Wander freely in any of the museums in Montréal, thanks to the Museums Pass. More than just a ticket to discover the major museums, this pass offers many other perks as well.

Museums and heritage sites

The past is alive and well!

Museums and heritage sitesQuébec has plenty to offer those looking to discover its cultural treasures, the history of the province and its cities, and its scientific and technological legacy. To truly understand Québec, past and present, its museums and heritage sites paint a lively, colourful picture of how this society has fared in the New World over the centuries, up until the dawn of this third millennium.

MuseumsHeritage sites

Québec’s museums

Treasure troves of culture

Gatineau, OutaouaisQuébec has some 400 museums, which translates into just as many different ways to experience the province’s history, artistic creations, and scientific and technological discoveries. Whether the approach is interactive, recreational or educational, these privileged places that are often located in exceptional settings are the key to a better understanding of Québec and those who shaped it over the centuries.

The ‘art’ of the matter

MontréalLocated in Québec City’s magnificent Battlefields Park, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec houses the largest collection of 17th-century Québec art around. Two hours to the west, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, one of the oldest in Canada, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, which exhibits the work of modern masters from Québec and abroad, both feature major international touring shows as well; while the Canadian Centre for Architecture displays its internationally renowned collections in a remarkable building.

Among the countless regional museums of interest are the Pulperie de Chicoutimi (Chicoutimi pulp mill) in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the Musée d’art de Joliette in the Lanaudière region, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships.

Plunging into the past

Pointe-à-Callière, MontréalThe Musée de la civilisation de Québec and its interesting relation, the Musée de l’Amérique française, are key players in the cultural life of the capital. Over in Gatineau, the spectacular curvilinear form of the Canadian Museum of History hugs the Ottawa River; inside is a fantastic array of exhibitions that will appeal to all ages, particularly children, while the Grand Hall houses the world’s finest collection of totem poles.

For a wonderful introduction to Montréal’s history, head over to Pointe-à-Callière, an archaeological and history museum that brings the city’s past spectacularly to life. Complete your tour of the city’s past with a visit to the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum, Château Ramezay and Maison Saint-Gabriel. Two other worthwhile stops are the McCord Museum of Canadian History, which specializes in Aboriginal culture but also houses an immense collection of archival photographs of Montréal; and the Stewart Museum, established half a century ago in the fort on Île Sainte-Hélène.

Trois-Rivières, MauricieThroughout the province, those with a penchant for local history have a wealth of interesting museums and interpretation centres to choose from, each presenting a historical overview of their respective region. And a colourful history it is, too, as witnessed by the Québec Museum of Folk Culture in Trois-Rivières, the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père (maritime historic site) in Rimouski or the Musée maritime (maritime museum) at L’Islet in the Chaudière-Appalaches, which highlights the vital role played by the river and marine transportation.

To gain a better understanding of Aboriginal life, visit the Musée amérindien at Mashteuiatsh (Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean) or the Musée des Abénakis in Odanak (Centre-du-Québec). Or go back even further in time at Pointe-du-Buisson and Droulers-Tsiionhiakwatha, two archaeological sites in the Montérégie that bear witness to the age-old presence of the Amerindians along the St. Lawrence.

The exciting world of science

MontréalPresenting exciting scientific and technological discoveries in a fun environment is what the Montréal Science Centre in the city’s Old Port is all about. More family fun is in store at the Planétarium, one of the city’s four “nature museums” along with the Insectarium, Biodôme and Botanical Garden. Families are also sure to enjoy the Astrolab at the Parc national du Mont‑Mégantic, which brings the mysteries of the cosmos within reach.

Back on earth, Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant (near Montréal), has one of North America’s most remarkable railway collections; while the Odyssée des bâtisseurs in Alma illustrates the importance of the hydroelectric industry in the recent development of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region.

Parc national de Miguasha, GaspésieAs for the natural sciences, the Centre d’interprétation des mammifères marins (sea mammal interpretation centre) in Tadoussac (Manicouagan) demystifies the world of the cetaceans that frequent the Saguenay—Saint-Laurent Marine Park. The Musée du fjord (fjord museum) in La Baie is an agreeable way to finish up your discovery of the park and the impressive body of water known as the Saguenay Fjord. A little further west, the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien presents an imaginative exploration of boreal biodiversity.

The museum in the Parc national de Miguasha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has an extensive collection of fish and plant fossils dating back some 370 million years. Elsewhere in the province, a number of museums present the geological, mining and mineralogical wealth of various regions of Québec.

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