Why is the Beechwood Market not open on-site?

Posted by Chris Penton on

Between vendors, customers and local businesses, I have fielded this question a few times. I believe the question comes mostly from a need to go back to normal. I share this need in spades.

To match these requests, I have also received many thanks for continuing our online store.

I started the Beechwood Market as a spot for the community to mingle, shop and engage with local business owners. We created the Beechwood Breakfast, geared up a great line up of local musicians, moved to a kid-friendly park and assembled the best roster of small businesses Ottawa has to offer. I also want all that back, but it has to make sense.

I’d like to paint a picture of what an on-site set up might look like if done under the current regulations -

The entire Market portion of Optimiste Park would be roped off.

Customer numbers would be limited.

There would be one way circulation only. No doubling back, no crossing the site.

Vendor numbers would hover around 10-12. An important note: our vendor survey showed interest from 8 vendors – 4 full-time, 4 part-time.

Physical distance would be enforced at each stall, limiting time with each vendor.

Handling of produce is forbidden.

Tasters are not allowed. This includes coffee by the cup and all eat on site food.

No communal areas. For us, that means no eating area and no Community Table.

As we are not meant to encourage crowds, we would probably not invest in live music.

The kids’ play structures are currently allowed. This could quickly become a problem with increased numbers.  

The bathrooms are open at the moment for the pool, but the City would close them in September along with the pool.


I also want the return of the Beechwood Market as we knew it. However, we want to make it an experience that closely mirrors the image to which you have become accustomed. With the above restrictions, it is hard to duplicate the atmosphere and allure.

The health and safety of the community remains our top priority. I suppose the question remains – why take the chance if not absolutely necessary?

Your loyalty has been beautiful.  Please stay with us while we all work this out.

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