August 15, 2013

History buffs to the front of the line

MONTREAL — Historical themes abound with new exhibits at Montreal’s specialty history museums.


Old Montreal’s Chateau Ramezay presents “Heart and Soul: Quebec Folk Art,” an eclectic, quirky collection of folk art presented by the prestigious Canadian Museum of Civilization. The museum offers wooden weather vanes, eggshell paintings and one-of-a-kind toys. Some 65 original artifacts are on display. Much of the collection comes from Nettie Covey Sharpe, a one-time Montreal South Shore St. Lambert resident and an avid collector of Canadiana and folk art. Her collection, considered one of the foremost collections of Quebecois folk art, was donated to the Canadian Museum of Civilization after her death in 2002. “Heart and Soul” continues through Sunday, Nov. 3.

Summer is also the perfect time for a stroll through the Governor’s Garden, which reflects a typical working city garden circa the 18th century. And new this year, more gardening inspiration can be found at the Pleasure Grounds. Located at Place De La Dauversiere between the Chateau Ramezay and Place Jacques Cartier just opposite City Hall, the Pleasure Grounds explore New France-style gardens from the 17th and 18th centuries. The garden visits are free and continue through Monday, Oct. 14, at 280 Notre Dame E. Adult admission costs $10. Call (514) 861-3708 or visit for details.

Just down the block, take a quick peek inside the Sir George-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site, which explores Montreal bourgeois life in a completely restored Old Montreal residence now maintained by Parks Canada. Cartier was a lawyer, politician and businessman whose career played a crucial role in Canadian history. The visit includes a stroll through an ornate salon, drawing room, dining room and kitchen. The space is an absolute bargain with adult admission costing $3.90. The site is at 458 Notre Dame St. E. Call (514) 283-2282 or visit to learn more.

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