The Atwater Market has always been one of my favourite spots to go during the summertime. The variety of flowers, fresh produce, and organic spices all mixed together to make it one of the sweetest smelling places in the city. But, with everything going on lately, I wondered if this iconic spot would be looking different than it had in summers past.

So, I took a stroll through it to see what had changed and what hadn't.

The most obvious change, besides the drop in number of people there, is that you cannot just walk in and out as you please. Instead, there's a line you wait in and must remain at least two metres from others. 

Once in, you're instantly asked to use disinfectant on your hands. You also then find a disinfectant spray in every different section.

I see no reason to complain about any of this. Government guidelines are being followed and we're all able to remain as safe as possible.

Can we ever really get mad at being kept safe?

Once I walked in, I could smell the different flower fragrances and had some serious déja vù. Or déja senti, I guess.


Employees in the plant section were as willing to help as ever.

But this time around, the majority of them were wearing protective face shields, and the rest were wearing face masks.

In this section, there's a sign that reads "Please! You Touch You Buy..." which is basically self-explanatory.

If you ask me, this is a great way to stop the potential spread of contagion.

As for the produce section, things weren't the same as I had remembered.

Mainly because there's now a protective layer of plastic in front of all the products. 

And now, instead of picking things up on your own and bringing them to the cash, an employee does it all for you.

So it's both safe and efficient! A win-win.

And to my surprise, the inside part of Atwater Market was still open as well. But, it was far from busy. 

Maybe it was because I was there when it first opened, maybe it was because people don't know that they can still go in this part.


All over the ground, you saw stickers like the one above reminding people to keep their distance from one another.

The other huge difference is that the restaurant seating area is closed. The restaurants remain open, but only for takeout.

And where all the tables used to be, there are now chains up to create lines where people can remain distant while ordering food.

One thing's for sure, the market is as colourful as ever!

This experience definitely put me into perspective about how easily germs can spread, and why I shouldn't go around touching every colourful thing I see.

Still, I admit that I'm so happy the Atwater Market is remaining open this summer so that I can go get my fruits and vegetables somewhere that I know is both local and fresh.

Stay safe, Montreal!

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