The Downtown Farmers Market is a medium-sized market that takes place on Thursday afternoons in the plaza outside Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Farmers Market at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza
Formerly known as the Yaletown Farmers Market, the Downtown Farmers Market used to run in the late afternoon from June until the beginning of October in the plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 649 Cambie Street near the corner of Georgia and Hamilton.
In 2019 the Downtown Farmers Market ran on Thursdays from 3 until 7 pm from June 6th to October 3rd. The market did not take place in 2020 while it searched for a new location. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
As of mid-2018, the Queen Elizabeth Plaza, where the market used to take place, has been renamed šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (pronounced, very approximately, Hootashen). The name means “a place one is invited to celebrate” in the local Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations’ languages.
About the Downtown Market
The Yaletown Farmers Market used to be one of the Lower Mainland’s busiest summer farmers markets, taking place in the 1200 block of Mainland Street in Yaletown and attracting thousands of shoppers on sunny days. In June of 2016, however, the popular market changed its name and location.
Until last year the market was called the Downtown Farmers Market. Although it happened in the plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, it was only about 5 blocks north of its original location and included many of the same vendors.
As mentioned above, the market will not be taking place in 2020. Where and when it will be in 2021, we’ll have to wait to find out.
What to Expect
At the Downtown Farmers Market you could expect the usual assortment of fruits and vegetable stalls, but also a fair concentration of vendors selling art, toys, clothing, unique gifts and other interesting handcrafted items. Some weeks there was even a knife sharpener on site, which was great if you remembered to bring your dull knives and other tools.
The Downtown Farmers Market wasn’t one of the Lower Mainland’s biggest summer markets by vendor numbers, but it was still relatively large by the size of its shopper crowds, owing both to the selection of products offered for sale and the market’s conveniently central urban location.
At its peak in the summer there were up to about three dozen or so vendors at the market, and by the end of the season, in early October, there were still about 20 or so stalls.
Downtown Market Parking
Being an urban market, the Downtown Farmers Market is conveniently located close to shops, restaurants and the Vancouver Public Library. Parking isn’t as convenient – or as inexpensive – as it is at other markets however. Public transit is great though, and there are both street parking spots and parkade lots in the area.
The Metro Parking at 649 Cambie costs a couple of dollars or so per 30 minutes and Easy Park at 688 Cambie is around the same. Also close by and even cheaper is Impark at 349 West Georgia. There the rate used to be about $3 per hour, which was pretty good for the area. Other reasonably priced parking could be found in a number of parkades a little further away just north of Georgia Street on Richards.
For more information about the market at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza, see the Downtown Farmers Market website.
For a list of other similar markets at different times and places, click Lower Mainland Farmers Markets.