NEWS

Quebec City public market may stay in Old Port following outcry

04/24/2015 08:56 EDT | Updated 07/22/2015 07:59 EDT
After days of public outcry and even an online petition, Quebec City is now considering keeping the popular Old Port farmer's market open, at least during the summer.

The Marché du Vieux Port is currently located in the heart of the Old Quebec tourist neighbourhood.

Mayor Régis Labeaume recently announced that he wants to move it to the ExpoCité fairground site next to the city's new multi-million dollar arena.

That sparked anger and concern among businesspeople in Old Quebec who worry about the effect on tourism, as well as residents who said the market is one of the only local services they have.

An online petition against the move gathered more than 3,500 signatures in just 48 hours when it was launched this week.

The city's executive committee deputy chair Julie Lemieux said the administration is open to modifying its plans.

Lemieux said that while the market will likely move sometime in the future, all options are on the table — including turning the current location into a satellite market that would be open during the peak tourist season.

More worries for Old Quebec businesses

Moving the market is not the only project worrying business owners in Old Quebec.

The city is about to start construction work on a new parking garage and a park near the Museum of Civilization.

During construction, a parking lot near the site of the cruise ship dock will be closed.

That will mean the loss of 500 parking spaces.

Business owners said they were never consulted about the plan.

They are worried shutting down that lot will drive visitors away.

Some owners are suggesting the city set up a shuttle service to bring people in from parking lots outside of the Old Port area.

Lemieux said discussions are underway to try and reduce the impact of the project as much as possible. But, she added, there is no way to completely avoid problems during a construction project of this size.

"There is no doubt that we cannot build a $39-million park without affecting anyone," she said.

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