‘Build vibrancy’: Street vendor pilot program coming to Dundas Place

The City of London has launched a pilot project allowing artisans and businesses to sell their wares along Dundas Place.

“The idea is to use these extra wide sidewalks that we have to build vibrancy and to invite vendors to come,” said Ryan Craven, the manager of core area programs with the City.

Artisans and businesses selling art, crafts, handmade goods and vintage or specialty retail can now apply through the City of London website to become a street vendor on Dundas Place. The program officially launched on Wednesday.

Vendors will be able to set up between Ridout and Wellington streets. The locations for each vendor will be determined by MainStreet London and the Downtown London BIA. Specific vendor locations will be selected based on a street’s space and amenities, the types of businesses nearby, and pedestrian activities.

The pilot project is aimed at engaging small businesses that are interested in operating outdoors. Brick and mortar locations will also be able to operate as vendors. Businesses will have to pay $25 fee per quarter of the year, with an annual cost of $100 to cover administration fees.

The pilot project will run until the end of this year, and then the City will evaluate whether it should continue. Vendors will also be provided with a table and tent.

Craven said the program is a low-cost option for someone who has an online business, and for entrepreneurs to try out selling their products as a vendor.

“It’s just a way for them to give it a try without, you know, spending hundreds of dollars on a spot at a festival…it’s an accessible low-cost opportunity,” said Craven.

He said one of their hopes is for online businesses to try selling their products, and if they find success, they can see if they actually want to open up a business on Dundas Street.

“It’s part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that we’re fostering,” said Craven.

He said Dundas Street is a commercial corridor and has a legacy of being London’s main street and the retail center of the City. He said the hope of the program is to introduce a bit of a festival atmosphere.

The new program does not apply to food vendors.

Vendors who do wish to apply through the City also have to provide proof of insurance. Crazen said vendors would likely start appearing on Dundas Place at the end of August or the beginning of September.

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