In an effort to safely welcome people back to Uptown Waterloo as pandemic restrictions lift, and to support local businesses, the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area (BIA) will be hosting a weekly, open-air market.
Presented by HIP Developments, the Uptown Open-Air Market will occur each Wednesday from 5pm – 8pm along Willis Way by the Waterloo Public Square – which coincides with the City of Waterloo’s decision to close Willis Way to motorized vehicles for the summer.
“It was in our 2020 plan to host a summer market in Uptown,” shares Tracy Van Kalsbeek, Executive Director of the Uptown Waterloo BIA. “Although it looks a bit different than what we originally designed before COVID-19, we are excited to bring this initiative to life.”
Based on consultations with Public Health, the BIA is taking a phased-in approach to the market – limiting the number of vendors, visitors and ensuring proper safety signage and precautions.
Weather permitting, the first market will be held on Wednesday, July 8 and start with a small number of vendors located on the north side of the street only. There will be controlled access for customer flow, with an entrance to the market on Caroline Street and exit (for the time being) at the rainbow walkway. Vendors have been provided with strict protocols and will be implementing safety measures as outlined by Public Health.
In addition, queuing lines will be implemented at vendors stalls and circulation of customers will be through a marked, two directional path located on the south side of the street to help minimize contact between visitors and vendors. Volunteers and staff will be onsite to provide assistance and to help manage visitor numbers.
As part of the phased-in approach to the market, the BIA will also be working with Uptown restaurants to promote a take-out food program, local retailers regarding sidewalk sales and patios (check out the BIA’s 2020 patio map) with hopes of including music when restrictions relax.
Parking can be found at the Shops as well as along Regina St. More information about the Uptown Open-Air Market can be found HERE.