Marche Bonsecours was inaugurated in 1847 and is widely considered to be in the top ten of Canada’s finest heritage building. It has become a must-see for anyone visiting Old Montreal. The Quebec Crafts Council has its headquarters in the building, which is home to fifteen “made in Quebec” boutiques. Some of the items found within the shops are accessories, jewelry, designer items, Quebec furniture, and more.
Both during the French regime and after the Conquest of the area, the area of the Bonsecours Market would become the center of both the cultural and social activities of the colony. Throughout the history of the market, many famous or prominent personalities have called Marche Bonsecours their home, including Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil.
The last Intendant of New France, Francois Bigot, called the market his home from 1749, until his eventual departure and returned to France in 1760.
The residence was purchased in 1796 by John Johnson, Superintendent General and Inspector General of the Six-Nations Indians, who then resold it in 1815 to John Molson.
Molson renovated and expanded the Mansion House Hotel, which was referred to most often as the British American Hotel. It was the location of the Beaver Club’s meetings until a fire destroyed it in 1833.
Molson’s son sold most of the land back to the city, which it used for the construction site of the Bonsecours Market. The city broke ground in 1844, and just three short years later, the market opened. Renovation of the market’s interior continued until 1852.
The market was also home to Montreal City Hall for twenty-five years until construction of a brand-new City Hall completed on Notre-Dame street in 1852.
Bonsecours Market was the primary public market in Montreal for over one hundred years. It was a direct reflection of the economic and social status of the country, which its halls will readily testify to.
The very first lessee of the Bonsecours Market was the Canadian Institute, which then organized a celebration of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in 1846. As a result, the market became the preferred location to showcase events, evidenced by the hosting of the Provincial Fair in 1850.
The market is always the place to be as it hosts exhibitions, conferences, concerts, and shows on a regular basis. It continues to evolve according to the likes and dislikes of the public, along with marked improvements in technology.
After a brief closing, the market is now re-opened, newly refurbished and restored to meet the needs of today’s market goers, as well as those of the future.
With its intimidating silver dome, the Marche Bonsecours is a symbol of modernism in an Old Montreal. A gleaming gem of Quebec’s heritage and culture, it has an updated interior design that includes several galleries for guests to enjoy.
Le Café des Arts
This gallery is a space dedicated to today’s artists who call Canada their home. Le Café des Arts take pride in providing creative and innovative artwork that shows off the talents of local Canadians.
Galerie Art et Antiquities Medius
This gorgeous gallery is an ambassador to Canadian culture through its artwork. It shares the beauty, culture, and wealth of Old Montreal. This space also includes objects and paintings of European origin from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
The high-end boutiques in Marche Bonsecours offer guests the change to discover original clothing and furniture by Quebec designers. Visitors will also find contemporary jewelry, along with many other cultural objects which reflect the diversity of the city. Some of these boutiques include:
• Art et Culture Canada
• Boutique Arts en Movement
• Labo Gourmand
• Petite Maison Bleue
• Nature et Decouverte
• Red Canoe
• Temps Libre
Nothing builds up an appetite like a day of sight-seeing and shopping, which guests will have the opportunity to do at Marche Bonsecours. While the restaurant selection is not as diverse as the boutique options, there are a few options from which to choose.
Seated in the heart of Old Montreal, this Japanese sushi house provides an authentic experience guests will not soon forget. Visitors will enjoy the ambiance and impeccable service for which this restaurant is known.
Visitors seeking a place to rest and relax need look no further than Pub Brewskey. This restaurant aims to make guests feel right at home and will do so with their variety of craft beers and whiskeys. The menu ranges from fresh Tartar to tacos, which means there is something for everyone.
350 St-Paul Street East, Old Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1H2, Phone: 514-872-7730