Family Lifestyle Travel

Pointe-à-Callière Museum: Birthplace of Montreal

Where do you visit when you want to learn about the life of Montréal’s first inhabitants and settlers? No other than at Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Archaeology and History Complex. Pointe-à-Callière is the birthplace of Montreal and a National Historic and Archaeological Site.  

This post is sponsored by Tourisme Montreal. However, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my disclaimer policy to learn more.

Pointe-à-Callière is located in Old Montreal, Old Port. It presents centuries of history from the indigenous times to today and showcases some remarkable archaeological ruins right on site.   

The whole area in Old Montreal just screams so much history and culture.  They were setting up for the Public Market that was taking place that weekend. I was pretty bummed that we would miss the market as we would be off to our next stop by then. I will have to plan for next time.

Once we checked in and were provided a map, we were off to explore. There are guided tours available but we always find that exploring on our own works best especially with the boys. 

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Multimedia Show Generations MTL

I would recommend starting out your visit here with their spectacular show Generations MTL in their multimedia room.  It is projected in an incredible immersive set specially spaced with archaeological remains along with technological wizardry and artistic way that will be sure to dazzle you.

We had actually walked into this room through the exit door as we came up from an exhibit from the lower level just as people were leaving this room. We didn’t know what the room was for but was so fascinated by the archaeological remains in the lower part of the room and all the seats that overlooked it. We continued to take photos and as the entrance door opened up and people were coming in, we realized we were in a room ready for a show.

Whoops!  I guess a very nice surprise 🙂

We took our seats and put on our headphones provided at the seats and were ready for the show.

Ah-mazing!  

What a wonderful way to learn about the history of the city from no other than the people that live there.  A 17-minute show with 6 individuals proudly showcasing their heritage and story of Montreal.

Crossroads Montreal

We made our way down the stairs into the Crossroads Montreal exhibit where it showcases the history of the site beginning with the First Nations people and ending in the 19th Century.

You can see the ruins of Ville-Marie’s first Catholic cemetery dating from 1643.

Raiden was just captivated in learning about the lives of native men, women, and children of the time.

Where Montreal Began

This exhibit opened in 2017 paying tribute to Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance on how Montreal began. They were inspired by the dream of founding a mission, converting the Indigenous people to Christianity and building a new society.

Here the boys are looking into the remains of Fort Ville-Marie through a glass floor.

Building Montreal

This exhibit allows you to relive key moments in Montreal’s history starting from 1350 to today.

The boys are just fascinated with all they soaking in. Everything is so captivating and engages us through and through.

Memory Collector

North America’s first collector sewer. Built between 1832 and 1838, it was quite a majestic feat of civil engineering.

The ingenious light installed into the stone walls of the collector sewer created a mysterious and magical feel as we entered.

Quite a magical experience!

Pirates or Privateers?

This has got to be the boys’ favorite exhibit in the entire museum! An interactive ship where they steered the ship, work or sleep.  Such a creative place to be.  I am sure they could stay there all day long.  

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The exhibits are so beautiful and educational. I was surprised at how much the boys enjoyed it here. They really took their time and wanted to learn and immerse themselves into everything they were seeing.  There were times where we had to pull them to the next exhibit.

Although we spent a few hours here, I am sure there were so much more that we did not get to see or experience.

Please check out Pointe-à-Callière the next time you are visiting Montreal. You can not visit Montreal without coming here.

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27 Comments

  • Reply Image earth Travel September 16, 2019 at 7:14 am

    What a wonderful museum!
    I think more children should be taken to as many museums and art galleries as possible when they’re young to expand their minds.

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      I totally agree with you!

  • Reply Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays September 16, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Old cemeteries and lost cemeteries fascinate me. I like to think about the people. What were they like? What did they do? What were their families like? We’re they happy? It is neat that you got to see where a hundreds year old cemetery was.

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      It was pretty cool!

  • Reply Robin September 16, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Looks like you guys really made the most of your time there! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Natalie September 16, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Looks like a great museum! If I ever get to Montreal I will have to stop to visit!

  • Reply jen September 16, 2019 at 11:06 am

    THAT is really a cool experience! I love that you can go into the tunnel and see the floors of the original fort

  • Reply Jody September 16, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Wow this is very interesting lots of stuff to see and learn.

  • Reply Magan September 16, 2019 at 11:47 am

    What a great place! I’ve never been, but I’d love to see the ruins.

  • Reply Angela September 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    The show and the “pirates” part would be my kids’ favorite parts for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Lisa Manderino September 16, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I love Canada. This looks like a great museum! I would love to go!

  • Reply Kendra September 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    I love how interactive this museum is! Looks like the boys had a great time!

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      They did! They love exploring and learning new things. Museums are the best ways in my opinion! 🙂

  • Reply Liz September 16, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Looks like such a memorable family trip!!

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      It truly was. Even the boys did not want to leave Montreal.

  • Reply Candy K September 16, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I love history and archaeology. I’m adding this to our list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Jen September 16, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Looks like a great place to visit – thank you!

  • Reply Cindy September 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    What a fascinating place to learn history. I’d enjoy visiting too.

  • Reply Karla Petersen September 16, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Oh, my! I need to go see this. I would LOVE this!!!!

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Oh you would for sure!

  • Reply Maria Gustafsson September 16, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Very cool! I keep saying it, and you keep reminding me that I need to see more of my own country!

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      Yes! I say the same thing about me exploring more here in the States too 🙂 There is so much beauty to see!

  • Reply Lisa September 17, 2019 at 1:39 am

    What an awesome part of history! This looks like fun!

  • Reply Heather September 17, 2019 at 5:30 am

    It has been years since I was in Montreal. I would love to go back. Your posts have inspired me to get a weekend trip on the books.

    • Reply Lina September 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      Awesome!

  • Reply Kyndall Bennett September 20, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    This is how an impactful learning experience is correctly done!

    • Reply Lina September 24, 2019 at 5:29 am

      Thank you! We love these types of experiences.

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