Sidney needs an indoor, all-year-around farmers’ market. This would attract tourists and be easily accessible to residents of Sidney.
We do not need another concrete shopping mall in this area.
The Thursday ’Summer Markets’ attract people from across Greater Victoria. This is all ‘new money’ into Sidney. I first suggested a farmers market over a year ago when the airport authority asked for ideas for development. Recently, I spent some time in Ontario. Every place visited suggests tourists visit a market. I am more convinced than ever that we need a market too.
For Sidney, I visualize market stalls in a warehouse-style building with lots of skylights to give natural light, similar to Granville Island Market. Other buildings on the site could include the visitors information centre and perhaps a boutique–type hotel.
The whole complex could have a rural look with lots of greenery, places to sit, perhaps around a small stream or fountain. There needs to be plenty of free parking and a covered pedestrian walkway over the highway to give easy access to our waterfront town.
The market would be an attraction for residents of Sidney as well as visitors as a place to buy farm produce without needing to drive to individual farms in the area. I am sure market vendors and shoppers would appreciate having a covered market where business is not dependent on weather and stalls do not have to be set up weekly.
A market would add to the small town atmosphere we all want to keep in Sidney, be a compliment to the existing stores and services of the town and be a reason for ferry passengers to stop before racing down the highway towards Victoria.
D. Child, Sidney