Home of the Holiday Market - a parking lot that will be transformed into a winter wonderland

By Pepper Parr

November 22nd, 2021



Getting the plans for a Holiday Market off the ground and into the minds of the public was a little awkward and far less than transparent – but they are closer to liftoff – which is December 9th to 12th – all to take place in a parking lot.

The event is free – the opportunity is to see what merchants in the area have to offer. The idea was patterned after the immensely successful German Christmas markets: Burlington wanted one of its own and after more than a year of thinking about it and sifting through various ideas, Brian Dean, Executive Director of the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) and Peter Van Dyk thought they had an idea that could fly.

The Holiday Market will fill the space in this parking lot. This is the view looking east.

It was to be an event supported in a big way with sponsorships. The initial effort to land a major bank didn’t work out.

Sponsors as of November 18:
PV & V Insurance
SB Partners
Core Development Group
Rick Burgess of Frederikse Law

With the Poacher on the west end and The Dickens on the eastern end there will be no problems for those looking for an Adult Libation

The list of vendors is growing. Some of those set out below will not be present for all four days – a schedule will be posted on the website stating which vendors will be present on which days.

Joseph Tassoni
Bodega Wellness
Do + Dare Undie Co. Ltd.
Miss Bailey Brown
The Handmade House
Agora Marketplace
La Crème de la Crème
Burlington Downtown Business Association & Tourism Burlington
Water’s Edge Salon & Spa
Omi’s Sweet Treats
Pop Balloons Pop
Wheat Queens & Pretty Things
Wicker Blues
Your Local Boulanger
Ash Designs
Backed By Bees
Bu Candles
Candles and Palms
3 Girls x Curated Goods
French Lunch
Get It While It’s Hot
Ivy + Soy
Kelso Lavender

Musical acts will be confirmed closer to December 9. At this point there are several choirs lined up.

The Holiday market people are working with Sound of Music to determine if some of the talent they work with can be available.

Noise was a concern – no assurances at that level.

There was mention of alcohol being available. Talks with the people at The Poacher didn’t go very far – they apparently had some liability issues.

This is an evolving initiative with a lot of unknowns and great aspirations.

The web site for the event

Hours of operation:

Thursday December 9: 4 pm-10 pm

Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11: 11 am-11 pm

Sunday, December 12: 11 am – 7 pm

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3 comments to Home of the Holiday Market – a parking lot that will be transformed into a winter wonderland

  • Hilary Durrant

    Well here we go, let’s have the Holiday Market. Try and get businesses back on their feet, bring some cheer into peoples lives. Let the children have their make-believe elves and Santas, give parents credit that they know what they can do with their children. Lets celebrate ‘carefully’, it can be done.
    If the authorities think that it is best to cancel, then they will.

    I have just heard that there is a new Covid variant in several countries, just about to start its rounds, round the world again!
    So do we have lock down again, stop the Holiday Market, stop many businesses trading, stop Christmas, stop new year, stop celebrations?
    More businesses going out of business, more unemployed, more deprivation.
    Yes, Covid may bring more deaths, but actually that is a natural phenomenon, this is nature doing its work, it stops over population, but it will keep the healthy and strong specimens.
    This virus is not going away anytime soon.
    It’s been 2 years now since Wuhan.
    I think it is about time that we get use to wearing masks. If people stop touching their mask with their hands that will make a big difference, sanitise hands and try to keep your distance.
    This is the new normal, people are going to have to get used to it.
    We can still enjoy the Holiday Market. I’m going to.

  • Penny Hersh

    This Holiday Market is a takeoff of the German Christmas Markets that have been taking place for years.

    Many of these markets have been cancelled for 2021 due to an increase in Covid 19 cases.

    Ontario has been seeing an increase in Covid Cases, would our City Council cancel this market to protect its residents? Or wait until the Ontario Government, who has already put on hold the next step of opening up the province, decides that it is not really safe to have all these people milling around in one area.

    This virus is spread as we know through vapour droplets and this market would be an opportune place to increase the spread of the disease.

    Booster shots for the vaccine have been encouraged which leads one to believe that the covid 19 vaccinations are not long lasting, or not as effective as the virus continues to mutate. True, unvaccinated people are more likely to be very sick requiring ICU beds, however, there are many breakthrough cases in people who were double vaccinated.

    Yes, life has to go on but we don’t have to encourage people to potentially put themselves in a situation that can make them sick and threaten the fragile system of our hospitals.

    I am certain some will say – YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO – STAY HOME. I have no plans to take part in this event and it is my choice to do so. What about the children, many will not be vaccinated, who will be coming with their parents? Do they have a choice?

    • Mary Hill

      Many business owners seemed in the dark about the specifics of the 4-day holiday market running from December 9th to December 12th, either because they didn’t have time to keep up with things (they were too busy struggling to keep the doors open)…

      “It would be difficult to participate, to go and haul something over there would be a little tricky,” Joelle said “but hopefully it brings more people downtown.”

      “I’m concerned that we’re gonna have a lot of people down here and they’re not going to be redirected into the Village because a lot of people don’t know the Village exists. So I’m afraid they’re going to go through the parking lot and then they’re just going to go to their car and leave. People should be redirected into this area to help some of the businesses that are in here as well,” said McGillivray.

      Those are direct quotes from another Gazette article (written by Mr. O’Dowd).

      It amazes me that entreprenures knowingly pass up a business building opportunity. Sure they are having tough times but it’s like the age old adage the last thing you cut in tough times is advertising. Participating in some shape or form in this holiday market is an opportunity to mee existing and new customers.

      BTW I’m in marketing and have been for a long time (probably too long). Believe me, grab every opportunity to get your brand out there, even by piggybacking on others.

      A couple of suggestions:-

      Joelle, extend your store to have a sidewalk sale. You are close enough to attract traffic from the Market. Have someone around the market hand out flyers that direct people to your store. Hand out holiday candies

      Same for McGillivray. Get your goods onto the street outside your store. Get together with your fellow Village merchants to hire one or two people maybe in period costume handing out candy who will direct Market attendees to the Village.

      Be proactive. Don’t complain about what others are not doing for you. Act yourself.

      For the benefit of all and to correct incorrect information offered by Penny Hersh here is a link to a website that lists all the major Holiday Markets being held in Germany this holiday season. https://happytowander.com/german-christmas-market-opening-dates/

      We as a community have successfully manage our way around streetwise cafes and restaurants. Why should the Holuday market be any different?

      I suggest you all be careful and practice the same precautions as when inside a Fortinos or any other bricks and mortar store. Wear a mask all the time, santize your hands often, and social distance as much as possible.