Montreal Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

McGill University and the Redpath Museum

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Founded in 1821 on a royal charter from King George IV, McGill is today considered to be Canada’s leading university. Its original, downtown campus located at the foot of Mont Royal is a thing of beauty, and among its Victorian-era buildings, you’ll find the Redpath Museum of Natural History.

McGill Redpath Museum

McGill University has an enrollment of nearly 40,000 students, roughly half of whom are from Quebec. Twelve Nobel laureates studied here, as well as three of Canada’s prime ministers, including Justin Trudeau. Oh, and William Shatner. McGill is Canada’s most prestigious place of higher learning, and its incoming students have the highest average test scores of any school in the country. The school is primarily English-speaking, although students are expected to have a working knowledge of French.

Living in Montreal, it’s impossible to escape the shadow of McGill University. Its facilities are spread throughout the city, and its alumni seem to have their hands in everything. In most museums we visit, we read about discoveries made by McGill researchers, studies initiated by McGill teams, theories offered by McGill professors, etc. Habitat 67 was the master’s thesis of McGill student Moshe Safdie. Arcade Fire met while studying at McGill. And the drunk kids shouting and laughing outside our apartment every Thursday night at 3am are almost certainly McGill undergrads — in addition to its sterling academic reputation, McGill is known as a party school.

Since we’d heard so much about it, we figured we should at least see the campus. Located between Sherbrooke Ave and Mont Royal, and bounded on the east and west by Rue University and Peel, McGill’s main campus is gorgeous, with old limestone school buildings and small grassy parks where you’ll almost always see students studying or taking naps. The Royal Victorian Hospital has recently moved to a more modern facility, but its former home, a Gothic building on the foot of Mont Royal, is now part of McGill.

McGill Redpath Museum

It’d be fun to explore all these old buildings, but we limited ourselves to one: the Redpath Museum of Natural History. This museum dates from 1882, and features exhibits that range from fossils and minerals to anthropological items from around the world. The centerpiece of the collection of the full skeleton of a Gorgosaurus. But the best part of the Redpath Museum is the atmosphere of the building in which it’s housed. It looks exactly how you’d expect an “ancient university library” to look, with the scintillating layers of dust and mystery that go along with it. While examining the exhibits, I kept expecting some old professor to suddenly appear and slam shut one of the cabinets, admonishing me not to look inside. “You may examine any of the cabinets, but not this one!”

The Redpath Museum is free to visit, although they do suggest a small donation to keep the museum going. And obviously, the campus is free to visit as well. Both are well worth seeing during your time in Montreal.

Locations on our Map: McGill Campus Main Entrance | Redpath Museum

Montreal Hotels

McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
McGill Redpath Museum
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
June 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm Comments (0)

A Tour through Old Montreal

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

As its name suggests, Vieux Montréal is the oldest section of the city, occupying roughly the location of the original 17th-century settlement of Ville-Marie. With many of Montreal’s most historic buildings tightly packed in close proximity to one another, it’s a rewarding place to take a self-guided walking tour.

Old Montrel

We started our tour in the southwestern quadrant of Old Montreal, among the towering edifices which line St. Jacques, also known as the Wall Street of Montreal. Most of the buildings on this street date from the nineteenth century, and each is a work of art, with emblems and statues adorning the cornices and Roman columns protecting the entryways. The epicenter of this architectural grandeur is at the corner of St. Jacques and St. James, where five banks were once headquartered.

Turning to the south, we walked down the small Rue de les Récollets. The Récollets were a religious order who had served the French Army. But with the arrival of the British, the order was dispersed and their convent replaced with greystone Victorian residences. At least their name lives on.

Old Montrel

Continuing south, we reached the Place d’Youville, named for Marguerite d’Youville, who founded Canada’s famous Grey Nuns in 1738. Some of the sisters still live in the massive old convent, although that might not be the case for long. Concordia University recently bought the building, although the nuns will be allowed to stay until 2022. Nearby the Place d’Youville is one Montreal’s most popular streets, St. Paul, which runs parallel to the old port and transforms into a major tourism thoroughfare on summer weekends.

We walked up to the Place des Armes, found between the Notre-Dame Basilica and the old headquarters of the Bank of Montreal: Canada’s first bank. You can find a small, one-room museum inside. Continuing east, we soon found ourselves at the Champs de Mars, a small park behind the City Hall, where remains of Montreal’s former fortifications can be seen. Our tour then continued down the wide, sloping Boulevard St. Laurent, lined with souvenir shops and cafes spilling out onto the sidewalk.

Old Montrel

It would require a heroic undertaking to catalog all the individual shops, sights and highlights of Old Montreal. There are quaint delicatessens, fancy French restaurants such as the gorgeous Les Filles de Roy, parks, plazas, lovely old banks, monumental office buildings, churches and museums galore. Every step seems to reveal some fascinating new historical tidbit. At the corner of Rue Sainte-Hélène and Récollets is the building in which North America’s first YMCA was founded, for example. Just north of Place Jacques Cartier on Saint-Paul is the former Rasco Hotel, where Charles Dickens once stayed. And next to the Notre-Dame is the Old Sulpician Seminary, which dates from 1684 and is the oldest standing building in the city.

The official website of Old Montreal provides an excellent self-guided walking tour, which introduces the highlights of the neighborhood and some of its history. You can either follow the tour exactly, or wander randomly about at your whim. It almost doesn’t matter where your journey in Old Montreal takes you; every street is interesting, and any time spent here is going to be worth your while.

Locations on our Map: Place d’Armes | Former Convent of the Grey Nuns | Champ de Mars | Place Jacque Cartier

List of Montreal hotels

Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
Old Montrel
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
April 27, 2016 at 11:00 pm Comments (0)
McGill University and the Redpath Museum Founded in 1821 on a royal charter from King George IV, McGill is today considered to be Canada's leading university. Its original, downtown campus located at the foot of Mont Royal is a thing of beauty, and among its Victorian-era buildings, you'll find the Redpath Museum of Natural History.
For 91 Days