Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: The Complete Guide

Pointe-a-Calliere is an archeology and history museum in Old Montreal.

Evelyn Reid

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Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

350 Pl. Royale, Montréal, QC H2Y 3Y5, Canada
Phone +1 514-872-9150

A historical site, an ethnological resource, and an urban archaeological dig, Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex was built on the same spot that Montreal was born 375 years earlier, in 1642.

Having the distinction of being the only sizeable archaeological museum in Canada, PAC houses underground remains showing off over 1,000 years of human activity as well as evidence dating back to 4,000 B.C.The recipient of over 50 awards, including the Governor General's Medal for Architecture, PAC is, contrary to its grounds, a youngster by museum standards, having only been around since 1992.

Pointe-à-Callière's Top Annual Event: 18th Century Market

Every August, Pointe-à-Callière proposes an outdoor public market reenactment of what it was like to shop, dress and socialize with the Montreal community in 1750 called 18th Century Market. You can't miss it. Participants typically set up stands with "authentic" 1750s produce for sale with actors roam around Old Montreal gesturing and talking 18th-century style, interacting with the public as if it really were 1750, though historical mores may even be set 100 years prior to further commemorate the anniversary. 

Permanent and Temporary Exhibitions

Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex has seven permanent exhibitions in addition to three or four temporary exhibitions each year. Past travel exhibitions have covered topics like the queens of ancient Egypt and a collection of archaeological finds unearthed in Quebec.

  • Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers?: This immersive experience is perfect for families and ages 5 to 12. Kids will learn about how 17th and 18th-century pirates by climbing aboard a replica ship. They'll learn about the sights and smells and even take part in a naval battle game.
  • Generations MTL: Set in a space designed specifically for the show, Generations MTL is a 17-minute multimedia show that narrates the history of Montreal. There are showings in French every hour, starting 30 minutes after the museum opens. There is one English showing at 1:30 p.m.
  • Crossroads Montreal: Visitors can walk through thousands of years of Montreal history viewing archaeological remains while familiarizing themselves with the First Nations tribes, the founding of Montreal, and the impact that the British had on the city.
  • Building Montreal: Learn about key moments in Montreal's history with the help of three virtual historical characters. Other highlights include displays showcasing archaeological artifacts, a gallery of moving portraits, and a collection of 22,000 Montreal family names.
  • Memory Collector: Walk through a section of the oldest collector sewer in North America while enjoying a light installation with a unique sound environment.
  • Where Montreal Began: Set at the site of Fort Ville-Marie, where Montreal was founded, this exhibition guides visitors through the first mass at the fort and offers the chance to see the actual archaeological site.
  • Archaeo-Adventure: Children can get a taste of archaeology at this simulated dig site complete with an archaeologist's tent and lab.

Regular Opening Hours

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Closed Mondays (except for Labour Day and Easter Monday)
Closed Canadian Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day

Get There

Place d'Armes Metro

For more information, consult the Pointe-à-Callière website.

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Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: The Complete Guide