We moved to Kitchener in December 1970. My mother was a very industrious homemaker and rode her bicycle to the Kitchener Stockyards market near the railway tracks at River Rd and Hwy 7 to buy produce. At that time Kitchener had a thriving downtown outdoor market but in the early 1970s the old city hall was demolished and the market was moved to the basement of a new mall and parking garage. The soul of the Kitchener Market withered and many vendors, including Old Order Mennonites stopped selling their goods at the new market. The Kitchener Stockyard merged with the Waterloo Stockyard near St. Jacobs and a new outdoor market started to grow north of the city. A few years later the main market building was constructed and the market expanded quickly becoming a major tourist attraction.
|Hot apple fritters were worth the drive to the market
|Inside the building after the fire and before the fire
|Outside the building before and after the fire
Today the market re-opened just three days after the fire and I arrived early before work. Some vendors were still unpacking but I quickly found the fresh apples and tomatoes I wanted.
The heat of the fire damaged a nearby Conestoga wagon and signs at the entrance to the auction building. The firemen did a good job of keeping the fire from spreading to other structures.
Today's market was a celebration of harvest, of life and perseverance. The community came out to support the three hundred remaining vendors. The sixty vendors affected by the fire suffered significant losses but people are rallying to help them through this crisis.
This market is not a building. It is made up of people who sell and buy and meet with friends. Burned posts stand in the background but life goes on in the foreground.
Don't believe the newspaper headline. It was written by someone who does not feel the heartbeat of this community. This market is NOT destroyed!