Port Dalhousie is a little to the west from Niagara-on-the-Lake, just past the Welland Canal. It’s one of the riverside districts of St Catharines, and it’s been busy fostering its own local Supper Market to take a regular spot at Lakeside Park. In 2016 the market was only in its second year, and it’s already proving popular – the first year drew a 2,000-person strong crowd and it’s only getting bigger from there.
Despite its success the presence of a farmer’s market in the port is more strictly seasonal than other efforts, only June to August as opposed to other town markets that manage an extra couple of months. The main reason is that this is exclusively a twilight farmer’s market – no early birds required! The vendors are open for business between 4.30–9.00pm every Tuesday for the operating period.
It’s a family-oriented event that still caters for the adults with local beverages. Market organiser Matt Swan is also co-owner of Silversmith Brewery in Virgil, who act as main sponsor of the event. Alongside the award-winning Silversmith lagers are Ironwood Estate, making some of the best cider coming out of Niagara at the moment, and wines from esteemed estates Mike Weir Wines and Stony Ridge. Food stalls, carts and mobile kitchens are in place with a healthy variety of foods and cuisines.
The market’s influence is expanding as well. In 2016 a second venue is starting up to run in conjunction with the Lakeside Park setup; the Merritt Island supper market all the way down in Welland will run on Thursday nights as a companion to the northern market.
Calling the Port Dalhousie market a ‘success’ when it’s only entering its second year might be quick off the mark, but in that short time it’s attracted a lot of local support and positive feedback. As it grows in the coming years and attracts even more variety to its stalls, it might be a contender to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s more established operation before long.