Montreal, April 22, 2017.- Do your grocery shopping and retrace 200 years of food in Montreal! Explore places that have marked life in the neighbourhood, like public markets, small grocery stores and the first grocery chains. Follow the evolution of products through different eras. Also, see the beginnings of the food processing industry, which develops in response to a basic need: to feed the neighbourhood and to feed the city. This is the occasion to reflect on contemporary issues and to take note of grassroots initiatives making their mark on a modern city.

As Montreal celebrates its 375th anniversary, the Nourrir le quartier, nourrir la ville exhibition is presented from May 18, 2017 until February 4, 2018 at the Écomusée du fier monde. The main texts of the exhibition are displayed in English.


<b>Épicerie Chapdelaine & frères, circa 1920.</b> Edgar Gariepy, Collection Félix Barrière, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Graphic design: Coquelicot design
Épicerie Chapdelaine & frères, circa 1920.
Edgar Gariepy, Collection Félix Barrière, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec / Graphic design: Coquelicot design

Going Grocery Shopping

People have been going grocery shopping for generations. It is a custom that dates back to a time when fresh produce was sold in markets, while basic staples and processed foods were found on the shelves of small grocery stores. Over time, independent grocery stores multiply and offer a broader range of products to their customers.

As early as the 1920s, the appearance of grocery chains like Dominion Stores and Steinberg provides major competition. The supermarket takes shape, attracting consumers with the promise of finding everything under one roof. A series of old photographs will travel you back to the heart of these bustling locations.

Industrialization leads to the rise of numerous food processing factories. Among them are Molson, Viau, the Ferme Saint-Laurent, Laura Secord and Pain moderne canadien. Containers, tools, and promotional objects all serve to recall products of another time.

Images also help to record the infrastructure required to transport and conserve food, like the gigantic cold-storage warehouse in the Old Port. At the heart of numerous shipping lanes and as the principal national railway junction, Montreal is a lively trade hub in the second half of the 19th century. It is also a chance to find out about the role of the wholesale importer, an actor at the centre of an international network. Finally – and more recently – various initiatives take root in the city: collective kitchens, community greenhouses and gardens, mobile markets…


The exhibition relies on a research of the Laboratoire d’histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal directed by Joanne Burgess, and carried out in collaboration with the Écomusée du fier monde. This project is part of the application of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec. It benefited from the financial support of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal between the City of Montréal and the Government of Quebec, and from the support of the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec.


History and community museum
The Écomusée du fier monde is a history museum that promotes grassroots involvement. You are invited to explore little known facets of Montréal culture. Discover the daily life of the working class and follow the inspiring journeys of grassroots groups. Visit the Écomusée exhibitions and the former Généreux public bath, a magnificent example of 1920s architecture.


Écomusée du fier monde
2050 Amherst Street
Corner Ontario
Berri-UQAM Metro Station

Opening Hours
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm
Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 am to 5 pm
July and August: Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 5 pm

Admission Fees
Adult: $8
Student/senior/child over 6: $6
Family (2 adults, 3 children): $16

Informations: 514 528-8444 |

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For more information, photographs and interviews:

Marie-Josée Lemaire-Caplette | 514 528-8444 |
Source: Écomusée du fier monde