January 7, 2014 — Montréal's lesser-known museums are not "lesser" at all! There are many intimate museological experiences to be had in the city, with the museum buildings as interesting and diverse as the collections found within!
Just steps away from the Botanical Garden is the Château Dufresne, which elegantly displays the history of the area – working class, bourgeoisie, industrial – from the beginning of the 20th century. Housed in a former mansion, the building is a magnificent example of Beaux-Arts architecture, the preferred style of the French-Canadian bourgeoisie at the time. Inside, you’ll find paintings and stained glass pieces by renowned artist Guido Nincheri (1885-1973). He is one of the greatest artists and entrepreneurs of the twentieth century. This Italo-Canadian's murals, stained glass windows, frescoes, paintings, and furniture executed from his designs have adorned more than 200 buildings across 116 locations in Canada and the United States. His stained glass studio is the oldest extant one in Québec.
Learn about Montréal's industrial and working-class history...in a bath! The Écomusée du Fier Monde provides an in-depth look into one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods – Centre-Sud – in the former Généreux public bath, a shining example of 1920s architecture.
Check out dinosaur skeletons at the Redpath Museum that preserves and displays large collections of ancient and modern organisms, minerals and ethnological artefacts. Located on McGill University campus, it is one of Canada's oldest free-standing museums.
Revel at some of the city’s oldest archaeological vestiges at the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, a captivating landmark that highlights over 2,000 years of history and recounts Montréal’s religious heritage. The museum includes a 300-year old chapel, a crypt, an archaeological site, and a tower that offers the best vantage point in Old Montréal.
Chugga chugga on over to the Canadian Railway Museum for a hands-on experience: take over for the brakeman or climb aboard the railway mailcar. It's full steam ahead for a day of fun for the entire family!