January 7, 2013 – If Montréal’s walls could talk, what would they say? Well, it turns out, plenty. And Héritage Montréal, a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the city’s DNA, gives the walls of our city’s buildings a voice in the form of Architectours – 2-hour-long guided tours focussing on Montréal’s storied architectural heritage.
Led by passionate volunteers who either work or study in architecture, urban planning, art history, tourism, museum studies and heritage conservation, the tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays, from early August to early October, and offer participants a chance to discover Montréal’s many diverse neighbourhoods.
From the vestiges of two 19th-century villages, known now as Le Plateau, to the former working-class district of Little Burgundy, to Saint-Henri’s history as home to tanneries, each neighbourhood boasts a distinct past that has contributed to modern Montréal’s multifaceted character. Of course, there are many more districts to discover – eight in total, full of architectural marvels with histories the guides will be more than happy to share with you.
Héritage Montréal’s no-fuss approach to their Architectours makes it easy to take part: tickets can be purchased same-day at the departure points, which are located near bus stops or metro stations. Just make sure to show up (no reservations required) at the departure point at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour. These urban walkabouts take place rain or shine, so do a quick forecast check before you leave and dress for the weather. Travelling with a group? Personalized guided tours can also be organized for groups outside of the regular tour schedule.
Architectours give you great new perspective on Montréal life, then and now, and are a fun and informative way to learn about the city’s many communities through their design, styles and structures.