Oshawa Markets anxious to return to full capacity

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Published February 2, 2022 at 3:25 pm

The on-again, off-again nature of pandemic restrictions has been difficult for everyone in retail but when you’ve got 90,000 square feet of space to market and no government funding to help out, it can be especially hard to navigate.

Erik Tamm opened the Oshawa Markets – the former Pickering Markets, which closed at the end of 2020– on October 23 (after a few false starts) at the old Zellers Plaza on Simcoe Street, just north of Highway 401. It was just starting to pick up steam, Tamm said, when the Province put the lids on full capacity on December 16 during the Omicron surge.

“Our traffic slowed down considerably,” Tamm said. “They were telling people to stay home so there were some tough weekends.”

The good news is the past two weekends have shown signs of improvement. The next phase begins February 21 when most retail can return to 100 per cent capacity, although because of the size of the Oshawa Markets they will remain at the 50 per cent level until March 14.

Proof of vaccination and masking requirements will continue to remain in place where they already exist.

In the meantime, Tamm is beefing up his food court – he has just six vendors right now, with room for 15 more. Two more are coming this weekend and another pair the following weekend. Regular vendors are still being added as well.

“We’re always looking for new tenants. It’s always changing.”

Asked if was looking forward to March, Tamm was direct. “Yeah. No kidding,” he said. “We can’t wait.”

When the Oshawa Market reaches capacity there will be more than 300 vendors – a mix of old and new – plus the 21-plus food vendors.

The Oshawa Market, which operated in Pickering for more than 47 years, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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