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How we got a farmers market

In this Edition of Remember This? The Timmins Museum and National Exhibition Center examines how the first Urban Farmer’s market in Timmins got off the ground
Produce stalls like this one on Second Ave and Mountjoy became a fixture in downtown Timmins starting in 1938. With a renewed interest and investment in locally sourced foods and markets Timmins is experiencing a welcome renaissance of this tradition. Timmins Museum photo

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center:

Very much in the shadow of the mining industry was the agricultural sector in the region.

Due to less than ideal conditions for cultivating and a short growing season many fledgling farmers in the region struggled to make a living at the turn of the century. Faced with these difficult circumstances many where forced to abandon their lands and seek employment elsewhere.

Those resilient enough to stay the course saw a bit of relief in the form of new initiatives by regional agricultural representative D.J Pomerleau who promoted the establishment of local markets in an effort to make homegrown foods more accessible to the public.

As of August of 1938, Timmins farmers market was enjoying a very busy second week of operation in the downtown core. 

In those days the market was open three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Much like today on offer were wholesome foods such as dairy, vegetables, fruits and meats, representing Timmins terroir at its finest.

For farmers in Mountjoy Township and those established in the east end near Porcupine Lake in particular the urban market was a great boon for business. Even though agriculture remained a difficult way to earn a living up north, those with farming in their blood made the best of the land and as a result, the land and the community looked after them.

The Farmer’s Market, A Welcome Sight in the Heart of the City.

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at www.timminsmuseum.caand look for more Remember This? columns here.