Vancouver’s New West Farmers Market is a medium-sized market in New Westminster‘s Uptown district in winter and Tipperary Park in spring, summer and fall.
NEW WEST MARKET AND COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic is causing hundreds of businesses to close temporarily and for events to be cancelled. Because it’s deemed an “essential service”, however, the New West Farmers Market, fortunately, continues to operate (although in a somewhat modified format).
In response to the current health crisis, the market has had to adapt. It ended its winter season at its Belmont Street venue early, and it started up at Tipperary Park (which has more space) earlier than planned. There are also fewer vendors than normal for this time of year – just food vendors – and only a limited number of shoppers are allowed in at a time.
Other initiatives to help keep people safe at the market include fencing around the perimeter of the venue, controlled entrances, the provision of hand-washing stations, and the acceptance of just debit and credit card payments (so no cash).
Until further notice, there are also no musicians at the markets, and no food samples. Also, as of April 23rd, the market is experimenting with having shoppers go through the market along a specific route and only in a clockwise direction.
To learn more about the market and its response to the coronavirus outbreak, see the NWFM website.
For information about how the pandemic is impacting other events and places of interest in the Lower Mainland, click Vancouver, COVID-19, Closures and Cancellations.
The Farmers Market in New Westminster
Formerly called the Royal City Farmers Market, the New West Farmers Market is one of the few markets in Metro Vancouver that runs close to year-round. It’s a great market with both a summer venue and a winter venue. In total, it’s open for around ten months of the year.
Where and When
In a typical year, from May until October, the New West Farmers Market can be found at Tipperary Park on Thursdays from 3:00 until 7:00 pm. The park is located in the 300 block of Royal Avenue just a block or so down the street from New Westminster’s City Hall.
The market sets up in the parking lot in the middle of the park. The entrance is near the corner of Royal Avenue and 4th Street. There is on-street parking all around the perimeter of the park including on Royal Avenue, Queens Avenue and 3rd Street.
In late fall, winter and early spring the New West Farmers Market takes place at a different location on a different day of the week and at different times.
Instead of being a weekly event at Tipperary Park on Thursday afternoons, the winter edition of the market happens on the first and third Saturdays of the month from November until April. It operates between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm in the 600 block of Belmont Street.
Belmont Street is a tiny road that’s just one block long between 6th Street and 7th Street in the Uptown part of New Westminster. It’s about a 5-minute drive northwest of the market’s summer venue at Tipperary Park.
A variety of vendors set up stands at the market and they sell a wide range of products. On a typical day there are merchants selling baked goods, fresh produce, meats, jewelry, chocolate, honey, craft distillery beverages and other items.
The New West Farmers Market is run by a non-profit society that operates to promote the purchasing of locally-grown and environmentally-sustainable goods. Vendors from the market also work with Greater Vancouver Food Banks. Some of them sell produce to the charity at an especially discounted rate to make fresh produce accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
In addition to vendors, there is also usually a musician or two performing at the market each week, at least in the summer and when there isn’t a virus pandemic.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to the market.
TIP #1: Don’t forget to take your own reusable shopping bags.
TIP #2: Tipperary Park is a nice little park. Especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms are out, be sure to explore the Japanese-style Friendship Garden either before or after shopping.
TIP #3: Tipperary Park is just six or so blocks up the hill from Columbia Street, which is the old part of town, and from there it’s just a couple more blocks to the Fraser River. Either before or after shopping, go for a walk along the waterfront and explore Westminster Quay. It’s a lovely place to stroll and cycle along.
TIP #4: The market is a good place to pick up a lunch or dinner picnic to enjoy at the park or down by the river.
TIP #5: Shop at farmers markets as often as you can. It’s a great way to support local farmers and artisans, get fresh and good quality products, and help keep dollars in the local community.
For more information about this market see the New West Farmers Market website.
To learn about other places of interest and events in the city, see our article about New Westminster.
For a list of other similar places to do your shopping, click Farmers Markets in the Lower Mainland.