Dog-friendly farmers’ markets in Quebec

Dog-friendly farmers’ markets in Quebec

Not all farmers’ markets allow dogs. Here’s our listing of canine-friendly fruit and vegetable markets throughout the province.

June 30, 2019 By Louise Dugas

It’s 250C in the shade and you’ve got a craving for fresh-picked strawberries and juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes. There’s no way you would leave your dog in the car. What about the market?

It’s a good question but unfortunately many public markets don’t welcome dogs. And those which are partly indoors—such as Montreal’s Atwater and Jean Talon markets—are even less likely to roll out the red carpet for our 4-legged friends. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to travel away from the province’s urban centres, we have a few options.

“In more rural communities, where markets are either outdoors or under a market tent, animals tend to be tolerated,” says Jean-Nick Trudel, director general of l’Association des marches public du Québec. With an emphasis on the word tolerated, according to Trudel.

“Food and animals don’t always go well together,” says Trudel. “There’s a specific law to this effect. But because it’s a contentious subject and public markets are supposed to be friendly places, we let our members decide whether or not to limit dogs’ access to their markets.”

Farm visits

Farmers’ stalls can be a great solution. You can get listings on Mangezquebec.com and Fraicheurquebec.com.

Ferme d’Auteuil in Laval and A. Bélisle & fils in Saint-Eustache permit dogs in front of their producer stalls (as long as they’re on a leash), which is the case for hundreds of local vegetable and fruit farmers across the province.

Ferme Régis in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, north of Joliette, is a rare exception. This farm also welcomes dogs inside its store—where they sell not only fresh fruits and vegetables but also cheeses, charcuteries and other fine products—“on condition that they’re small enough to fit in the baskets specifically designed for them,” says the farm owner, Mario Vanier. The baskets have a washable cover which prevents the dog from being in direct contact with the grocery cart itself (and any fresh produce).

“People must never leave their dogs in their cars during the summer,” adds Vanier, who is a dog owner himself. “By allowing small dogs in, I’m helping out my clientele.” However, if your dog’s as big as a pony, it’s not going to work. “In the past we accepted all dogs, until someone brought 2 massive Great Danes and I had to lay down some rules. Some clients dislike the “dog/food” combination and others are scared of dogs, we must respect that.”

We hope these suggestions will help you and your dog get your fill of summer market moments.

Do you know a farmers’ market in Canada that welcomes companion animals? We’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line at info@pawsie.ca.

Photo credit: Ferme St-Régis

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