Pointe-à-Callière traces the history of Montreal, from First Nations’ settlements to the arrival of the Europeans and beyond. As well as immersive and interactive exhibits, the museum also displays authentic archaeological and architectural remains including parts of centuries-old fortifications and a 17th-century cemetery.
The museum hosts several permanent exhibitions, which together provide a fascinating and comprehensive take on the city’s history. Wander through a 19th-century sewer, which was once used to collect rainwater and wastewater; learn about the history of the city at the “Where Montreal Began” exhibit, which includes parts of the original 17th-century Fort Ville-Marie fortress; and learn about key moments during British and French rule in the archaeological crypt. Children can unearth treasures at the Archaeo-Adventure workshop and relive sea battles at the “Pirates or Privateers?” exhibition.
Guided tours of specific exhibits, family tours, activities, and introductory talks take place daily and are available on a walk-in basis. Given in English and French, tours are included in the price of admission.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Pointe-à-Callière is a must for history buffs and families.
- Most of the museum is wheelchair accessible, with the exception of some parts of the archaeological crypt.
- The museum has an eating and rest area in the Old Custom Building, as well as a self-service coat room with lockers for rent and a restaurant.
How to Get There
Pointe-à-Callière is located in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). The nearest metro station is Place-d’Armes, which is serviced by the Orange Line. Alternatively, take bus 715 from the Berri-UQAM or Peel metro station.
When to Get There
The museum is closed on Monday and busiest on weekend afternoons, particularly during the summer tourist season. Come early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
For history buffs with an interest in Montreal’s past, Musée McCord makes an interesting complementary attraction to visit alongside Pointe-à-Callière. While Pointe-à-Callière showcases archaeological finds and key historic moments, Musée McCord hones in on Montreal’s social history through exhibits of clothing, photography, prints, drawings, and decorative arts, including First Nations’ artworks, crafts, and textiles.