If you want to know more about French Canadian history, you could do much worse than visiting Maison Saint-Gabriel, which I believe is the oldest or second-oldest standing building on the island of Montreal. It is easily forgotten because of its location deep in Pointe Saint-Charles, a working-class district southwest of downtown.
Originally built in 1668, the house is one of the most beautiful examples of traditional Quebec architecture. It is open to visitors from mid-April to mid-December. A guided tour inside takes you back to the days of Nouvelle-France when the house served as a school (and, later, as a farm). The charming wooden interior is complemented by many items from the 17th century are on display, giving you a good idea of the living conditions in Montreal before the industrial revolution. You can also see temporary exhibitions in the 19th-century barn as well as a garden.
Sunday is the best day to visit: artisans demonstrate traditional crafts and actors dressed in period costumes recreate the past. Conversely, Monday is the worst day to visit, since the musem is closed.
Buses 57 from Charlevoix metro (green line) and 61 from McGill (green line) or Square-Victoria (orange line) metro take you to within a 5-minute walk of Maison Saint-Gabriel.
This museum is dedicated to what is found under Montreal. In other words it features exhibits of archaeological relics and artifacts that have been found beneath Montreal since Pre-Columbian times. If you are interested in the history of Montreal than this is a great place to visit. There artifacts from Montreal when it was a trading post and from a 17th century cemetery. Relics from the city's early sewage system are also on display. Part of the museums tour takes you down under the street to where these artifacts where originally found for Montreal has risen 3m over the centuries. If you are not interested in this sort of thing then beware. The museum does not have anything that is a must-see and is more a learning experience than anything.
The Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History is open daily.
It is the city's main history museum of the Canadian History. It deals mostly with Eastern Canada's early European settlement from 1700 onward. .One room exhibits the history of Quebec's indigenous people, another displays highlihts of the museum's collection, including Cnadian costumes, textiles, decorative and folk art.
A friend of mine works there: if you are really interested, let me know.
This chateau is one of the oldest buildings in Montreal, having been built in 1705 by
Claude de Ramezay, the 11th governor of Quebec. The chateau was the mansion for the colony's governers for the next forty years when it was sold to a trading company. When Montreal was taken by the British and they took control of the building. During the American War of Independence, the invading Americans held onto Montreal through out the winter and spring of 1775 to 1776. During this period Benjamin Franklin made the chateau his headquarter for his diplomatic mission of trying to get the Quebecois to side with the Americans during the war. He failed.
For more than a century the chateau was used for a variety of purposes such as a courthouse, a government office building, and headquarters for Laval University. It was transformed into a museum in 1895. Today it houses many artefacts, paintings and furniture pieces from the 18th century. There is also a small collection of Native Canadian artefacts on display. The exterior grounds, although small, have a pretty garden and charming cafe.
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Adult admission is $10.00, $8.00 for children.
A very impressive exhibition where I learnt a lot about the jew culture, the XXth century's history and... the Shoah. I know, the subject is overwhelming, but it's a part of history any human being should study about in order to prevent an other horror.
The cultural center the museum is part of include a library an a theater where yiddish play are shown.
P.S. The picture hereby is from the website
Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts even if you have little interest in art. The new building is fantastic inside. The second floor of it has an amazing glassed in atrium which affords a unique view of downtown Montreal- including many apartment living rooms and such. Also, on the same floor to the left of the elevators is a small gallery. Walk in a go to the second room. You will find another great view through three huge circular windows. A very peaceful room.
This should all be free of charge, though you may have to talk your way into the atrium if there is a major exhibition on.
The two churches on the other side of the street are beautiful as well. The one closest to the MMFA has the largest collection on Tiffany stained glass windows in situe in North America. They are worth the trip.( du Musee and Sherbrooke Street)