Inaugurated in 1847, Bonsecours Market is an iconic building situated in the heart of Old Montreal near the harbour and close the city’s main east-west thoroughfare – Notre Dame Street. Having served for one year as the Parliament House of a United Canada and as Montreal’s City Hall for twenty five years the building represents one of the most important historical sites in the country. In the 21st Century it has been repurposed to house shops and boutiques to become a major tourist magnet in this part of Montreal. Tinning painted this scene in 1939 when Bonsecours was the chief public market for fresh produce and meat brought in daily by farmers from the surrounding countryside.
Access to Bonsecours became problematic as the city expanded from the narrow, harbour streets around the Market. Gosford Street tunnel built in 1931 under Notre Dame Street allowed easier access to Bonsecours and went under the turreted east wing of the Château Ramezay – as seen in the painting below. [The tunnel was closed over in 1998]. The mansard roof of Montreal City Hall is seen in the background.