It’s a sign of the times for the future of the old Chemainus Foods location, as Laurie Douglas looks forward to the building becoming a cornerstone of downtown Chemainus again. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Filling central space important to Chemainus

Former Chemainus Foods location to house a market that could bring renewed vibrancy

There’s no business like more business.

There was a time not long ago, even as recent as late last year, that a great deal of concern was being expressed about the state of business affairs in Chemainus.

Vacant storefronts were becoming far too numerous, not a very good situation for a tourist-based town.

But there’s been a remarkable sudden turnaround that bodes well for the future.

With the new downtown library rapidly springing up and Jon Lefebure’s multi-family housing development starting to take shape a short distance away on Willow Street, the construction activity awakened Chemainus from its slumber.

And now we’ve found out about some big plans for the long-vacant former Chemainus Foods building.

That site right smack dab in the middle of the downtown core has long been considered a vital space for the town.

It was important for the right fit to occur and, after considerable rumours, we now have an answer with a multi-faceted market, fish and chip establishment and other surprises to come later in the works for an October opening.

The market will cater to all sorts of needs and is sure to attract considerable attention based on its prime location.

As has been said so often before, Chemainus needs to reinvent itself and this helps make that happen. You can’t expect the status quo to continually attract tourists because those who’ve been here before want something new.

The combination of business enterprises to suit tourists and locals as well as an event calendar filled with music and activities will surely draw a regular slice of the tourist crowd.

At the same time, there needs to be an evolution among other business owners. The market intends to be open seven days a week and later in the day so everyone doesn’t go home at 5 p.m. and the town shuts down.

A 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. operation in this day and age just isn’t going to cut it, unless the business owners really don’t care that much about maintaining their revenue stream.

The market and accompanying amenities will surely set a new standard for the town that will make a difference in so many ways.

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