After getting my hands on one of these cultural passports, I wondered if anyone in the history of the Montreal Museum Pass (MMP) had made it to all 38 of the venues it gives you access to. I most certainly would have died trying, so, using the trusty Montreal Museums iPhone App, I plotted my route to five…
Canadian Center for Architecture: Though the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) is strikingly grand complex situated on a sprawling lawn, a visit is surprisingly intimate. The current exhibition is called “Imperfect Health’ and focuses on the complexity of today’s health problems, and what architecture and urban solutions can do to fix the issue. The CCA is open from Wednesday to Sunday, and the Montreal Museum Pass will get you immediate access. Spend some time exploring the green spaces around the CCA, especially across the street where views of the Saint Lawrence River are golden.
Château Ramezay: Château Ramezay is a blast from the past, a prestigious 18th century residence that gives visitors a look into 500 years of history. Located in the heart of Old Montreal, Château Ramezay was the first building in Quebec to be classified as a historic monument, and was picked by UNESCO as one of the “1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die”. Step into the pantaloons of our ancestors and see how the founders of New France lived in the 18th century. A temporary exhibit until November 11, 2012 entitled “In the Time of Smallpox” is worth a look as well, focusing on the epidemic that threatened the young colony, as well as the state of personal health at the time.
Montreal Biodôme: A museum about our planet, and the environment we share. Cohabitating under one roof are four ecosystems, each with a unique climate, 4,800 animals of 230 species and 750 types of plants, the Montreal Biodôme is an ecological adventure within an architectural marvel. Nestled next to the Olympic Stadium, the Biodôme is one of those special places where adults can act like children, and children can learn a thing or two. Did I mention they have penguins? Well they do: Adorable, mischievous, chubby little penguins. While you’re in the area, you can check out the Olympic Stadium, the Montreal Botanical Gardens/Insectarium, and, once completed, the new Planetarium.
Pointe-à-Callière Museum: This is by far my favourite museum in Montreal. Not only is the Pointe-à-Callière building stunning, but your journey through a genuine archaeological site and the history of Montreal begins with an immersive and amazingly cool video called “Yours Truly, Montreal”. This video is more than just a simple video. It’s an entire room, a 270-degree screen that puts you inside the experience (created local cutting edge companies Moment Factory, GSMprjct and Sid Lee). After your mind has been sufficiently blown from the projection magic, you continue into the museum where you can travel through tunnels, and see exactly where Montreal was born.
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal (MACM): In my opinion, the most enjoyable of days is spent wandering and enjoying Place-des-Arts and the surrounding Quartier des Spectacles. Start with a quick bite to eat at Brasserie T or F Bar, and then set off on an excursion to the biggest museum of contemporary art in Canada, located just steps away, where local and international artists showcase their work. One the most interesting exhibitions on now features Valerie Blass, Ghada Amer and Wangechi Mutu.
There are 3 types of Montreal Museum Pass: the White MMP ($60), which is good for 3 days during a three-week period, the Red MMP ($65), which is good during 3 consecutive days + unlimited public transit, and the Silver MMP ($200) Prestige Pass, which is valid for 1 year.