I’d lived in Montreal for years before I discovered the annual 18th Century Market. Now I never miss it.
The market takes place in Montreal’s first market square, Place Royale, which is between the St Lawrence River and the Old Customs House (L’Ancienne Douane), built 1836-36.
As the city is on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) people, their presence and that of other Indigenous peoples is an important part of the market. This year the birch bark canoe attracted a lot of attention.
The market always makes me wish I wrote historical fiction! It’s the perfect place to research Quebec life of that era. Need to know what kind of shoes, hats, coats, shirts, dresses they wore?
About the life of a spoon maker, cobbler, lace maker, blacksmith?
Want to try your hand at writing with a quill pen or see what it’s like to sit in the stocks? Want to know how they made a wooden bowl?
Not only do the craftspeople and actors dress up, local Montrealers do too! Hard to tell who’s who. Any moment now a thief will be apprehended and dragged off to trial in the market square!
Lots of soldiers in various uniforms – marching, carrying very large guns, drinking…or mending their shoes.
And of course, music everywhere – old Quebec songs, sea shanties, bagpipes, fiddles, pipes (recorder?), and lots of drums.
The photos below shows the back of The Old Custom House which is now part of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archeology.
Now back to work – writing my futuristic novella!
The photos are a mix of the ones I took at the August 2016 and May 2017 markets – it wasn’t as crowded last year so easier to take photos! Usually the 18th Century market happens at the end of August. It was brought forward this year to coincide with Montreal’s anniversary celebrations.
Enjoy doors from around the world at Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors – click on the blue frog!