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Take a journey back in time this weekend – to an 18th-Century public market. This unique event is taking place in Old Montreal’s Place Royale and the area around the Pointe-à-Caillère Museum.
In fact, this is the exact location of Montreal’s very first public market, which took place in 1750.
Throughout the weekend, you can take advantage of products that used to be readily available in the 18th Century: specialty cheeses, buckwheat pancakes, sausages, wild fruit jams and jellies, mead, maple products, cider and even spruce beer.
Back in the 1800s, the market used to take place twice a week. Since the marketplace – in keeping with European tradition – was the city’s main public square, this was also where the bailiff would read out decrees and where peasants, merchants, innkeepers, workers, travellers, soldiers, sailors, noblemen, middle-class citizens, and civil servants mingled to buy and sell, while discussing the news of the day and the latest gossip.
To maintain historical authenticity, the current-day farmers and merchants will all be dressed in 18th-Century costumes. Strolling musicians, entertainers and craftspeople will also be on hand to make the market truly delightful for both adults and children!
Organized by the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), with help from the Pointe-à-Caillère Museum, this event is now in its 16th year.
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on August 29, 2009.