First Time

Château Ramezay

Between the rounds of work and home, and given the usual endless To Do List of Life, it can be easy to fall into daily routines and to let pass events or exhibitions we might otherwise be interested in.

Part of our goal for our 'new adventures' has been for my mother and I not only to attempt new experiences, but to discover more about our city. Montreal has all sorts of nooks and crannies, such as underground rivers or, until recently, a stable in the Griffintown neighbourhood.

Yet some of its treasures are hidden in plain sight, so to speak. One such location is the Chateau Ramezay Museum, and we took an afternoon off work to visit it for the first time.

Situated directly across from City Hall, the museum is the former home of Claude de Ramezay, Governor of Montréal in the early 1700s, whose gardens extended all the way down to the St Lawrence River.

Not knowing anything about the museum beforehand, we expected a rather dry and dusty couple of rooms, and were pleasantly surprised to find a lively space of exciting - and interactive - exhibits. From native artifacts to paintings of Montreal in the 18th Century, and even a 100 year old automobile with the first license plate issued in Quebec (a bold Q1 painted in gold on the back of the car), the Chateau is full of treasures. Some of its charm, for me, lay in discovering more about historical figures whose names are all too often familiar only from Metro stations or markets, such as Jean Talon, an early figure in the agricultural and commercial growth of Quebec.

The current temporary exhibition at the museum highlights the changes in the city that came about through recurring epidemics, especially in the city's water supply and delivery systems.

Overall, the Chateau Ramezay is an ideal place to visit to relearn some of the layers of history - the people and events - that have contributed to Montreal's growth over the years. Turns out a new experience sometimes involves exploring old ones!

March 2013

Old Articles by Deniz B. Bevan:
Walking In Old Montreal
My First Novel
Istanbul Sapphire
Pâté or Pouding Chômeur

An Expression
Ice Apple Wine
Montreal Is An Island
Lavender Fields
Exotic Fruit
Ideas for Your 'Staycation'
Istanbul: I Only Have Two Days To See Everything!
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Bladeby Diana Gabaldon
Approaching Ireland by ferry...
Just Plain Nesin