Volume 93, Issue 30

Friday, October 22, 1999


Online votes problematic for election

Market returns to downtown core

Weston's address attacks OSAP fraud

London opts to defer Western's cash request

Government money to form an alliance

Food services rolling in the dough again


Caught on campus


Market returns to downtown core

By Tola Afolabi and Jennifer Wallner
Gazette Staff

Londoners celebrated the rebirth of a community landmark yesterday as the Covent Garden Market officially opened downtown.

The 47,500 sq. ft. building houses art booths, food and produce stands and a children's theatre, said market president Doug Ferguson. Future plans include a community kitchen, a skating rink, a pizza parlor, a liquor store and a restaurant, he added.

Requirements by the city for the building proposal included a downtown location with a minimum of 200 parking spots, Ferguson said, adding the project was on a budget and would be completed within a few months.

London Mayor Dianne Haskett explained the market site's historical significance. "It is the same site on which once stood a beautiful market. We are restoring an ancient landmark," she said, referring to the original farmer's market which stood from 1956 to 1998.

Haskett also said the market would be instrumental in rejuvenating the downtown area, a project strongly supported by London's city council. "The [municipal] government was stepping in and showing confidence in the area, so the private sector would pick up the slack," she said.

London West Member of Parliament Sue Barnes said she believed the community would embrace the project. "I think Londoners will be glad to congregate at one of their traditional homes," she said.

The market's administrators are aiming to produce a diverse environment, said Kari Costley-White, founder and chair of the market's arts and entertainment committee. Costley-White also mentioned that students are essential to the market's success.

"The downtown core cannot function properly without the viability of the university," she said, adding the market encourages university involvement. "[We] encourage all musicians and artists to come and audition and be part of our process."

Arlene Rowell, retailer at Allegretti's In The Market, said she was dedicated to the market's success. "It's not a trial. We are committed to this long-term. We have invested a lot of money into this," she said.

London resident and customer Brenda Small said she visited the old market two to three times a week. "It offers an incredible variety of foods, drinks and meats. The selection is great," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999