Going on the strength of community requests, the Manor Park Community Council and Ottawa Street Markets mapped out a monthly schedule for our introductory Sip & Shop Markets. A licensed affair, the idea was to create an event based on food, drink and fun for the kids with a side of shopping.
We scheduled them for the last Saturday of every month. The first few were indoors at the new 1805 Gaspe community hub (this is now the facility’s official name). Although the weather outdoors did not cooperate, the auditorium and foyer provided safe haven for vendors and visitors alike. Local residents came to have a drink, a bite to eat and engage with local vendors. February, March and April went well.
Winter led to spring and we moved Sip and Shop outdoors for the May and June editions. Both dates had beautiful weather, great vendor attendance and live music. Sadly, very few people attended. Everyone involved was quick to blame other events across the City for poaching our crowd. That may have indeed been the case. But, Ottawa has multiple events on every weekend of the summer. If we were to work our schedule around what everyone else is/was doing, we would never do anything.
Needless to say the organizers of Sip and Shop were jolted enough by the poor numbers in May and June to cancel July and August. I am sad to announce that we will cancel all remaining Sip & Shops for this year. The risk of low turnout is too great.
Perhaps not the correct formula, we will go back to the drawing board. To start things off, we’ll hold a Holiday Market on December 2nd. Stay tuned for those details.
We are actively building up the new community hub. Here are a few other things going on at 1805 Gaspe:
Your Farm Store – a condensed version of all Ottawa Street Markets’ outdoor markets under one roof
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3-6pm
There is also an online ordering option, available for pick up or delivery.
Polaris School and Centre – a Waldorf school with a holistic approach to education
Manor Park Community Council Child Care Centre – a team of Registered Early Childhood educators creating a warm and safe atmosphere
Baccanalle Foods, Caribbean Food – tasty takeout or catering in your neighbourhood
Facilities rental – various spaces are available to rent for parties, meetings and shows.
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There are other efforts in the works to make 1805 Gaspe a destination. If you want to stay in the know, you can visit manorpark.ca , sign up for Ottawa Street Markets newsletter at ottstreetmarkets.ca or follow the property on Instagram @1805Gaspe