Art and History in Montréal: The Best Museums of the Canadian City

Originally known as ‘City of Mary’, Montreal is one of the largest cities in Canada. A former industrial and financial centre of Canada, the city today is famous for its rich history, culture and traditions.


Along with being home to age old factories, warehouses, mills and refineries, Montreal has several museums and cultural sites, much to the delight of culture vultures visiting it. Here are some of the city’s most famous museums.

Centre d’histoire de Montréal

Located in the borough of Ville – Marie, Centre d’histoire de Montréal is a well-known museum in Montreal. Established in 1983, the museum is known for featuring over 4000 artefacts dating back to the early 12th century. Some of the prominent exhibits here include old maps, photographs and a collection of unique antiques from across the world. The original sculpture of Admiral Horatio Nelson is the most popular attraction at the museum.

Château Ramezay

Located on the Notre-Dame Street, Château Ramezay is a famous historical building in Montreal. The former residence of the then Governor General was built in 1705. Today it is a museum which features a total of 30,000 exhibits, including manuscripts, textbooks, printed works, numismatics items, inscriptions and furniture dating back to the early 18th century. Historical figures of prominent personalities and paintings depicting important events in the history of the city are a major attraction among the tourists.

Maison Saint-Gabriel

Established in 1966, Maison Saint-Gabriel is dedicated to the preservation of artefacts dating back to the early 17th century. Presently, the museum is home to more than 15000 artefacts including paintings, decorative artwork, letters, agricultural and trade tools. Several domestic household objects including furniture, clothing accessories and remains of textiles can also be seen in the museum.

McCord Museum

Located in downtown Montreal, McCord Museum is a well known landmark of the city. Founded in 1921 by David Ross McCord, the museum is known for featuring a wide range of exhibits and artefacts dating back to the early 19th century. A number of artefacts and collectables at the museum portray the lifestyle, culture and tradition of the Aboriginal people of Canada. More than 7000 artefacts, including hunting weapons, baskets, tools and other objects, dating back to the early 1800s can be spotted at the museum.

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum

Founded in 1979, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of ‘Shoah’ through the eyes of those who survived it. The museum features over 418 original artefacts, several photographs, videos and films. In order to educate and inspire the public, several educational programmes take place at the museum complex daily.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Located in the historic Golden Square Mile, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in the city and one of the most prominent ones in Canada. Founded in 1860 by Bishop Fulford, the museum is well known for featuring a total of 60 oil paintings and watercolour paintings dating back to the early 1950s. The Desmarais Pavilion at the museum houses works of internationally acclaimed artists and designers.

Canadian Centre for Architecture

Canadian Centre for Architecture is a famous architectural museum in Quebec. Founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert, CCA is known for featuring a vast collection of books, artefacts, paintings and other drawings highlighting the importance of architecture in contemporary society. Specially guided tours to the museum take place on a regular basis for the visitors.