Canadian Museum of History, Outaouais ©TQ/Vlan Communication

Museums and heritage sites

Deeply in tune with the Québec of yesterday and today, numerous museums and heritage sites paint a vibrant, colourful picture of how this society has fared in the New World, from the 16th century to the dawn of the third millennium.

Museums are often thought of as a place for paintings and sculptures, but they offer so much more! Québec’s museums feature a wide selection of exhibitions on a variety of topics to appeal to different visitors—whether it’s art, science, history or more unusual collections, there’s something for everyone! These illuminating sites put forward interactive, instructional and fun ways to learn more about Québec and the people who’ve made it the place it is today. There are more than 430 museums to explore!

What type of museum do you like?

Wander freely through Montréal’s museums thanks to the Museums Pass. More than just a ticket to some 30 museums, this pass offers many perks as well.

Some suggestions:

Science
The scientifically minded will enjoy trips to the Montréal Science Centre, La Cité de l’énergie and the Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke. These specialized museums let you explore science and technology through exhibitions, workshops, and interactive and multimedia experiences. For those with their heads in the stars, the Cosmodôme, Space for life - Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and ASTROLab du parc national du Mont-Mégantic are great science centres for interstellar discovery.

History
Travel back in time to important moments in history at the Canadian Museum of History, the Musée de la civilisation and Pointe-à-Callière - Montréal Archaeology and History Complex. These museums highlight Canada’s cultural heritage, as well as indigenous peoples and stories of human experiences. You can also stop by the Québec Museum of Folk Culture for a glimpse of Québec life throughout history.

Nearly five centuries of European presence have left Québec with a priceless heritage that today has been brought vividly to life by numerous key sites. Some National Historic Sites showcase the colony’s military past or the lives of its great political figures; others evoke the day-to-day life of Québec’s habitants, paying tribute to the know-how, piety and tenacity of yesterday’s populace for the benefit of today’s.

 

© TQ/M.Marleau - C.Parent
© TQ/B.Cecile
© TQ/M.Dupuis

Some suggestions: 

Art
If you’re a art aficionado, Québec has a whole selection of museums and galleries just for you. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec feature exhibitions from internationally renowned artists and boast impressive permanent collections where visitors can see important pieces from art history. The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal showcases contemporary works by local and international artists. Outside Québec’s larger cities, the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, the Musée d'art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, the Musée d'art de Joliette and the Musée des Beaux-arts de Sherbrooke are major museums worth a visit.

Unique 
Some museums have particular themes and locations that make for an especially unique experience. One example is the Musée du squelette, where you can see what the dead have taught us about the living. In this unique museum you will be intoduced to the many facets stemming from the study of skeletons :  adaptation to various form of locomotion and evolution of man, etc. The museum also has sections dedicated to marine mammals and dinosaurs. The ever-immersive Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père lets you plunge into the undersea world and the lives of submarine crews. You can tour the Onondaga, Canada’s first publicly accessible submarine, and even spend the night inside!

Looking for something more underground than undersea? L’épopée de Capleton – Mines de Capelton gives visitors the opportunity to venture down into the mine tunnels dug in 1863. The Capelton mine also features storytelling, nighttime visits and even concerts. Those seeking a powerful experience can visit the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières, built in 1822, for a sense of life behind bars. Many prison guides are former inmates of the prison. You can even get the full experience by spending a night in a cell! Lastly, La Maison du Bootlegger is an unusual and mysterious historic house that recounts the history of prohibition in Québec. Here you can find hidden doors, camouflaged bars and private rooms, all connected by an intriguing labyrinth of cramped corridors.

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec © TQ/J.-F. Hamelin
L’épopée de Capelton – Mines de Capelton © F.Lafrance
© La Maison du Bootlegger