If you love history, art, architecture, sculpture or design you are in for such a treat when you visit Montreal. But after you’ve been to the two big boys – the Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art – where do you go to satisfy your cultural curiosity? Fear not, we’ve combed through the lesser-known gems and come up with three fascinating off-the-beaten track favourites:
The Stewart Museum: Located in the leaft nature preserve of Ile Saint-Helene (take the metro to Jean Drapeau) the museum is hidden inside a 19th century fort and offers a cool peek into life in ‘New France’ in the 17th and 18th Centuries. If you love military history, old maps, or staff in period costume, then this is the one for you.
The World Trade Centre: Yes, we have one of our own in Montreal, and it’s located in the Old Town, where most locals walk past it, oblivious, every day. The Centre de commerce mondial is home to many interesting works of art, displayed in its attractive glass enclosed public promenade. Most unexpectedly, it is also here that you can find a fragment of the Berlin wall, on display much like a sculpture or public art installation.
Pointe-à-Callière Museum: A beautiful archaeology and history museum set right by the water in the Old Port, this is a genuinely historic site, set on the land considered the birthplace of Montreal. You’ll be taken back to the native settlements here in the 14th century, through the first marketplace, an archaeological crypt, all the way to the present day. Great for those who really want to understand how it all began.