Years ago, an Irish setter named Finnegan roamed the west end of Hudson, Quebec, before leashes were the law. This unruly but charismatic dog owned the neighbourhood and is the namesake for the popular go to spot Finnegans Market. The first Saturday in May marks a reunion for vendors, visitors and locals.
It’s a rite for anyone visiting Hudson to go to Finnegans, the towns unofficial meeting place, where socializing and shopping are de rigueur. Its proximity to Montreal (only 50 kilometers west of the city) and its country setting replete with picnic tables, pond, a view of the Lake of Two Mountains and six acres dedicated to vendors, draw big crowds. Antiques, collectibles, comestibles, handmade items and furniture are all there waiting to be discovered.
Barbara Aird and her late husband, David, started Finnegan’s Market in 1972 as a fun experiment and a chance to clean out our barn. Barbara is a lifelong collector of Quebec pine and still sells antiques in her barn. Three generations of Airds now run the show, thanking the local community for its support with booths donated to charitable causes, especially dog-oriented ones.
Of the 100-odd vendors, many are long-timers, including 29-year veteran Ron Trudeau. By day he is a chef, but on weekends the beautiful pine mirrors he sells made from old window frames have yet to go out of style. Jack Eccless space of wall-to-wall antiques could well be an accumulation of his 26 years of experience at Finnegans, alongside antique store owner Michel Gendron. Les Cloake makes gorgeous twig furniture.
Also, food is everywhere at Finnegan’s Market! Wawel, a famous Polish bakery, sells baked goods and delicacies; Worke Bogale offers Ethiopian fare; Tutti Frutti has biscotti and strudel and theres much more. But the sweetest story has to be the McCaigs, with their prize-winning honey, champions for 10 years at Torontos Royal Winter Fair.
When strolling the stalls of Finnegan’s Market, you will hardly manage to resist the urge to buy everything your heart desires. Just remember: Time stops at Finnegans because its all about meeting and greeting; and looking under the tables may just snag you a real treasure.
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