As one of Canada’s historic industrial centres, Montreal has been a far busier place than the international focus on Vancouver and Toronto might have you believe.
From the early French attempts to establish a fur trading post and British colonial rule (yes, British!), to Montreal’s establishment as the economic capital of Canada in the late 1800s and beyond, Montreal certainly has an interesting history.
There are several interesting museums in Montreal but for the best crash course of the city’s history, especially if your visit will be brief, I suggest focusing on the development of the city and the people that chose to call it home. These are the two Montreal museums that I recommend everyone should visit.
Centre d’Histoire de Montreal
If you’re the type of person that likes to start at the very beginning, the Centre d’Histoire de Montreal will suit you perfectly. The museum explains the history of Montreal, from the indigenous people to the initial establishment of the city, the effect of immigration and development to the modern city of today.
Displays include interesting historic photos, maps, a range of media formats such as newspapers and magazines, and other artefacts. Interactive panels enable visitors to explore specific moments in the development of the city, and its culture, in more detail.
Changing exhibits that focus on specific periods or occasions within Montreal’s history are also housed at the museum, as well as separate exhibitions.
|Centre d'Histoire, Montreal, Canada|
Both a historic site (built in 1705) and now also functioning as a museum, Chateau Ramezay visitors can explore a historic house, while viewing the exhibition of historic artefacts and paintings.
Visitors can learn about the lives of the inhabitants of the city at various periods by listening to interactive recordings as they progress through the exhibition.
From artefacts belonging to indigenous tribes to items owned by the British and French people that came to Montreal later, the museum is full of interesting items all providing an insight into life in Montreal through the years.
Chateau Ramezay is more than just a museum though because the museum contents are displayed in what was once a prestigious residence, now one of Montreal’s oldest buildings, so visitors can admire the ‘New France’ period architecture up close. Some rooms have been restored to reflect how they once were enabling visitors to effectively step into history.
|Beaver and indigenous artefacts, Chateau Ramezay Museum, Montreal, Canada|
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