Saturday, 28 February 2015

Best Montreal Markets

No city is complete without a good market.  They are places for people to gather, socialize, and enjoy local products at more reasonable prices than many retailers.  Montreal has several long-standing public markets that feature a wide selection of seasonal produce and artisanal wares, as well as hosting craft fairs and events.  Here is a list of some of the best ones, in no particular order.

Bonsecours Market, 325 Commune St East
Opening hours 10 AM to 6 PM daily
This is the centrepiece of the Old Montreal district and is within walking distance of many points of interest.  he silver-domed edifice was inaugurated in 1847 and is recognized as one of Canada's ten finest heritage buildings.  It houses fifteen boutiques that carry top quality made-in-Quebec items from accessories to furniture.  In the summer months its terraces open to serve local fare.

Atwater Market, 138 Atwater Ave
Opening hours 7 AM to 6 PM daily, 5 PM Sunday
The art-deco style building situated on the Lachine Canal was established in 1933 and named after the 19th century Canadian businessman and politician Edwin Atwater.  Primarily known for the many butchers and delicatessens, it also features a diverse range of merchants and specialty boutiques that have helped build the market's international reputation.

Jean-Talon Market, 7070 Henri Julien Ave
Opening hours 7 AM to 6 PM daily, 5 PM Sunday
Originally opened in 1933, this outdoor market in the heart of Montreal's Little Italy district was once called "Marché du Nord" (North-end Market) before being renamed in honour of the first Intendant of New France.  Its multicultural merchants and flavours have earned it the local title of "Mecca of all things delicious".

Maisonneuve Market, 4445 Ontario St East
Opening hours 7 AM to 6 PM daily, 5 PM Sunday
This market in Montreal's east end is a proud example of how a neighbourhood can rally around its fixtures. After being in operation for 50 years it was closed by the municipality, only to be reopened 15 years later to take on new life thanks to the public.  Although small, its merchants serve the area with a wealth of products and experience.

Marché de l’Ouest, 11600 Salaberry Blvd, Dollard-des-Ormeaux
Opening hours 9 AM to 6 PM daily
Serving the western communities of Montreal Island, the facility has branded itself as a “gourmet stop” with specialty food stores, bakeries, and a May-to-October farmer’s market.  It also has its own cast of local characters who interact with shoppers to make their visit more enjoyable. (Site is currently under construction.)

Finnegan's Market, 775 Principale Rd, Hudson
Opening hours Saturdays 9 AM to 4 PM; May until October
Located not in Montreal proper but in the off-island town of Hudson, this market deserves special mention.  It was started by the Aird family on their farm in honour of their beloved dog Finnegan, and has grown over the last 42 years into a convivial place to peruse merchandise from antiques to locally-raised plants.  Furniture restoration is available year-round by appointment.

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