If world museum standards for cities could be measured on a scale of 1 to 5, Montreal can be considered 4. That means visitors will find ample reason to buy a multi-museum pass. It features a strong collection of historical museums. Its fine art and archeology museums are noteworthy and its science and contemporary art museums are top shelf — though not Louvre, Smithsonian or Getty Museum level. Since Montreal and Canada played a large role in the Underground Railroad, it would be nice to see a top museum dedicated to Immigration.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal
This distinguished museum has a refined selection of traveling, temporary and permanent art exhibitions. It has hosted world-renowned exhibitions over the years, including art works by European and Canadian masters, artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamon. It features more than 30,000 art pieces in the permanent collection, including paintings and sculptures by Canadian, European, Inuit and Native Canadian artists, as well as various artifacts, prints and drawings from across the globe. The museum boutique includes posters, art cards, books, mugs, sculptures and crafts. Items sold at the boutique were inspired by exhibits at the museum.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue 11a-5p, Wed-Fri 11a-9p, Sat-Sun: 10a-5 p
ADDRESS: 1379 Sherbrooke O, Montreal
Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montréal
Founded in 1964, this venue promotes and preserves contemporary Quebec art, while hosting Canadian and international contemporary art through exhibitions, various animation activities and a wide range of programmes. Located in the Place des Arts, it is the only museum exclusively devoted to Contemporary Canadian Art. The Museum’s permanent collection features around 7,000 works of art from 1939 up to today). Among those, 60% are the works of Quebecois artists and it includes the world’s most extensive collection of works from Paul-Emile Borduas. During art art workshops hosted at the Museum, participants create their own works of art based on a work from the museum’s collection, while trying out different techniques, media and materials; The museum also conducts multimedia events, performances, contemporary music, video and films.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 11a-6p, Wed 11a-9p
ADDRESS: 185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal
Centre des Sciences de Montréal
Offers a vast array of interactive exhibits of major scientific and technological breakthroughs of our time. Located in Montreal’s Old Port, the Centre includes an IMAX cinema, shops and a small food court; the centre has a collection of exhibitions targeting kids for inspiration to become a great scientist! Three permanent, fun exhibitions are on show. The Centre is proud to feature multimedia challenges to games of skill with basic scientific concepts explained behind them. Specific activities are also regularly organized for kids over one or two weekends.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 10a-4p, Sat-Sun 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 2 Rue de la Commune Ouest, Montréal
Centre d’Histoire de Montréal
Opened in 1983, this boutique-like 16,000 square foot historical museum presents temporary exhibitions related to life in Montreal. The Centre d’Histoire de Montreal (CHM) offers visitors a glimpse into the city from 18th century to present day. The museum features a permanent exhibition divided into five historical eras. Historical photographs, models, objects and artifacts illustrate the development of Montreal through the ages.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun: 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 335 Place d’Youville, Montreal
Bank of Montreal Museum
Located on Saint Jacques Street in Montreal, across the Place d’Armes from Notre-Dame de Montréal. The Bank of Montreal is the oldest bank in Canada, founded in 1817. The operational head office of the Bank of Montreal was moved to Toronto in 1977 due to political instability in Quebec. The centerpiece of the complex is the Bank’s Montreal Main Branch, a Pantheon-like building inspired by the design of the former headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh; the bank museum presents a reproduction of the first teller’s wicket and immerses visitors in a 19th-century banking environment with its remarkable collection of objects and historic documents.
DAYS & HOURS: Monday to Friday, 10a-4p; closed on holidays
ADDRESS: 129 Saint-Jacques, Montreal
Bibliothèque et Archives Nationale du Québec
The Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec merged with the Grande Bibliothèque du Québec in 2002. Another merger, the National Archives of Québec and the National Library of Québec in 2006, was formed to broaden the outreach of heritage materials while providing the services of a national public library.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Thu 10a-10p, Fri-Sun 10a-6p
ADDRESS: 475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, Montréal
Musée McCord d’Histoire Canadienne
The McCord was established in 1921 as one of the most important museums of Canadian history. Having relocated three times due to growth, the museum is now houses more than 950,000 artifacts and documents concerning the social, cultural and archaeological history of Canada from 19th century to present. It possesses the most comprehensive collection of clothing made or worn in Canada; an extensive collection related to Aboriginal history and art; and the Notman Photographic Archives. Cultural Activities and Guided Tours.
Workshops, lectures, guided tours and family activities help you further explore the Museum’s collections.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri 10a-6p, Sat-Sun: 10a-5p
ADDRESS: Sherbrooke Street West in the former McGill Union Building
Château Ramezay Museum
Originally constructed in 1705 as the residence of Claude de Ramezay, it is the first building classified as a historic monument in Quebec in 1929. Ramezay was governor of Montreal. By 1745, the elaborate riverside mansion was being used as a storehouse by the French West Indies Company, who made the Chateau their North American headquarters until the British conquest of 1760. Under the British, the Chateau reverted back to its French Regime roots as the centre of governmental power in Montreal. In 1775-1776, it was temporarily captured by invading American forces who wanted Quebec to join with the fledgling United States of America. Chateau Ramezay played host to Benjamin Franklin, who was sent to convince Montrealers of the benefits of joining with the United States at war with Great Britain.
DAYS & HOURS: Daily: 10a-6p, except holidays
ADDRESS: 280, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montreal
Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History Pointe-à-Callière
The museum is located on a the site of the founding of Montreal in 1642. The museum gets its name from a 17th century French colonial named Chevalier Louis-Hector Calliere who had a house on the same piece of land in 1688. The museum opened in 1992 in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Montreal. The museum is divided into four sections and is home to the remnants of Montreal’s city walls, a warehouse, a customs house and an inn. When Montreal Was Born exhibit is a must see. Ruffle through artifacts showcasing the colorful history of Montreal, our friend to the north.
DAYS & HOURS: Sept-June Tue-Fri 10a-5p, Sat-Sun 11a-5p; July-August: Mon-Fri 10a-6p Sat-Sun 11a-6p
ADDRESS: 350, Place Royale, Montreal, QC, H2Y 3Y5