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Les Marchés Publics de Montréal
May 13, 2021

Behind the scenes

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Behind the scenes

Like a caterpillar, we’ve metamorphosed to welcome you for the summer! Are you curious about what goes on inside a future butterfly’s cocoon? This week, we present an exclusive look inside our markets during their seasonal transformation. From walls coming down to colourful fresh paint to snowy days, you’ll see Jean-Talon and Atwater markets in a whole new light.



The walls protecting the market’s vendors during the winter had already been taken down when we started photographing Atwater Market. Under a grey April sky, we watched metal greenhouse frames gradually take shape. A few steps farther along the pavement, the green doors of the winter market and a stack of iron bars waited to be collected and taken to storage. The next day, there was a surprise snowfall! Awnings had to be folded up quickly to prevent them from tearing under the weight of the fresh snow. A truck arrived to take away items to be stored for the warm season. As luck would have it, the sun returned for the end of the work. A few seedlings and flowers were already on display, a delightful preview of the complete selection to be found in the colourful greenhouses starting in mid-May.


At sunrise on April 26, the market was completely silent. Vendors had stowed their things the night before, to give the workers the room they need. It was the calm before the cacophony. For two days, the walls came down one after another, letting the fresh spring air fill the space. Stacks of white insulating panels could be seen everywhere. The next step would be to clean the entire floor. After a pass with brooms and mops, it was time to bring out the heavy artillery to spray away the last traces of winter. The vendors’ trucks started to appear one by one. The next step was to assemble their stands. Screw a board to a frame here, assemble a table there – it all happened amidst the unmistakable smell of fresh paint. The excitement was palpable. Summer is around the corner, to the great delight of every Montrealer.


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