June 15 – 20, 2019
Our first stop on day four was to the Montréal Archaeology and History Museum: Pointe-à-Callière. This was a highlight of the trip and one I would recommend for anyone, especially people interested in history. One thing I love in historical museums is artifacts, and this museum was full of them. While there were many items that were recreated, there were exhibits that contained the original walls of certain buildings from the 1600s when Canada was first colonized.
This museum is in the downtown area of Montréal and is included in the Montreal Passport. Without the Passport, the rates are as follows in CAD:
While the museum focuses mostly on the early settlers and history of the city, artifacts and history of the First Nations are also included.
The Crossroads Montréal exhibit is built “in the ruins of Ville-Marie’s first Catholic cemetery, dating from 1643, and continues to the foundations of the Royal Insurance Building (1861-1951)” and then continues into a stone vaulted tunnel (built in 1832-33) on the bed where the Saint-Pierre River flowed. This was by far by favorite exhibit.
Another exciting exhibit is the Memory Collector display, which allows visitors to walk through North American’s first collector sewer (built in 1832-38). It was active until 1989 and integrated into the museum in 1992. Visitors are able to walk through the tunnel, which is filled with color-changing lights, for 110 meters (360 feet).
There are dozens of exhibits, some permanent and others temporary. This is a great site for young children and families, as well as adults. There were multiple school groups on field trips while we were there, but they were accommodating to letting smaller groups or solo explorers through the exhibits.
The Biosphere, Environment Museum
Our next stop was driving to St. Helen’s Island, which is situated in the St. Lawrence River and still part of Montreal. There are a variety of sites and attractions on this island, include our next site, Biosphère. As someone interested in climate science and environmentalism, this museum had some intriguing exhibits. This is the only museum in North America solely dedicated to the environment. This is also a site included in the Montreal Passport, but without that, the rates are as follows in CAD:
The list of exhibits can be found here. Two of my favorite exhibits were Design the Future and +1 °C: What Difference Does It Make? These focused on climate change and the need for immediate action to save the earth.
The exhibits are inside a small museum attached to the Biosphere. We did a tour that brought us outside and around the surrounding gardens and ecosystems. After, we went inside the Biosphere up quite a few floors to its lookout, which has beautiful views of downtown Montreal.
The first video below is from outside the Biosphere, and the second is from inside the Biosphere Lookout.
Casino de Montréal
Our next stop was the Casino, which was close by on the next island over, Notre Dame Island. We had never been to a Casino and really only went to say that we did and because it was included in the Montreal Passport. We were given a certain amount of credits to be used as part of that. It was an interested experience and perhaps one more suited for seasoned gamblers.
Our next stop was heading back downtown to the mainland of Montreal to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
La Grande Roue de Montréal
Our final stop of the day was to Montreal Observation Wheel, a large Ferris wheel in Old Port of Montreal. I particularly wanted to do this because we didn’t go on the London Eye when we took our trip to England, so I wanted to do this. This was not included in the Montreal passport, and ticket prices were somewhere between $13-18 CAD depending on student versus adult ticket.
After this, we headed back to the Air BNB to relax after a long day!