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Christmas / Noël, Verdun
Photograph: Caroline Perron

Live it up and shop local with these Montreal Christmas markets

Shop local and discover some gems perfect for the holiday season with any one of these Montreal Christmas markets

Written by
Leigh KP
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UPDATE, December 2020: While retail is currently permitted to operate throughout Montreal's red zone status, your average Montreal Christmas market is going to look different this year with moves online and limits on indoor gatherings. Even then, there's a lot to check out, and we've done to work in tracking them all down for you.

With its cheap rent and carnavalesque vibe, Montreal is a haven for artisans and craftspeople, and that means some choice holiday shopping at a Montreal Christmas market. If you’re looking for that perfect, unique curio to treat your family or friends with (or take it up a notch as your office's Secret Santa), you’re in luck: November and December are busy with markets that display the best work from the best artisans in the 514, and from Mile End to Downtown Montreal, and it’s one of the best cheap things to do when you’re looking for ideas. Some feature luxury goods, some offer kitchy items for that ugly sweater wearer in your crew; whoever you’re buying for, you can be sure to find it at one of these events.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in Montreal

Where you'll find the best Montreal Christmas market

This year, Montreal's swankiest Christmas market for showcasing creators from all disciplines is taking place both online and by appointment at the Habitat space in Place Ville Marie. While you can shop online now, from December 3 onward you can go to the 23rd floor of 1 Place Ville Marie to get a taste of the experience in-person.

Taking its name from souks of North Africa, Souk hosts THE crowd in which to be seen during the holidays. There, you’ll find Montreal fashionistas and artists sipping wine in very expensive black outfits as they shop for clothing, fine jewellery, specialty foods, and sleek, modernist furniture. It's a little pricey and does not allow entrance to children under normal pre-COVID circumstances, but it’s definitely worth a trip, if for no other reason than the people watching.

Since November 26 and every weekend until December 20, the Montreal Christmas Village takes over the Atwater Market. Aside from the chalets featuring Holiday treats and trinkets, families can enjoy a visit to Santa’s workshop, buy a Christmas tree, sample Sugar Shack fare, and—during the Before Times—catch choir performances along with a kid-friendly Elves’ Kingdom to entertain your kiddos. This year, it's all about the snacking, shopping and gifting.

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From December 5 until January 3, 2021, the area around Place des Arts is coming alive with an all-new "magical and luminous fairy-tale journey" through some snacking and sojourning options in the open air. Above all, it's a Christmas-y envrionment modelled after a traditional Alsatian Christmas to enjoy some festive lighting and to get into the spirit after you've picked up gifts elsewhere downtown and right before you picked up dinner. 

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The L'Orbite collective artisan space, Old Montreal's best-kept secret to buy plants and more, welcomes several local artisans across a variety of artistic disciplines to create a Christmas market this season. Here's another great reason to (re)discover Old Montreal and get to know some cool creators from the city. If anything, it's a good spot to pick up some decorations for the season.

Chef Marie-Fleur St-Pierre is welcoming Montrealers to her little Christmas market at the Meson restaurant, every weekend from 10am to 3pm until the end of the year. There's delicacies to be had on the menu of course, but several surprises are being announced as the weeks go by. For example, they hosted Le Veille Europe most recently, who set up shop to sell all kinds of imported goods.

 

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Etsy is an economy of its own, with millions of vendors selling all things cute and homemade. Normally happening for one weekend in December, this year's edition took place in November, so if you missed out, you can always check out their 2020 holiday gift guide for some ideas. Until the event can gather as normal again, when its contingent of vendors from Montreal and the rest of Quebec descend on Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in Hochelaga, we'll have to settle for what's online. Presented by the Montreal Etsy team, the markets run throughout the year, but the last is perhaps the largest. You’ll find clothes, home accessories, and Christmas-themed products.

Pop Montreal is best known as a music festival, but the organization has extended to present literary, art, and fashion festivals, all under the Pop umbrella. It is also the organizing body of Puces Pop, a craft show that features Montreal artisans who make everything from cards to clothes to pottery to hand-carved toys—like real-life elves. Just be warned, it’s a victim of its own popularity: Puces normally gets extremely crowded, but lucky you, this year's winter online edition is beginning on December 04, 2020 and will run until March 01, 2021—perfect for Christmas and all gift-giving occasions thereafter.

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One of the longest running craft fairs, the Salon des Métiers d’Arts features over 350 exhibitors in Downtown Montreal’s Place Bonaventure. In English, it is called the Montreal Craft Show, but you’re more likely to hear it referred to as Salon des Métiers, or simply Métiers. Getting a stall at Métiers is very competitive, so you know you’re seeing the best of the best when you visit—online, that is. This year, it's running as an online edition until December 20, 2020. 

Every weekend since November 21 until December 20, this combo of a bistro, café and high-end grocery shop is turning into an Italian Christmas market. Everything's been safely set up to peruse the selection of gift ideas they'll have on display, in addition to serving both hot chocolate and mulled wine to enjoy. Enjoy thematic stations throughout the space, ranging from a cocktail table to arts, crafts, and gourmet gifts. It's hard not to leave without a gift basket and perhaps a plans for your holiday menu at home.

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Explore the outer regions of Montreal with a trip to the Assomption Christmas Market. It’s an hour drive from Downtown Montreal, but worth the journey. Running since November 28 until December 23, once you’re there, you’ll find rows of adorable shacks filled with Christmas-themed products. Cultural activities run throughout the market’s four weeks of operation. Check out their program and try to catch a performance of the traditional gigue Québécoise.

Make a weekend out of this trip and treat yourself to a mish mash of European traditional activities and products—all nestled in the heart of Quebec City. This year, it's taking place from November 21 to January 3, 2021. The grounds are designed to mimic historic German Christmas markets with wooden kiosks featuring crafts, treats, and beer. While you’re there, check out the impressive antiques shops in the old town centre.

More of the best things to do around Christmas in Montreal

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