350, Place Royale
The Pointe-à-Callière Museum reveals another side of Montreal. The modern building covers a somewhat older facet. Despite its look, the museum exposes the old side of Ville-Marie. It is located right above where Ville-Marie was founded in 1642. The archeological site and ruins beneath uncover Fort Ville-Marie, an old Catholic Cemetery and Mr. Calliere’s residence (one of the governors of France in the new land).
A multimedia, multilingual presentation (18 minutes) takes you back in time to the beginning of the city to the present day. It is like a condensed view of the history of Montreal.
Evidence of the presence and settlement of the First Nations are displayed.
In the past, the Saint-Pierre River, which was a tributary to the St-Lawrence River, was unpredictably turned into a dump with its inconveniences. It was converted to a drain and covered over at the time. The St-Pierre River has remained, hidden from the surface, at least up to the mouth of the river. As part of the display, today, inside the museum, you can stroll down the nicely lit North America’s first collector sewer, built between 1832 and 1838, via the museum.
The information on the Traite de la Paix” – Great Peace of Montreal is also explained in the museum. It is an event that M. Louis-Hector de Calliere participated in and signed along with 40 aboriginal nations. It was an historical moment.
When visiting the museum, you actually go under the old custom house and you will also have the opportunity to see numerous artifacts.
My last visit was in 2017 and I loved it. The illuminated sewer tunnel and glass floor over the old fort Ville-Marie were the highlights of the visit.
On the front step of the museum, a public outdoor art is displayed. My personal feeling towards this piece of art is mitigated and I could not link the concept with the museum. It felt detached and broken.