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.  

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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 thoughts on “Pointe-à-Callière Museum: Birthplace of Montreal”

  1. 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.

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