The market is a collection of 50 to 70 local vendors who set up their booths and tables every Saturday morning, and now on Wednesday evenings at the Dorothy Dove Building on the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds to sell everything local from farm produce and products to crafts, art, books and more!
A Great Place for a Saturday Morning
Upstairs at the Country Market at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition, a crowd is gathering in a space that could be considered the closest thing to a town square in Thunder Bay. At tables surrounded by vendor’s booths, people eat breakfast or lunch where there is enough floor space to listen to live music and watch dance performances.
People will snack and roam, sipping locally brewed coffee. They might converse with vendors on subjects related and unrelated to the vendor’s wares. Teams of young people deliver plates of cooked food from the crowded main floor. Children run amok and bump into things, making for light entertainment.
Unique Setting on CLE Grounds
This space is a public commons for easy interaction for all ages, where unlike a shopping mall there is a lively and natural atmosphere without the piped-in music and glossy cleanliness. The upstairs market has warm sounds and occasionally smells of food cooking. With dust on the long beams, a few cobwebs in the rafters, and the morning sun pouring through the ceiling windows, the market is a place of character.
Fresh Produce and So Much More
Garden fresh vegetables and fruit when in season are certainly a key draw. However, in the winter and early spring, the vendors on the main floor revert to selling more jam, pastries, bread, cheese, chocolate, meats, fish, and meals. Also sold are hand made and locally made, pottery, clothing, hats, leather wears, sculptures, paintings, drawings, jewelry, woodwork, books, photography, plaques, bicycles, and many other items. It can get packed with people who carry bags and packsacks of groceries and gifts.
Market, Part of Community Fabric
The Country Market has become part of Thunder Bay’s community fabric. Some locals make Saturday morning visits to the Market a routine, collecting groceries for the week or simply for weekend plans, many with a duty to support local producers of fresh produce. The market is also a natural respite place, a place to connect with community with a weekly Saturday morning outing a much-needed break from people’s busy schedules.