Marketing has been taking place
in Galt since, at least, 1830. The first "market" by-law is dated July 23,
1866 and, among other things, specified how produce was to be weighed. As
an example, the use of any weighing devices other than those provided by the
municipality were forbidden. The market would charge the farmer a daily fee
of 10? to park his wagon on Market Square. This also covered the municipal
licencing fee to the farmer to sell his produce for that day. This dime is also
thought to be the first parking fee ever instituted in the City of Cambridge.
At that time, marketing was held daily except on Sundays.
In 1858 the new (at that time) town hall
was constructed to house municipal administration and the expanded need
for marketing space. Growth of the town forced municipal administration
to consider a separate market building. This construction was undertaken
just a few hundred metres down street.
The market, pictured above designed in the
Romanesque revival style by Fred Mellish, a local architect, was built in two
stages. The first portion, the single story part, was constructed in 1887 to
ease overcrowding in the basement of the (then) city hall where marketing was
conducted up until that time. Even then, it was thought that the new market
building was too small and less than 10 years later, in 1896, the two storey
section was added onto the front of the original structure.
This addition features a distinctive arcaded
tower entrance pointing the corner of Ainslie andDickson Streets. The main
floor of the building, where the market takes place, is 3,500 square feet.
The second floor, which covers only a portion of the main floor, has (seemingly)
always been used as community rooms.This addition features a distinctive arcaded
tower entrance pointing the corner of Ainslie and Dickson Streets.
From 1896 to 1903 the second floor was home to
the reading room of the Galt Mechanic's Institute. This "reading room" was
forerunner to the public library. Those upper rooms also served as
headquarters rehearsal hall for the Galt Kiltie Band.
In (approximately) 1977 the upper rooms were
renovated and are now used as meeting rooms by the City of Cambridge. During
the restoration, a sandstone fireplace was discovered in the Preston Room.
Today, the market is open from 5:45 a.m.
to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving
and Saturdays only for the rest of the year.