Ottawa's Farmers' Markets Will Be Open This Summer Despite COVID-19 Concerns

Gotta get those fresh veggies!
Ottawa's Farmers' Markets Will Be Open This Summer Despite COVID-19 Concerns

With everything closing or being cancelled, it's almost strange to hear that something will definitely be open. It turns out that Ottawa Farmers' Markets will operate this summer, regardless of COVID-19. However, there will have to be some extra precautions taken.

Mayor Jim Watson made the announcement during a teleconference on April 27.

"Farmers' markets will open," Watson said, according to CBC News. "The exact date, we're still working on."

The mayor hinted at the ideas of restricting entry into the markets to only a certain number of people at a time, as well as imposing other social distancing measures.

There have also been discussions about the markets potentially offering curbside pickup, so that locals can get their fresh veggies, without having to get out of the car.

The city will ultimately rely on the advice of Ottawa Public Health when it comes to how they can safely reopen the summer markets.

"Making sure we protect both the customers and the vendors, and the farmers is of paramount importance," Watson explained on Tuesday.

While markets will be allowed to open under proper health guidelines, some may choose to stay closed anyway.

That appears to be the case with the Carp Farmers Market, which wrote in a Facebook post, "We have decided to delay the opening of the Market, which means that the Market will not be opening in May."

While Mayor Watson has committed to opening the farmers' markets, regardless of the circumstances, he noted that some areas will present more challenges than others. For example, Westboro’s, which is an extremely narrow space.

Despite this, he promised to do whatever possible to make sure the summer markets are able to go ahead. 

“These farmers have put a lot of time, effort and money into planting their fields in the fall and obviously this is their base income,” Watson explained.

Ontario has already made steps forward in terms of fresh food by allowing the use of community gardens as an essential service. 

"Today's new Provincial order confirms that community gardens will be allowed to re-open under local public health rules for safety," Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy tweeted.

"Toronto Public Health is working quickly with Parks staff to finalize these rules and ensure gardens can feed and enrich our communities this year."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has mentioned in his own addresses that discussions with the provinces about how to reopen their economies have started taking place.

In Ottawa, it seems that fresh fruit and veggies is one thing locals won't have to go without!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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