Construction of the Bonsecours Market (architect William Footner) began 1844 and the building was open to visitors in 1847. The architect was clearly inspired by the imposing public buildings of Great Britain. In fact, the building's portico columns were cast in England.
The building took on the function of the nearby New Market - at the time, a collection of open-air wooden stalls that were filling what is now the Place Jacques-Cartier. (With the transfer of market activities to the Bonsecours building, the stalls were cleared and the square became one of the largest public areas in the city).
Currently, the building houses what can only be described as a slightly glamorized collection of souvenir shops.