Montreal boasts some world class museums that any visitor or local should check out. With the changing exhibitions, you’ll always have a reason to keep going back! We’ve put together a list of places you can visit on your next outing!
Enjoy Old Montreal's Best Food Tour.
11+ Exciting Montreal Museums to Visit this year!
There’s nothing like learning some new facts and taking in some art on a leisurely Sunday afternoon spent at a Montreal museum. Museums are especially great for escaping a rainy day or taking advantage of their air conditioning. We’ve compiled a list of Montreal’s best museums to visit, whether you enjoy art, history, science, architecture or any other topic!
This Old Montreal museum explores the history behind Quebec’s settlements, from Indigenous people to present day. It’s located on the very site where the French settlers first stepped foot on the island of Montreal. It’s an archaeological museum that’ll take you underneath the building to see the old fortifications that used to stand in Old Montreal.
Current Exhibitions: In addition to their permanent exhibition, there’s “Hello, Montréal” (Until Jan. 7, 2018) which looks at the history of telephony through Bell Canada’s collections. There’s also “Amazonia. The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest” (until Oct. 22, 2017) which showcases the shamanism and mythology of Amazonian peoples.
Montreal’s Fine Arts museum welcomes over 1 million visitors per year and is the 12th most popular art museum in North America. It covers a wide range of disciplines from music, art, cinema and design.
Current exhibitions: Their current major exposition is called “Chagall, Colour and Music” (Jan. 28 to June 11, 2017). It features the work of Marc Chagall and is the biggest exhibition ever devoted to him. The large selection of 340 pieces displays his multidisciplinary modernist work including his paintings, costumes, sculptures, ceramics, and his opera. See Chagall’s striking and colourful paintings and his whimsical costume designs at Montreal’s Fine Arts museum.
1380 Sherbrooke St Wz www.mbam.qc.ca
Biodome of Montreal
Montreal’s Biodome, located at the Olympic park, offers visitors a look into the different habitats of animals across the globe. From the birds of tropical climates to the animals who prefer subzero temperatures, the Biodome invites you to explore our planet’s wildlife in their diverse habitats. See the penguins in their Labrador coast climate, the monkeys of the tropical rainforest, the beavers in the Laurentian maple forest, and much more!
The Biosphere was built by the American architect Buckminster Fuller and is located in the Jean-Drapeau park. You’re invited to learn about the major environmental issues that our planet faces today, from issues with air, water, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development and more. They offer activities to help guests learn more about the issues and offer solutions to the complicated hurdles the planet needs to overcome.
Current exhibitions: “Echo 67” dives into the history and significance of Montreal’s Expo 67. The award-winning exhibition “Design the Future” is a 360-degree, immersive experience that looks at how nature can inspire our design decisions.
Upcoming exhibitions: “HabitatS 2067” (opening June 5, 2017) explores the mid-1960s sustainable urban neighbourhood designed by Moshe Safdie. “Planet MTL” (opening June 5, 2017) looks at how Montreal deals with environmental issues from having a healthy urban ecosystem to problems of traffic, snowstorms, and much more.
Belonging to McGill University, the Redpath museum boasts a collection of findings in natural history from stuffed animals to dinosaur skeletons. The museum explores the fields of paleontology, zoology mineralogy and ethology. See the skeleton of a Gorgosaurus dinosaur and the Egyptian mummies from circa 1500 BCE.
Current exhibitions: “Back to the Sea” is an exhibit on marine vertebrates who evolved from terrestrial beings. The current research exhibit is “Bioinspiration and Biomimetics: How animals and plants inspire new engineering materials and devices.”
This museum is dedicated to science and technology and makes these fields accessible to guests through their fun, interactive exhibits. They also feature the latest IMAX movies in their state of the art theatre.
Current exhibitions: Some exhibitions are made specifically for kids, but many are for all ages, including the “CSI: The Experience” (April 6 to Sept. 4, 2017) where participants get a chance to gather information and solve the mysteries of a crime scene. Their “The Windmills of the Imaginations” exhibition is for all ages and looks at a hydroelectric generator that works backwards. It produces water from electric energy, inspired by the world’s growing concern for the planet’s water shortages. Their IMAX theatre is currently screening “Humpback Whales 3D” which looks at the incredible abilities of these animals.
Arsenal is located in the old industrial district of Montreal called Griffintown. The space was built in 1853 as a shipyard workspace but now features 50,000 square feet of exhibition space for local and international contemporary artists.
The space that houses The Museum of Jewish Montreal has both a museum and a lunch counter. The museum part looks at the impact that Jewish communities had on Montreal, especially in the Plateau area where it’s located. Fletcher’s invites visitors to try traditional Jewish food and learn about its history while you savour the flavours.
Located in the heart of Montreal’s entertainment district, the MAC houses the works of local and international contemporary artists in a sleek, modern setting.
Upcoming exhibitions: “In Search of Expo 67” (June 21- October 8, 2017) showcases the work of local and Canadian artists who’ve been inspired by Expo 67. “Olafur Eliasson” (June 21 to October 8, 2017) is an eponymous solo exhibition that explores human relationships to space and time.
This quaint museum is dedicated to researching and teaching about Canada’s rich history from its Indigenous people to its colonial settlements. Their permanent exhibition features pieces of Indigenous dress and how it played a role in their identity.
Current exhibitions: “Fashioning Expo 67” (until Oct. 1, 2017) features over 60 outfits that highlight the popular styles of the 1960s, from uniforms to clothing by Quebec designers. It takes “vintage” to a whole new level!
This research institution invites guests to learn about the role that architecture plays in our society. The CCA building itself was built in the 1980s on a road that leads to one of the city’s major highways, which is a bit of an unusual place. It also features a garden with interesting sculptures to check out.
Current exhibitions: “Besides History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen” (10 May to 15 October, 2017) seeks to understand the relationship between contemporary architecture and the works of the past.