To the Editor,
I attended the Port Alberni City Council committee of the whole regarding Port Alberni’s train station—I found the discussion to be mostly positive, engaging, as well as recognizing the deep historical roots of this lovely building.
There were several innovative ideas about repurposing the building presented by the architect and citizens.
I commend the city for holding a public forum of this kind. And, one idea which was repeated by several speakers was how to transform the train station into a central, vibrant farmers/artists’ market building which would draw the local community and tourists into the downtown core.
As a relative newcomer to the Alberni Valley, I would be so pleased to see a central farmers’ market for Port Alberni. I have been an avid shopper of farmers’ markets all of my life in large and small communities across Canada. When I arrived in this community, I was delighted to learn about markets and local producers. And then, I learned there were multiple (I have now lost count how many!) markets, held on different days of the week, in a variety of locations and at different times.
I find the arrangement confusing and the organization of these markets within a very small community places the onus on the shopper to remember which vendor will be present at which market, on which day and the times. As a result, sadly, I have mostly given up attending these markets for these reasons.
It seems counter-productive to the intent of local producers wishing to market their goods that they would not take measures to ensure their produce is as accessible to the buying public. Hence, I applaud any initiative locally to create a central market such as has been proposed for the train station.