Happy Summer! I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. I always have so much hopes and aspirations for my summers, but I usually end up doing nothing because of the heat and my never-ending laziness. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve been to Montreal, and here I am still blogging about it…
Musée Redpath, located in Montreal, Quebec
The Musée Redpath is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm; Sunday from 11am to 5pm between September through May and from 1pm to 5pm during June through August, . The museum is also open on Saturdays during the spring and summer, but the hours vary, so check the museum’s website for the most up to date hours. Admission to the Redpath museum is free, but they do accept donations. The Redpath museum is part of the Montreal Museum Pass, which is a good deal if you plan to visit lots of museums, but remember that admission to the Redpath museum is free, so it won’t make much of a difference whether you buy the pass or not for the museum. The museum is accessible via walking, driving and public transportation. The museum is located on the McGill University, which is located in downtown Montreal, so walking is a good option if you’re in the downtown area. If you choose to drive, there is parking available on the university campus, so check out its website for more information. As for public transportation, there are a few bus stops around or take the metro Green line to either Peel or McGill station and walk a few blocks to the museum. Downtown Montreal has plenty to do and see, such as the McCord Museum, to make it a fun, full day out.
The Redpath Museum is a smaller natural history museum that has a more cabinet of curiosities vibe than contemporary museum. The museum contains three floor of exhibits, and as per my usual museum visiting strategy, my travel buddy and I started on the third floor and worked our way down. The third floor revolves on the theme of ethnology, which means that the individual exhibits focus on different cultures from around the world, including African, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Japanese, Greeks and Egyptians, to name a few. The displays provide details of certain aspects from the various cultures, for example, African hairstyles and music, Sri Lankan eye treatments and Chinese style shoes. There is an interesting display that explains how facial reconstruction is performed on Egyptian mummies; the exhibit also provides examples of what these mummies may have looked like.
The stairway leading from the third floor to the second floor is filled with various stuffed animals and a small exhibit about the biomes in Africa. The second floor is separated into three different themes: paleontology, mineralogy and biodiversity. The first grouping of displays was on seashells (not really sure which theme that belongs to); there are many varieties of seashells on display (I think this is the most extensive seashell display I’ve ever seen in a museum). The next grouping of displays features rocks and minerals, which belongs in the mineralogy theme. The museum has as large of a rocks and minerals exhibit as the seashells, which means tons of rocks and minerals to see. The last grouping of displays can be classified into both the paleontology and biodiversity themes as there are exhibits featuring dinosaurs, fossilized plants, Canadian animals, and extinct and endangered species. (Don’t miss the few dioramas they have, I especially liked the one with the dinosaurs.) In addition to the above, there is a small exhibit on Charles Darwin and his connection to the museum that features a handwritten letter from Darwin.
The landing between the first and second floor highlights fossilized plants and has a huge chunk of tree on display. The first floor is one exhibit that is entitled “Return to Sea”, which features fossils and skeletons of both modern marine animals such as whales and turtles along with extinct marine creatures such ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. The exhibit is entitled return to sea as the ancestors of all these marine animals were once land creatures who evolved and went back to the ocean, and it’s a return because all animals originated from the oceans.
My usual travel buddy and I spent about one hour at the Redpath Museum, but as usual, others may take more or less time depending on their interest. The Redpath Museum is on the smaller side for a natural history museum, but no complaints from me as the admission is free and packed to almost every nook and cranny with things to see. (The museum does accept donations if you feel inclined to give something; it probably goes back to funding the museum, so it’s a good cause.) The museum is a good family day trip idea as it’s easy on the wallet and there’s bound to be something that will interest every member of the family. Natural history museum lovers will enjoy a visit as will the general population as there is really plenty to see and learn. So gather your friends and family, and enjoy a fun day of learning about the world around you at the Musée Redpath.