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'It's very sad': Regina's Centennial Market being forced to close

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Regina’s Centennial Market (CM) is being forced to close after an inspection by Regina Fire and Protective Services (RFPS) found the building was not up to code.

“It’s very sad,” CM board president Sandra Klein said. “Vendors will have to move on.”

The market houses several local and small business vendors and has made its home in the former Sear's Clearance Centre building for eight years.

The building was constructed in 1918 and was expanded to a full scale department store in 1926 until its closure in the early 90s.

“It’s a magnificent building,” CM director Alan Goode said. “They don’t make buildings like this any longer.”

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Regina said RFPS inspectors were called to the building following “public complaints.”

“Several serious fire & life safety deficiencies were identified upon inspection and our team was working with the owner on options to remedy,” the statement read.

The building’s owners decided to not address the deficiencies.

Board members said they found out on Thursday that their beloved market would have to close.

“To find another space and do what we have done here is nearly impossible,” Klein said.

Regina's Centennial Market will be closing at the end of May. (Donovan Maess / CTV News)

In order to allow vendors a chance to find their footing, RFPS has allowed the building to stay open until the end of May when it will close for good.

“A lot of people have put their heart and soul into this place,” Klein said. “It’s bittersweet. But as one door closes, another one opens.”

The building’s owners have put the warehouse up for sale.

The market’s final day open is Sunday, May 26.

The vendors

With the announcement of the closure of their building, vendors have been left to wonder what is next.

Sharif opened Sleepy Hum at the market five years ago.

“I don’t know where I will go,” he said. “The Centennial Market gave me a chance to open my business.”

Sharif only opens his store on weekends to keep costs down.

“I may have to go to my basement and turn to online,” he said. “But that creates new problems.”

Garth Stoughton opened Driftwood Enterprises at the Centennial Market for just less than four years.

He said he will miss seeing the steady flow of customers coming into the market each day.

“It’s been a pleasure,” Stoughton said. “It’s been challenging but it’s also been rewarding.”

Goode believes the market was vital to growing small businesses and supporting local entrepreneurs.

“It wasn’t until we started looking around at other premises and the cost of rent, we realized how generous the owners have been to us,” he added. “We can’t replicate this.” 

- With files from Caitlin Brezinski 

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