Because Montreal is such a relatively young city there are not too many sites or buildings that you can visit that really brings you back to the past. A place you and the whole family can visit for a glimpse into the past is Maison Saint-Gabriel situated in Point Saint Charles. When you pass through the gates it is like you have travelled back in time. The staff is all dressed up in period costumes and even take on the personas of different people from the era.
Used as a house for receiving the King's wards from 1668 to 1673, then it became a small school house and finally a farmhouse, Maison Saint-Gabriel has been a dynamic and important part of the history of Montreal almost since the city's inception. Nearly 300 years old Maison Saint-Gabriel was declared a historical site in 1965 and renovated into a museum in 1966.
Marguerite Bourgeoys obtained the rights to the land from the intendant and bought the stone house from Francois LeBer. After enlarging the small home to become more of a farmhouse in 1662, Bourgeoys installed her sisters from the Congregation de Notre-Dame and began to fulfill her commitment to educate the residents of New France.
Besides the 19th century farmhouse the museum also has around 15,000 historical items dating from the 17th century to the present. The pieces include furniture, tools, paintings, art works, silverware, lace, documents, and domestic items.
Throughout the summer months some local artisans who practice traditional trades (making soaps, moulding metal into utensils, sheep sheering, etc.) are on site and demonstrate their trades. Also in the summers you can walk through the beautiful gardens, which are filled with indigenous plants, located on the property.
Walking through the museum you'll get a sense of what life was like for the first settlers in New France and a better picture of the history of Montreal. For the price of your admission you get entrance to the site, take part in whatever activities are being offered, a guided tour of the museum and the gardens, and a visit of the temporary exhibit at the time.
-Hours: April 13, 2008 – June 21, 2008 and September 9, 2008 – December 19, 2008: Tuesday-Sunday: 1:00-5:00
June 22, 2008 – September 22, 2008: Tuesday-Sunday: 11:00-6:00
-Admission: Members Free (except for special activities)
Seniors (65 or older) $6
Children aged 6 or older $2
Children under 6 Free
Families (2 adults – 2 children) $16
(Regular admission for additional people)
-Admission for summer Sundays
From June 22 to September 7, 2008
Seniors (65 or older) $10
Children aged 6 or older: $2
Children under 6: Free
Family: (2 adults and 2 children): $20