School visits
Elementary Cycle 3
Secondary Cycle 1

Water Ways!

90 min.
80 people max.
Water Ways!
Photo: Stéphane Brügger

Temporarily unavailable

Public Health and the Environment in Montréal, from the 17th tu the 21st Centuries.

We’ve come a long way since people used to draw their drinking water straight from the St. Lawrence and dump their wastewater in the street! Water has a whole history of its own… Your students will follow the ancient waterway from the old sewer to the pumping station and discover the ingenious ways Montrealers have managed this precious resource since the 17th century. They’ll get straight answers to some key questions about drinking water and wastewater, from the past to the present day!

Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, was built atop the Petite River, which was turned into a sewer in the 19th century, so the Museum knows something about the subject. Especially since it is also home to the city’s first electric wastewater pumping station!

Learn about how Montrealers have found ingenious ways to manage their water all the way back to the 17th century, through a multidisciplinary interactive workshop. Immerse your students in some vital issues – access to drinking water and wastewater management through the years, right up until today.

What will the students do during the workshop?

  • Examine authentic objects and remains illustrating the evolution of water management technology in Montréal.
  • Recognize changes that occurred from one historical period to another and make links with the present.
  • Try to solve problems related to water management during different periods, by coming up with their own hypotheses.
  • Take part as a group in technical demonstrations and role-playing exercises, to understand the operation of the Youville Pumping Station.

Concepts covered during the workshop
Natural resources (water), urbanization, interaction between people and their environment, wastewater treatment, access to drinking water, development of materials, public health, pumping system, environment.

Competencies developed

The activities on this interpreted tour are in line with the aims of the Quebec and Ontario education programs and help develop the following competencies.

They are in keeping with general educational concerns about raising environmental awareness, in that they encourage the students to create a dynamic relationship with their surroundings, while maintaining critical judgment concerning the exploitation of the environment and technological development.

By examining the urban territory of Montréal and its development from the 17th to the 20th centuries, the students will have a chance to learn about issues surrounding water supply and wastewater management, by applying the following subject-specific competencies:


Geography, History, and Citizenship Education

  • Interpret change in a society and its territory:
    • Recognize the main changes in the organization of a society and its territory;
    • Establish causes and effects of the change.

Science and Technology

  • Propose explanations for or solutions to scientific or technological problems.

The urban territory (the metropolis)

  • Build civic responsibility on a global scale (based on information gathered on the management of drinking water in Montréal from the 17th century to the 20th century).

Science and technology

  • Seek answers or solutions to scientific or technological problems.
  • Make the most of their knowledge of science and technology.

In Ontario

Social Studies

  • Heritage and identity: the Canadian experience, yesterday and today (development of communities in Canada: First Nations, the French, the British)
    • Analyze the physical, social, and cultural characteristics of these communities.


  • The Conquest and the transition to the English regime (1713-1800); conflicts and challenges in Canada (1800-1850)
    • Use a process of investigation to explore the transition from the French regime to the English regime.

Science and Technology

  • Make connections between science, technology, society, and the environment:
    • Analyze the long-term societal and environmental repercussions of various practices and current uses of energy and natural resources.



Information and booking

Tell us about your needs

Please fill out our online form and we will contact you shortly to complete your reservation.

For any assistance:
514 872-9127

Hours and rates of visits and group activities 2019-2020

September 2021 to April 2022
Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm

May-June 2022
Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5 pm
+ Mondays June 6, 13 and 20, 2022

Rates in effect as of September 1, 2021

Primary Students$9.50
Secondary Students$10.50
Accompanying Adults (1 for 15 students)Free
Additional Accompanying Adult$14
3rd or additional adult$17
One-day package

Add an interpreted tour and enjoy a full day at Pointe-à-Callière:

Elementary Students$19
Secondary Students$20
Visit the Museum as well as one of our partners : Guidatour (An activity at the Museum and an ExplorAction walking tour of Old Montreal - 514 844-4021 or 1 800 363-4021) and Croisières AML (An activity at the Museum and a Sailor for a day cruise or guided sightseeing cruise – 1 888 748-4857 ext. 225 or 335).
Lunch room

A lunch room is available for groups.
Reservations required.

Per student$1
Free if taking part in two activities during the day.

Access to the Museum

Consult instructions.
There is free bus parking on de la Commune Street, at the corner of Place Royale.