Allow me to say it loud and clear: Montréal is extraordinarily privileged in that we know and have preserved important traces of our city’s exact birthplace, and can make them accessible to today’s Montrealers and future generations. No other North American city is so fortunate!
Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, is a unique, rich and authentic museum complex made up of seven buildings and structures, built on Montréal's birthplace. And I would add that no other city brings together in one place a group of historic sites representing every period in its history. At Pointe-à-Callière, visitors can admire traces of our seven centuries of history, from prehistoric Native campsites to the present day.
There’s no denying that we faced plenty of challenges when the Museum was built, back in 1992—Creating a new institution, deciding on an intricate architectural program that would allow us to preserve remarkable architectural remains and display them in situ with absolute respect for their integrity, designing a museum concept incorporating the latest technology, and much more! There were no models for us to follow. We had to invent, innovate and create one of our own!
Initially designed for 150,000 visitors a year, today Pointe-à-Callière welcomes nearly 400,000, including some 100,000 young people. In less than a quarter century, the Museum has made a place for itself on the world stage, gaining recognition as a national and international institution.
Did you know that right here we have:
- Montréal's first Catholic cemetery
- The first settlement in Montréal: Fort Ville-Marie
- Montréal’s first marketplace
- Montréal's first Custom House
- The first collector sewer in Montréal and all of Canada
- Montréal's first electricvpowered pumping station
And that since 1992...
- The Museum has had over 8 million visitors
- Some 2 million children and students have enjoyed our workshops
- Our teams have mounted sixty temporary exhibitions, close to thirty of them world exclusives
- Forty publications have been distributed worldwide
- And the Museum has won 80 national and international awards
Looking toward the future
Pointe-à-Callière has always been the largest and most popular of Montréal’s 14 history museums. We owe our reputation and our performance to a team that works hard every day to welcome you, offer you rich and varied programming, entertain you and share our history with you.
And 2016 will continue to be a year of preparation, for big things are coming next year. In 2017, as part of the celebrations of Montréal’s 375th birthday, we will be marking the Museum’s own 25th anniversary. Most importantly, we will be opening a new pavilion with great fanfare: Fort Ville-Marie, where it all began for Montréal.
The Museum reflects our past, but it is constantly renewing itself and certainly has lots of room for the future!