Mariner’s House: A Venue at the Heart of Montréal’s History
If you’re planning a gathering in Montréal, you should know about the Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History. Why? Because it’s one of the few places in the world where you can organize a private function on the very site where a city was founded.
How cool is that?
Established in 1992, Pointe-à-Callière museum consists of five pavilions, each with a unique purpose and roll. The museum is a fascinating archive of relics and artefacts, displayed in compelling and contemporary ways. Since its inception, the institution has welcomed more than 350,000 visitors a year — that’s nearly 6 million people since 1992. The museum has recently unveiled its newest offering: a superbly equipped building —The Mariner’s House —, perfectly suited to hosting major exhibitions and prestigious cultural activities.
Picture this. The year is 1875. You’ve just arrived to Montréal after a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s right, you’re a sailor. As your ship makes its way inland along the St. Lawrence River you finally see the iconic green Mont Royal in the distance. You are very excited to get your legs on solid ground again. Even more important than a bottle of whiskey is finding yourself a place to sleep. That’s why, shortly after docking, you check yourself into the Montreal Sailors’ Institute. The establishment is a sort of sailor’s headquarters, offering lounges, a chapel, a concert hall, a post office, currency exchange, a barbershop and doctor’s office, not to mention a cafeteria and beds.
Now that you’re settled in, we can stop pretending you’re a sailor. Unless you were having fun. Then by all means, carry on.
Throughout the early twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of seamen found themselves bunked up at what has been called the Mariner’s House since 1968. However, as careers at sea became less common, the Mariner’s House changed hands and purposes. For many years it was home to Montréal’s Maison du Père (an organization that provides beds to those without homes). But after Maison du Père relocated, the building became available and was finally purchased by Pointe-à-Callière museum. And that brings us to today.
The View from the Top
Though the name of the building stuck — La Maison-des-Marins — the structure itself needed a thorough renovation. The team of architects appointed by Pointe-à-Callière museum sought to make the edifice a vibrant place — somewhere people would want to gather, a fluid space with no apparent boundaries between the inside and outside.
The historic building finally reopened in 2013, providing a location for wide range of purposes: simulated archaeological digs for young people, a Museum gift shop, as well as rooms for public and private functions of all kinds. There are now five unique spaces available to rent, ranging from an intimate meeting room for eight people to a lobby that can accommodate 200 mingling bodies. Perhaps most impressive of all options is the magnificent rooftop glass pavilion.
The space that has everyone talking is called the Montréal 360° Space. Perched on the roof of the Mariner’s House, the Montréal 360° Space is a glass pavilion that is heralded as one of the most spectacular rooms in all of Montréal. Guests can literally see the history of the city in one spectacular view: the St. Lawrence River, the mountain, the Old Port, Notre Dame Basilica, the skyline, Habitat 67 and more. All the milestones of Montréal history are laid out like a panorama for visitors to discover.
So far, the Montréal 360° Space has hosted corporate evenings, product launches, political gatherings, cultural events and recognition evenings. The Pointe-à-Callière museum is moored in history. It truly makes an idyllic spot to add a cultural and historical touch to business meetings, launches or prestige events.
Mariners’ House – National Bank Building
Event potential: Cocktails, special evenings, launches, press conferences, etc.
The Montréal 360° Space Dimensions: 8.7 x 18.6 m (area: 130 m2 or 1,400 ft2)
Mariner’s House Capacity: Up to 200 people
Services: Catering, VIP visits of the museum, Wi-Fi, tech services
Hours: Every day from 8 am to 11:30 pm
Contact: Christine Lavertu, Coordinator – Special Events, 514-872-8209, email@example.com
Bonus: Download a Mariner’s House fact sheet on the Pointe-à-Callière website!