The History of the Waterdown Farmers’ Market

The first Twilight Market in 1952.

The Beginning

The Waterdown Market, or the Twilight Market as it was once known, began as a non-profit project set up by the Waterdown Board of Trade in 1952. The idea behind it was for local growers, farmers and artisans to come and promote their local businesses. The first market was held in Memorial Park, was open from 6 to 10 pm on Friday evenings, and had 23 vendors present on opening night. By 1967 there were over 100 vendors in attendance each week and room for 1400 vehicles. The market drew crowds from the neighbouring municipalities’ and individuals came from as far away as Toronto to visit the market. In 1974, the Market was handed over to the Waterdown Branch of the Lions Club, and continued to rise in notability.

Disappearance and Re-Emergence

The markets’ return to Memorial Park in 1996.

Unfortunately in the mid-eighties, zoning bylaws meant the market could no longer be held in Memorial Park, and it closed. In 1995 there was an attempt to breathe new life into the Waterdown Market. It still could not be held in Memorial Park so it was set up in the Waterdown Shopping Centre (Sobey’s Plaza). Several problems, including parking, meant that the market was not living up to its past potential. The next year, 1996, there was a push for a new by-law that would allow the market to return to its historical location of Memorial Park. The by-law passed and the market returned to the park. While initially successful, over the next decade falling attendance meant that once again, the Farmers’ Market disappeared from Waterdown.


Opening day, June 7, 2014.

The market, however, was not gone forever. Thanks to the efforts of the Waterdown BIA, on June 7th 2014 the market returned to Waterdown after almost a decade. It is held in front of the Waterdown Legion. There are currently 30 vendors selling their locally made or grown products and it will be running every Saturday until October 25th. The opening weekend included an appearance by Premier Kathleen Wynne and local M.P.P. Ted McMeekin. Several vendors sold out early and it was considered a great success. It looks as if the market will rise to resemble its past historic and successful self.

Editor’s Note:

After years of being held at the Waterdown Legion, the Waterdown Farmers’ Market looks to be planning a return to Waterdown’s Memorial Park the end of May, 2021. Wishing the market the best and success in its historic location!

This article was produced by the Flamborough Heritage Society and Archives as a brochure in 2014.


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