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This past October I visited Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History in Montreal, Quebec: https://pacmusee.qc.ca/en/ .It was part of a tour with ICOMOS colleagues visiting Ottawa and Montreal  https://www.icomos.org/en, as part of their annual conference.

This amazing museum shows and explains a critical archaeological site of Montreal and its founding over 375 years ago. You walk across a glass floor so that you see remains of Fort Ville-Marie.The museum also allows you to walk through the first collector sewer that served Montreal from the late 1830s to 1989. There are traditional and modern means of interpretation, such as the interactive display module that shows you how the Fort was built and evolved.

It takes a lot for me to be impressed by museum displays, however the museography of this site is quite extraordinary.  The design of displays and the physical presentation  of the part of the archaeological  site is impressive, and so was the presentation overlaying a typical museum experience. Around the traditional displays it was amazing to walk through the original sewer  system which a  centrepiece of the museum.  The location in Old Montreal  is perfect as it attracts both visitors and residents . The whole historic area has fantastic authenticity , and I was particularly impressed at the connections between the science museum and archaeology  museum,  in centre of everything. 

 

The museum also has temporary exhibitions, such as Egyptian archaeological artefacts  and Hello Montreal, based on Bell Canada’s collection.

Pointe-à-Callière Museum is in the heart of Old Montreal and contributes to its vitality and appeal for residents and tourists alike http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca/eng/accueila.htm. It is cultural resources, such as the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, that make urban life vibrant and encourages downtown redevelopment and attraction of high technology and other professionals to a city.

 

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