From the onset, Townline knew The Hudson was destined to be something special. It began with the tasteful restoration of an iconic Canadian heritage building. From there, a thoughtful mix of retail tenants quickly earned it a reputation as being the new heart and soul of downtown Victoria. But the ultimate piece of the puzzle had yet to fall into place.
Coming soon this spring, downtown Victoria will get its own public market at The Hudson—the result of extensive dreaming, planning, and collaboration. For years Phillippe Lucas, Chair of the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, has been travelling to cities throughout North America and visiting their public markets with envy. He’s always felt they brought something special to urban centres—and considering the food culture throughout Vancouver Island, Victoria’s lack of public market didn’t make a lot of sense.
For the past nine years he’s been actively working to change that, and his efforts will come to fruition this year. Lucas says he couldn’t be more excited about the new market, an undertaking that wouldn’t have been possible without Townline and The Hudson sharing his vision. “We really appreciate their taking a chance on us,” he says.
About 70% of the space is already committed, and confirmed vendors include a butcher, baker, greengrocer, and fishmonger. “Those businesses are the cornerstones of a public market,” he explains. “They make it a one-stop shop for consumers.” In addition, some of the region’s best-loved brands will have storefronts at the market: Silk Road Tea, Salt Spring Island Cheese, and Wildfire Bakery.
Like the world-famous Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, this one will feature a mix of permanent shops and day tables for small-scale vendors. But Lucas says The Hudson market will be different from many he’s encountered, because the focus will be on local businesses and local food, without the potters, jewellers, and artists he often sees in other markets. “Our vendors are all committed to food,” he says. That helps make it more than an interesting tourist attraction; local residents can count on it as a place to do their grocery shopping.
The market will be open Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays. Seasonal farmers’ markets will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.