My father bought the house I still live in today because of the Jean-Talon Market. We buy 98% of our produce from there. My earliest memory of the market was when I was about 4 or 5 years old when the family who still sells the best sweet corn in Montréal handed me a fresh corn on the cob with butter. As soon as she arrives in July, I sit with her for a few minutes every day and get my corn treat.
This is not a flea market, nor is it a market with arts and crafts. This market is purely about fresh local products.
It’s open year-round, 7 days a week and closed on Christmas Day and New Years day. The products change according to seasons.
The majority of the products sold outside come straight from farm to market, travelling less then one hour. Each stall will have a photo and a description of the farm telling you the distance their products are sold. The products are labelled and tells you where they are from.
The farmers are happy for you to taste the products before buying. The producers and customers are loyal to each other. And Montrealers don't buy everything from one stall but rather buy things at the stall that specialise.
There are chefs in the all the City run public markets with tastings and recipes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Several bakeries where, we Montrealers, bring our papers have a café au lait and something fresh before we start our shopping.
There are two fish sellers and one of them prepares fresh calamari when it arrives on the spot. During oyster season they have oyster of every type for lunch.
Montrealers love their cheese and there are several cheese sellers, an oil store, spice and herb store, fantastic coffee, sweets, a Mexican speciality grocery, a middle eastern special grocery, Italian, Asian. There is a section for exotic fruits of any kind that you want.
A must is a speciality shop that sells all of the small artisanal products made every where in Québec including the 300+ micro breweries, maple products, peppers, foie gras, wines, ice ciders, cheese, ice cream and much much more.
A wild game 100% organic shop that sells deer, bison, wild boar. Another that specialise in wild mushrooms.
Many of the local culinary programmes are broadcast from the market.
There is a gin bar, bistro which is great for lunch, several Italian restaurants, a speciality shop for the best mini cannoli in the city.
More then 55 different cultural groups come to shop for their fresh products here and a large percent on foot or on bike.
No problem taking photographs of produce but please ask if you want the farmer and producers in your photos. Photos of children and the children from the day care centres is not allowed, nor inside small shops unless you ask for permission.
Montréal has three other city run markets and this is one of them.
The City also has local markets in neighbourhoods such as the one near the University of Montréal, or downtown. There are also pop up markets in parks and neighbourhoods with the same products sold at the markets (what many call farmers markets). We also have fruxis. Which are pedal powered fruit and veggie sellers that go door to door.
This market is where many chefs in Montréal get their produce, people driver from Vermont, Ontario and the South and North Shore to by their produce here (usually arriving by car).
Many people think that this is a better market to the Atwater but what they don’t know is the vocation of the Atwater market is the largest flower market in North America. They still have local products, but their speciality is flowers and the variety of their butchers as well as cheese, sausages with a different demographics.