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Bonsecours Market National Historic Site of Canada

300 Saint-Paul Street East, Montréal, Quebec, H2Y, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/11/23

General view of the Bonsecours Market, showing the market on the left.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada
General view of the place
Angular view of the Bonsecours Market, showing the building on the right.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada
Front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Bonsecours Market
Marché Bonsecours
Bonsecours Market National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1844/01/01 to 1847/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Bonsecours Market is a monumental, domed masonry building that stretches a full city block in “Old Montréal”. Built in the Neoclassical style and located at the edge of the old port, it has become a symbol of the city. Originally it housed the city’s first city hall, together with a public market, meeting and exhibition rooms, and a concert hall. Rehabilitated in the mid-twentieth century, it now accommodates exhibitions, shops and restaurants. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property.

Heritage Value

Bonsecours Market was designated a national historic site in 1984 because this imposing building, the largest town hall built in Canada during the mid-19th-century, reflects the rise of Montréal to metropolitan status; and because this Neoclassical building housed both a market and public rooms and served for several years as Montréal’s city hall.

The heritage value of the site resides in its historical role in the city of Montréal and in its imposing design and construction. Originally constructed from 1844 to 1847 to designs by architect William Footner, a concert hall was added in 1852 by architect George Browne. Inaugurated in 1847 as a public market, the building also briefly housed the Parliament of the Canadas in 1849, and served as Montréal’s city hall from 1852 to 1878. Bonsecours Market continued as Montréal’s principal public market for more than a hundred years.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1984.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of Bonsecours Market include:-its location in the heart of the old city, facing the port;
-its Neoclassical style, evident in its monumental scale and long, rectangular massing, its symmetrically organized facades with a ground-floor arcade, tall central dome, and projecting pavilions, its classical detailing, including doric columns, pilasters, and pedimented entry bays;
-remnants of its original interior layout;
-its exterior masonry materials and craftsmanship.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub
Commerce / Commercial Services


Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

William Footner



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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