Bonsecours Market is located in Montreal, Quebec and is also called the Marché Bonsecours. For over one hundred years it was the largest Montreal public market. It was opened to the public in 1847. In 1849, the market was used for one session of the Legislative Assembly. The design of the market was influenced by the architecture of the Dublin’s Customs House.
History of Bonsecours Market
The market was designed by William Footner and construction began in 1844. Footner was very insistent that the Bonsecours Market be a superb example of Canadian architecture. The market was the Montreal City Hall’s home from 1847 until 1878. During this time, a large concert hall was added to the East Wing and was designed by architect George Browne. Additionally, a banquet hall was built that was used for musical events and large parties. The Bonsecours Market was also a place where citizens could purchase local produce from nearby farms. The market closed in 1963 after being abandoned for several years. The following year, substantial renovations were made so it could be used for city government offices. In 1992, the market had become an information and exhibition complex for Montreal’s 350th anniversary.
The Bonsecours Market was built in a neo-Classical style and has a long façade and colonnaded portico. The portico’s Doric columns were made in England and cast in iron. The building is crowned with a silvery dome. It can be seen most anywhere in Montreal and sailors used it as a landmark when they were on the St. Lawrence River.
The Bonsecours Market Today
Currently the market is used for many purposes. There are banquet rooms and an exhibition hall that can be rented. The main and second floor areas have restaurants, outdoor cafes, boutiques and a high-end shopping mall. The Cabaret du Roy is a unique restaurant where guests can dine in an eighteenth century atmosphere.