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The Marché Maisonneuve

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As we approached the Marché Maisonneuve, our excitement grew. We love visiting markets, especially when they’re set inside buildings as beautiful as this one. But within seconds of stepping inside, our enthusiasm disappeared. The market which once graced its interior is gone, and the building is now used as a community center. Today, there was an amateur arts and crafts show.

Marche Maisonneuve

But even if there wasn’t much to see on the inside, the Marché Maisonneuve remains a handsome building. It was built in 1912, and designed by architect Marius Dufresne, whose former home we had already toured. For years, the Marché Maisonneuve served as a public market, although it was closed in the 1960s. Today, it opens up on weekends for special events.

If you’ve come in search of fresh fruits and vegetables, you won’t have to go far. The new Marché Maisonneuve is found just meters away from the old one; basically in its parking lot. Set inside a modern hall, the new market is packed with excellent shops selling everything you might need: a bakery, a greengrocer, a fish monger, a health food store and more.

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In shopping terms, we actually preferred the Marché Maisonneuve to the Atwater Market, because it was a little more down-to-earth; the kind of place we could actually see ourselves shopping at regularly. Now, if they could just get all these shops back into the original building, it’d be perfect.

Location on our Map
Marché Maisonneuve – Website

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May 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm Comments (0)

Godspeed You, Montreal Music Scene

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As we were walking through the Underground City, near the Place des Arts, I spied a poster out of the corner of my eye. Godspeed You! Black Emperor would be playing in a couple days. They’ve long been one of my favorite bands, and I had completely forgotten they were from Montreal. Before Jürgen had a chance to protest, I raced over to the counter and scored us a couple tickets.

For years, I’ve wanted to hear GY!BE’s soaring, orchestral music in a live setting and the show, held in the Théâtre Maisonneuve, was as great as I had hoped it would be. The band teamed up with award-winning local dance troupe Holy Body Tattoo for a performance called Monumental. It was an inspired combo: GY!BE’s droning and emotionally-exhausting music paired with an intense, bizarre and brutally physical dance, which seemed to be about the insecurities and frustrations of modern life.

Montreal is famous for its indie music, but I hadn’t realized just how big the scene is. A couple days after the GY!BE show, I looked up “Bands from Montreal,” and was stunned by the list. It was like scrolling through my music library… a shocking percentage of bands I listen to come from this city. There’s Majical Cloudz, Ought, Patrick Watson and Tim Hecker. Remember the Unicorns and the Stills? And more recent acts include Half Moon Run, oddball Max DeMarco and Grimes, whose Art Angels was one of 2015’s best albums.

And Wolf Parade! They’re a band I’ve been deeply in love with for a decade, and who I’ve followed through all their various side projects: Handsome Furs, Divine Fits, Sunset Rubdown and Moonface. Also, did you know Leonard Cohen was from Montreal? I didn’t! But this godfather of indie rock was born in Westmount, an affluent English-speaking neighborhood of the city.

Haha, I made it the fifth paragraph of an article about Montreal’s music scene, and still haven’t mentioned Arcade Fire. Easily the city’s most successful musical export, Arcade Fire have released one critically-acclaimed album after another, and have become one of the world’s most popular (and best) rock bands.

What is it about this city that produces such great music? Our theory has to do with the long winters. It’s an idea we first developed while in Iceland, another place with an outsized music scene. When you’re looking forward to long months of uninterrupted cold and snow, there’s nothing better to do than get together in a garage and create something.

Here’s a collection of videos featuring some of our favorite Montreal artists, and some we’re looking forward to discovering. Have we overlooked any of your favorites? What about some of the city’s French acts? As English-speakers, we’re naturally more familiar with the English-speaking bands, but there’s also a lot of great Montreal music being made in French.

Framed Photos From Montreal

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April 25, 2016 at 7:38 pm Comments (3)
The March Maisonneuve As we approached the Marché Maisonneuve, our excitement grew. We love visiting markets, especially when they're set inside buildings as beautiful as this one. But within seconds of stepping inside, our enthusiasm disappeared. The market which once graced its interior is gone, and the building is now used as a community center. Today, there was an amateur arts and crafts show.
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