Musée d’art Contemporain
The Musée d’art contemporain is actually Montreal’s ideal summer venue for a variety of reasons. Truth be told, we all know that our idea of our summer outings does not include being cooped up indoors. To remedy this instinctive need for vitamin D that spreads amongst Montrealers the second that our temperature hits 10 degrees, the museum is located in the ideal district for downtown strollers. In the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, right next to the venue for major summer events like the Jazz Festival, the MAC becomes an ideal solution for Montreal’s temperamental heat waves.
It also offers a variety of late night conferences or workshops, which make it the place to be before hitting a bar or a restaurant with friends. Often filled with controversial artistic material that will render dinner conversation all the more interesting, the MAC is definitely a great stop to hit up with company. The museum’s current exhibition, Laurent Grasso: Uraniborg, which runs till the end of April, is a sculptural installation for the most part, playing on interactivity in the arts as one of its key concepts.
The MAC is located at 185 Ste-Catherine St. W. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is $8 for students.
The Canadian Centre for Architecture
A lot of people go to the CCA for the comprehensive research archives, educational seminars, and world-class exhibits; I like to go in the summer because it’s air conditioned and allows me to surround myself with beautiful model buildings. Founded in 1979, the CCA houses continually changing collections of plans, photographs and other architectural artifacts, dating all the way back to the renaissance.
You don’t have to be an expert in the field. The masterfully curated galleries feature notes that a layman can understand. Additionally, the integration of other disciples such as design history, sociology as well as community development makes for an engaging experience. If by the end of the tour your curiosity is piqued by the collections, head over to the fantastic bookstore that holds literature to meet all your architectural needs.
The CCA building itself is a Montreal landmark. Designed by Montrealer Peter Rose, the aesthetically modern grey limestone structure is a sight to behold behind its vast green lawn if you stand on the south side of René-Lévesque Blvd. Turn your head to the other side of the street and you can see and enter an open air museum: a public urban garden of sculptural heaven.
The Canadian Centre for Architecture is located at 1920 Baile St. Free admission for students. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m..
George-Étienne Cartier Monument
Canadian summer is the shortest time of year, so it’s important to soak up every minute of the precious sun and warmth. My favourite place to do that and enjoy art at the same time is under the watchful, beautifully sculpted figures of the George-Étienne Cartier monument in blissful Mount Royal Park. The statue itself provides shade and places to sit but you can also sit on the grassy knolls that surround it. It’s free and it’s beautiful and it’s also a huge part of the Montreal scenery. Unfortunately it’s right next to a busy road, but that also means its easy to get to.
The monument is located at the corner of Parc St. and Rachel St.
-Amanda L. Shore