12 cultural attractions to discover with Passeport MTL

JP Karwacki

JP Karwacki is a Montréal-based writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Time Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, National Post, Time Out, NUVO Magazine, and more. Having called the city home for over a decade and a half, he regularly focuses on spreading the good word about the amazing things to eat, drink and do in Montréal. One half raconteur and the other flâneur (with just a dash of boulevardier), when he wasn’t working on the frontlines of the city's restaurants and bars, he spent his time thinking about, reading about and writing about restaurants and bars.

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This article was updated on June 4, 2024.

Anyone who counts themselves as an enthusiast and explorer, looking to peel back the layers of Montréal’s cultural allure during urban exploration, needs to get their hands on Passeport MTL. An essential tool for glimpsing the finest facets of the city, this pass offers access to a diverse array of experiences, spanning from nationally recognized museums to leading-edge cultural venues feature an array of attractions delving into realms of science, history, art, and beyond. It's time to discover its unparalleled offer—all with an easy-to-use, all-access pass.

 

McCord Stewart Museum

690 Sherbrooke Street West | Website

Centrally located in downtown Montréal, this museum is a celebration of the city’s history, people, and communities. Contemporary and immersive, their exhibitions are consistently intriguing, including anything from the fashion of the 1980’s and the work of famous cartoonists to presentations on eating locally.

 

Centre PHI

315 Saint-Paul Street West | Website

With future-forward programming, this cultural centre in Old Montréal is on the leading edge of the experiential in the city. With a wealth of contemporary artists’ exhibitions and impactful digital experiences including VR and installations to blow your mind in a myriad of ways, few places can hold to a candle to its attractions.

 

Château Dufresne

2929 Avenue Jeanne-d'Arc | Website

Overseen by the Société du Château Dufresne, this museum set inside a heritage Beaux-Arts structure dating back over a century offers tours of a preserved past from the building’s original owners, the early 20th-century business moguls Oscar and Marius Dufresne, as well as art collections. Wandering through the storied interiors here, and you’ll hear all kinds of stories about bygone eras and artistic evolutions.

 

Maison nationale des Patriotes, site de la Prison-des-Patriotes

610 Chemin des Patriotes | Website

A museum space entirely dedicated to the memory of Lower Canada citizens known as Patriots, this is the site where members of the Lower Canada Rebellion were incarcerated between 1837 and 1840 as political prisoners, and 12 were hanged for high treason against the British Crown. A site of immense historical importance, the Prison-des-Patriotes stands out due to its archaeological and artistic collections, cultural programming throughout the year, and exhibition on a wide range of historical topics.

 

Maison Saint-Gabriel

2146 Place Dublin | Website

Located in former farm house dating back to when Marguerite Bourgeoys purchased it in 1668, this museum and historic site is an architectural storyteller for Québecois culture in Montréal. It’s as educational as it is historical, with everything you’ll ever need to know about the province’s rich rural heritage, and to understand how people here once lived.

 

Écomusée du fier monde

2050 Atateken Street | Website

A history museum created for and operating on the basis of grassroots involvement, exhibits here tell the stories of the working class’ lives throughout industrialization and beyond, from post-war to how Montrealers’ identities grew into the later half of the 20th century. Founded in 1980, it’s an accomplished example of a cultural institution that looks on its city with a socio-cultural lens.

 

Musée de l'Holocauste Montréal

5151 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine | Website

As Montréal’s most accomplished institution for Holocaust education and communicating the universal perils of antisemitism, racism, hate and indifference, every visit here is a humbling, provocative and inspiring experience. Survivor testimonies, preserved and collected oral and written histories, and more are all available here as it continues to innovate with its collections. 

 

Musée des hospitalières de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal

201 Pine Avenue West | Website

Composed of a monastery, a hospital, a garden, a crypt and three chapels, the exhibitions at this museum explore subjects such as hospital heritage, explorations of the city’s centerpiece of Mount Royal, healthcare throughout history, and more. Coming here is educational in and of itself, as its organizational roots date back as early as 1642.

 

Château Ramezay

280 Notre-Dame Street East | Website

Situated inside a historical monument in Old Montréal, this museum has been operating since 1895, having been a history museum, national portrait gallery and public library open to the public in the following year. Today, their educational and cultural activities are aimed at introducing people Québecois culture, heritage, and daily life over the centuries—plus a unique example of urban garden one would find in New France.

 

Pointe-à-Callière

350 Place Royale | Website

A museum with a primary focus on the first Montrealers who founded the city in 1642, it has grown into a substantial cultural complex over the years that’s equal parts local and world history. Explore its archaeological crypt, learn about what makes Montréal so unique in terms of culture, architecture and art, and enjoy any one of its three to four temporary exhibits that it hosts every year.

 

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

1380 Sherbrooke Street West | Website

Founded in 1860, this preeminent art museum is the oldest in the country and has led the pack in cultural offerings with its mix of Quebec and Canadian heritage alongside international artists from every time in history and corner of the globe. Today, it hosts thousands of works of art and has grown to include up to five different pavilions—each with their own atmosphere.

 

Guidatour

360 Saint-Francois-Xavier Street | Website

A leading organization for tours of Montréal and its surroundings, Guidatour has been operating since 1985 and has grown to include more than 100 certified guides offering services in more than 15 languages. From local tours on foot and spooky ghost experiencesto bus tours and scavenger hunts, the options to experience the city with the organization are as widely varied as the subject matter they cover.

JP Karwacki

JP Karwacki is a Montréal-based writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Time Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, National Post, Time Out, NUVO Magazine, and more. Having called the city home for over a decade and a half, he regularly focuses on spreading the good word about the amazing things to eat, drink and do in Montréal. One half raconteur and the other flâneur (with just a dash of boulevardier), when he wasn’t working on the frontlines of the city's restaurants and bars, he spent his time thinking about, reading about and writing about restaurants and bars.

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

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