Feeling uninspired as we say goodbye to colourful leaves and Halloween fun and enter November? Desperate to spend your weekend doing something a little more stimulating than another Netflix marathon in bed? You’re in luck: you can check out six popular Montreal museums for free this Sunday—or on the first Sunday of any month.
The free days began last June thanks to a province-wide initiative to increase accessibility to Quebec museums and promote the art and cultural artefacts within. Thanks to a $5 million investment by the province, locals can now check out some of the city’s best museums without sparing a dime (although, as always, donations are appreciated).
We’ve put together a guide to six of the seven museums included in the free days (the seventh, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, is closed for renovations until 2021, although a temporary location is set to open this spring—keep an eye on their website for details).
Some of these museums require proof of residence while others have a more laissez-faire attitude toward the free days; best to bring it with you just in case.
1380 Sherbrooke St W
Sunday hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The city’s biggest art museum is home to tens of thousands of pieces from around the world, ranging from ancient archaeology to contemporary art. And there’s no need to stick to the first Sunday of the month if you’re under 30: the permanent collections of the MMFA are always free for those between 13 and 30 (it’s $15 for everyone else). If you’ve got an extra $15 to $23 to spare, the museum’s special exhibitions are always worthwhile.
1920 Baile St
Sunday hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you architecture is your thing, make sure you check out the CCA, which hosts exhibitions, activities and events, in addition to supporting research. If you can’t make it on Sunday, the museum is free for students all the time, and to the public on Thursdays after 5:30 p.m.
5151 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Sunday hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Canada’s only Holocaust museum is especially focused on the stories of Montreal survivors, and the permanent collection is largely comprised of items donated by local survivors and their relatives. A visit to the museum’s permanent collections—which follows the journey of Jewish communities in Europe and Northern Africa from before, during and after WWII—is a sombre but invaluable experience.
690 Sherbrooke St W
Sunday hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The McCord is Montreal’s Canadian history museum, featuring artefacts and art dating from the 18th century to the present. You can also get in free on Wednesdays after 5 p.m., although special exhibitions may still have an entrance fee of $9.50.
2050 Rue Amherst
This locally-focused museum is all about the history of South Central Montreal’s working class. The building alone is worth a visit—it’s housed in a 1920s art deco building, formerly occupied by a public bath.
615 Sainte Croix Ave
Sunday hours: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Another museum with a local focus, the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec is dedicated to Quebec’s craftspeople. It houses thousands decorative and functional objects handcrafted right here in the province by artisans with a range of backgrounds and skill sets.