Pointe-à-Callière Museum

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Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History
Pointe-à-Callière, Musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal
Eperon - Pointe-a-Calliere 03.jpg
Pointe-à-Callière Museum is located in Montreal
Pointe-à-Callière Museum
Location of Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montreal
Established 1992
Location Old Montreal, Ville-Marie, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Coordinates 45°30′09″N 73°33′15″W / 45.5026°N 73.5542°W / 45.5026; -73.5542Coordinates: 45°30′09″N 73°33′15″W / 45.5026°N 73.5542°W / 45.5026; -73.5542
Type Archaeology and History museum
Visitors 353,503 (2011)[1]
Director Francine Lelièvre
Public transit access MtlMetro2.svg Place-d'Armes
Website www.pacmuseum.qc.ca

Pointe-à-Callière Museum is the Montreal museum of archaeology and history located in Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was founded in 1992 as part of celebrations to mark Montreal's 350th birthday. Set atop the city's birthplace, the Museum shows collections of artefacts from the First Nations of the Montreal region that illustrate how various cultures coexisted and interacted, and how the French and British regimes influenced the history of this territory over the years. Pointe-à-Callière has been recognized as a national historic site since 1998.

Since it opened, it has welcomed more than 350,000 visitors a year. Nearly 4.5 million people have come to the Museum since 1992. Pointe-à-Callière has been honoured with more than fifty national and international awards.


The Museum is a complex of historic buildings comprising:


Pointe-à-Callière Museum
Custom House building
Archaeological crypt

Pointe-à-Callière's mission is to safeguard and showcase Montreal's archaeological and historical heritage, to bring Montrealers and tourists from other parts of Canada and other lands to know and appreciate the Montreal of today and yesterday, and to forge bonds with local communities and regional, national and international networks concerned with archaeology, history and urban issues, for the benefit of our visitors.

Pointe-à-Callière safeguards and showcases archaeological remains from every period in the city's past. The archaeological sites it protects have produced one of the largest archaeological collections in Canada. The Museum's staff has expertise in research, conservation, outreach activities and managing archaeology and history. In partnership with universities, it is conducting a research program on the city's archaeology and history, and its ethnohistorical collections include artifacts and documents donated by Montrealers. The Museum’s mission also extends to the city's built and industrial heritage. It endeavours to make Montrealers aware of their far-off and recent past, their heritage of today and yesterday, and everyone's important role in preserving and promoting our collective heritage.

Along with its permanent exhibitions, since it opened the Museum has presented more than thirty temporary exhibitions on themes relating to local and international archaeology, history and heritage, culture and artistic creativity, and multiculturalism. Complementing this exhibition program are education and outreach programs and cultural activities that introduce school groups and the general public to other aspects of archaeology and history. Pointe-à-Callière also holds a number of popular cultural activities for the public, ranging from musical performances to theatre and demonstrations, including lectures, debates and participation in Montreal, Quebec, cross-Canada and international events. Since it opened, the Museum has been working hand in hand with Native and cultural communities. For ceremonies commemorating the Great Peace of Montreal in 2001, the Museum’s main partners were aboriginal groups from across Quebec, the rest of Canada and the United States. Montreal's cultural communities are also the focus of many activities. All the Museum's actions are aimed at creating lasting links between newcomers and their host society and building awareness of the city's history and the vision and tenacity of its founders, who made Montreal a city open to the world.

Pointe-à-Callière has been extending its reach beyond its walls since 1996, beginning with Water In, Waste Out, its first travelling exhibition, presented at the Musée de la civilisation (Quebec City) and the Musée et sites archéologiques Saint-Romain-en-Gal (Vienne, France). In 1997, the Art and Archaeology exhibition gave 20 Montreal high school students a chance to exhibit their works at the Musée et sites archéologiques Saint-Romain-en-Gal. 1690: The Siege of Québec... The Story of a Sunken Ship has travelled to different locations in Quebec and internationally since 2000. France / New France. Birth of a French People in North America, which has already been presented in the Maritimes, will soon be leaving on an international tour. In addition, Pointe-à-Callière has an exhibition on underground Montreal as part of a cultural route in the underground pedestrian corridors of the Quartier international de Montréal.

Expansion project[edit]

Pointe-à-Callière was first built, back in the early 1990s. The Museum had plans to open up the William collector sewer and the remains of St. Anne's Market and the Parliament of the United Province of Canada. Recent archaeological digs have also brought to light the remains of Fort Ville-Marie and of Governor Louis-Hector de Callière’s home. The Museum is now entering a new phase in its development, as it moves toward putting these large-scale expansion plans into effect. The goal is to expose the Little Saint-Pierre River canalized by the William sewer, and the archaeological remains of St. Anne's Market, home to the Parliament of the United Province of Canada between 1844 and 1849. Visitors will be led to a new exhibition hall, with its entrance on McGill Street, devoted to future international exhibitions on ancient civilizations and their cultures. This ambitious expansion will allow Pointe-à-Callière to give the district a touristic exhibition centre of national and international scope.

Permanent exhibitions[edit]

  • Where Montréal Was Born
  • Pirate or Privateer?
  • A multimedia show: Montréal, Tales of a City...

Past Permanant exhibitions[edit]

  • Montréal love stories - The cultural connection (2005-2013)

Past and present temporary exhibitions[edit]

  • Marco Polo: an epic Journey
  • Lives and Times of the Plateau
  • The Beatles in Montréal
  • The Tea Road
  • Samurai: The Prestigious Collection of Richard Béliveau
  • The Etruscans: An Ancient Italian Civilization
  • Colors of India
  • To Your Health, Cesar! Wine with the Gauls
  • St.Catherine Street makes the Headlines
  • Easter Island: An Epic Voyage
  • 100 years underground
  • Discovering legends with Jean-Claude Dupont
  • Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters;2008-2009
  • Costa-Rica: Land of wonders!
  • France, New France: birth of a french people in North America'
  • 1837•1837, Rebellions, Patriotes vs Loyalists
  • First Nations, French Royal Collections
  • St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Corn People
  • Japan
  • Jules Verne, Writing the Sea
  • Encounters in Roman Gaul
  • Old Montréal in a New Light
  • Oceania
  • Dreams and Realities Along the Lachine Canal
  • Archaeology and the Bible – From King David to the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Varna – World's First Gold, Ancient Secrets
  • A Collection from the Varna Museum, Bulgaria
  • Saint-Laurent, Montréal's "Main”
  • Mysteries of the Moche of Peru
  • 1701 – The Great Peace of Montréal
  • Africa Musica!
  • Exploring a Collection from the Museo Pigorini
  • 1690: The Siege of Québec... The Story of a Sunken Ship
  • Treasures from the South of Italy — Basilicata, Land of Light
  • Montréal, by Bridge and Crossing
  • Art and Archaeology: Young Artists from Lyon at the Museum
  • Treasures from the Ukrainian Steppes
  • The Ravages of Time: Restoring Heritage Objects from France
  • Crucifixion: Unique Archaeological Evidence from Jerusalem
  • Bannock, Baguette, Bagel – Montréal Bread
  • Abitibiwinni, 6,000 Years of History
  • Art and Archaeology
  • Ancient Cyprus: 8,000 Years of Civilization
  • Dream Merchants. The Emergence of Cinema in Quebec
  • Water In, Waste Out. The History of Aqueducts, Water Mains and Sewers in Montréal
  • Window Stories
  • The Port as Seen by Pierre Bourgault, Gilles Vigneault and Helmut Lipsky
  • Bones and Bottles — Fragments of History
  • Object vs. Object: Archaeology and Imagination
  • The City in Miniature. Models of Montréal
  • Sharing Our City
  • Art and Archaeology: Young Artists at the Museum...
  • A Picture Book: The Founding of Montréal

Major cultural activities[edit]

  • Pointe-à-Callière’s Port Symphonies
  • A Cultural Rendez-vous
  • The 18th Century Public Market
  • Halloween at Pointe-à-Callière
  • Who is the Real Santa Claus?

Educational activities[edit]

  • Exploring the Museum
  • Growing up in Ville-Marie
  • Life Stories
  • Montréal, an Urban Kaleidoscope
  • Young Explorers
  • Water Ways


The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bilan 2011". Tourisme Montréal. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 

External links[edit]