Renewing Market Hall

Karen at Market Hall

Karen shows off Market Hall.

What better way to start than to write about Karen, whom is the type of Facebook friend one picks up along the way without ever actually having met previously. 

We “met” because we both knew Canada’s greatest news photographer Clifford Skarstedt, and Cliff went and shot pictures of her massive redevelopment project at Peterborough’s Market Hall.

The $9-million project is overwhelming – it’s taking an old farmer’s market that has been largely neglected for decades and turning it into a performance space. I’d link to the Peterborough Examiner story, but the archives don’t seem to work. Here’s the story from Peterborough This Week.

We toured the building while I was in town for a different story, as I wore size 12 boots on my size six feet. It’s a ridiculously huge undertaking – it was never insulated, it’s on top of a bunch of retail stores and they don’t really know what they are going to find every time they rip up a floorboard.

The most interesting thing about the tour was the insulation – it comes from a quarry in Havelock  (just outside of town and home to the Havelock Jamboree), which was once used by 3M but abandoned when they pissed off out of town. 

Another interesting fact – Jian Ghomeshi from CBC agreed to narrate a DVD outlining the buildling’s history for free. All it took was a phone call, which is pretty cool.

And here’s a  maybe non-interesting fact that I thought was neat – all the farmer’s markets built 100 years ago tended to be on the second floor of these stuctures. Permanent shops enjoyed ground level access, but farmers were forced to haul their stuff up the stairs every time they showed up.

Work is set to wrap up in 2011. The pink hardhat is expected to stick around for decades longer.

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