Jean-Talon market hours
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Jean-Talon Market was inaugurated by Mayor Camillien Houde in May of 1933. Its original structure was made up of a small building that could be accessed equally well, from the north or the south end of the market. The majority of transactions occurred under the long canopies outside. Jean Talon market was originally a playing field for the “Shamrock Lacrosse Grounds”.
In 1931, the city bought the field and its buildings, for a sum of $158,243. The area was paved, sewers were constructed, awnings were installed and the area was transformed. A central building, called the “chalet,” was added. It had simple and balanced lines, Art Deco patterns on the ledges and showcased a clock on its façade. It occupied the former playing field, whereas the small space situated to the west, facing Saint-Dominique Street remained unoccupied, and eventually became home to a Fire and Police Station. At that time, it housed the municipal equipment for this densely populated neighbourhood. The Fire Station is attributed to Emmanuel-Arthur Doucet.
The “chalet” was occupied by the Laval Bus Terminal and by an adjoining restaurant that served the customers of the market as well as the farmers. The first floor housed the market supervisor’s apartment as well as one other large room. At the time the northern part of the city was not well developed, so both the market and the station were the focal points for the area. By, 1961, the station and the restaurant were replaced by a municipal library and a social services center. They had both moved at the beginning of the 70’s and since then the space has been used for administrative offices.
The market’s clientele was made up of the citizens from neighbouring parishes, and was given a particular European flavour by the presence of Italian-Canadians who were accustomed to open-air markets. This also makes us speculate that the then municipal administration did not want to construct a building similar to the Atwater and Saint Jacques markets, and were content to install a series of three open areas that could be divided into merchants’ stalls. The market, as we knew it, was an outdoor one and every winter, the farmers built their own shelters so they could sell their produce. In 1983, the market designed a removable covering that could be turned into a heated mall in the winter.
In 1904, the market’s grounds were enclosed, creating an island surrounded by housing lots. This way, the only access to the park was from Shamrock Street. From 1911, houses started to appear around the park and an alleyway on the south side made the first break into the enclosure.
The market, as we know it today, is the result of a series of expansions. When it was built, it consisted of two exterior alleys with a building where the old club-house was. The street that is today called “Place du Marché Nord côté nord” was opened to allow access to the new market which led to a dead end at the back gardens of the houses surrounding the market.
In 1939, the market was given two new entrances, one at the south side at Place du Marché Nord Street as well as one at Henri-Julien Street between Mozart and Jean-Talon Streets. A map from 1943 shows the market as we know it today, with its six entrances and grounds on each end. Jean-Talon Market is different from the other Montreal markets in that it is primarily an exterior market. The market is well hidden in the midst of an urban residential area and might be missed at first glance. It’s concealed behind two and three storey residential buildings whose backyards border the market. Over the years, many of the residents, situated at the north and south end of the market, have seen their garages transformed into small food kiosks. The numerous boutiques that can now be found around the market give it a particular character.
Through the years, the Jean-Talon Market has become a major regional hub. Literally invaded by customers from May to October, it was necessary to give the market some breathing room and to evolve so it could meet the growing g clientele and the demands of new vendors interested in showcasing their products.
This led to a major renovation project in 2004 on the Henri-Julien side of the market where an underground parking lot was created, bringing the total number of parking spaces on-site to 450. In addition, 22 new specialty boutiques opened up in the building above the parking garage and 30 new outdoor kiosks have been opened by farmers and artisans from May to October. The CGMPM also benefited from the work done in 2004 to expand the existing winter mall, so that a wider variety of products could be offered. . Spring, summer, fall, winter, it's always good to walk around the Jean-Talon Market!
Since 2006, the streets of Place-du-Marché-du-nord, surrounding the Jean-Talon market, have become open to pedestrians only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. from June to October. This transformation, initiated by the Rosemont La Petite-Patrie borough, was difficult at first as some habits are hard to break, but now several years later, most everyone including the merchants appreciate this change.