the public and vendors as well.

JL Computers



  1. I would really like to look at the ethics of this move. The Cornwall Market is essentially funded by both the province and the city. I agree that something had to be done to draw people to downtown Cornwall on Saturday mornings. There is no such requirement on Friday afternoons. This means that the only reason for this move is to compete with private businesses. Using public money to compete with private business is unethical at the least.

  2. While I remember the Cornwall Market last year it was a vibrant thing. This year it seems to have died a tragic death. The person running it should be brought to task over that!

  3. I would like to point out that I was misquoted in the other daily paper in Cornwall. If you by chance (and bad taste) read that article I did not say that I was concerned about the competetion. If you read my post above, it is more accurate.

  4. I was always under the assumption that locally produced foods (from Ontario, Quebec) were only sold as these farmers markets so I am disenchanted to hear otherwise in the above article.

  5. Hi Everyone,

    I have a cousin who operates at the Farmer’s Market and I believe they do need some changes! The market was supposed to be open until 2 PM and the weather was beautiful, yet at 1 PM all the vendors had packed up and were leaving!

    I asked several people why they were closing early and they said because it was extremely quiet! Now, I am in a different industry but I own a retail business and I can tell you that we all must adapt to continue to survive in Cornwall and with the losses of so many jobs in Cornwall! Choosing to expand hours into another day could help but I think staying consistent is a must and adapting to the clients demands are normal! However, is there a demand? If this fails miserably and it causes tention with our neighbours then someone must be held accountable! However, I am not saying fire or point the finger at anyone; just learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again!

    I was disapointed to say, at the least, that I didn’t get to see what was being offered! To clarify most the vendors had already packed up well before 1 PM! You can not advertise that it is open until 2 PM and then close at 1 PM. Not one vendor asked me if I would like to see anything or would like help! Bad for business and then everyone wonders why it’s losing clients!

    This is such a wonderful idea but like I have said before and like I will continue to say until something gives “We don’t more ideas moreso than we need better implementation of the ideas we already have!”

    Also, has anyone taken a walk downtown and ever wondered what the heck is going on with the corner of Pitt and Second? A Fire (understandable) and a Haulted construction is an eye sore! Also, there are a lot of stores empty and that have been under construction for way too long! The downtown looks awful and very unattractive to outsiders! It hurts our reputation as a city! Well, maybe awful is a little harsh but has so much potential that is not being utilized properly! So much work needs to be done! The whole downown would learn from companies such as Pommiers, Schnitzels, Fusion, Mustache Joe’s, just to name a few! Unfortunately, there are too many “holes” that need to be filled between these businesses!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  6. I agree with Reg. The Cornwall Farmers Market receiving public money from the City or Province is basically unethical! Why is the City of Cornwall paying the Farmers Market (Assaly Lane) to compete against existing business? Thats not fair! Whatever the Farmers Market gets should also be made available to existing business too. Wheres my money City of Cornwall?

  7. Author

    Stan there’s a real opportunity and need to develop venues like the Downtown market to help attract and promote our downtown core. Sometimes though it’s all in the execution and making sure that you have a good plan and the right people to make the magic happen. I’m not sure this year’s plan was such a good one, but the viability and the potential for this market is there.

    If they truly want to give up on Saturday’s, which I think is a mistake personally, they need to really redefine themselves and they really have to question why they can’t seem to attract Farmer’s. More on that in our new article on area markets today.

  8. Being open and available at posted business hours is key to retaining and attracting new clients…period. There is a business in Cornwall who has a superior product/service that they offer. I have on several occasions showed up at their door to find them closed during their posted business hours. No note, no explanation. There are several other businesses in Cornwall that offer the same product and service. How many clients have they lost on account of these occurrences? This is a business I would make a special trip to frequent. I no longer do so.

  9. The Cornwall Farmers Market…..I walk by it every Saturday, and when I think of a “Farmers Market”, I think of farmers trucking their goods to the city to show and sell their products. I see eggs piled high by the crate, fresh fruit and veggies laid out to pleasure and tempt the eye. I even have visions of women feeling the plumpness of a chicken before purchasing. I see the city folk turning out to experience something of their heritage long lost to the big box chains. I see people with smiles on their faces greeting neighbours and engaging with the people who actually grow the produce.
    So….I ask you, Where are all the farmers at the Cornwall Farmers Market? Where is the plentiful supply of locally grown produce? Lets get some farmers in to the market even if we have to pay them to come..Why not give the farmers some of the money the government is giving to the organizers, that ought to draw them in. Must we continue to subsidize a downtown “Cornwall Merchants Flea Market”?

  10. Most small farmers that have managed to stay in business don’t have enough time to run the farm, work at an outside job to support support the farm and family, and sell their produce at a weekend open air market. Since the early seventies, all the government regulations and marketing boards have been very effective at killing family farms in Ontario. Maybe No Frills and Walmart should set up outdoor foodstands in their parking lots just to make us feel better about buying and eating crap food.

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