The Hidden Face of the Mountain




An exhibition to highlight the 70th year of Universit de Montral, HEC, and Polytechniques presence on the mountain. In collaboration with the Centre dhistoire de Montral.

May 17, 2013 to April 13, 2014

Exploring the Exhibition

In a setting recalling a path through the woods, the exhibition invites visitors to discover treasures and mysteries of Mount Royals history by exploring the natural, architectural, socio-cultural, and scientific heritage of the north face of the mountain.

Unique and sometimes surprising aspects of Mount Royals lesser-known side will finally be revealed. Is Mount Royal actually a volcano? What did Amerindian groups do up there? Have you ever tasted a Montreal melon? How are Maurice Richard, Lionel Groulx, and John Molson linked to the mountain? What was the dark secret at the Universit de Montral in 1943?

The Natural Mountain

Traces of the mountains natural history are alive and well. Beyond Mount Royals urban park appearance, its forest has conserved complex ecosystems that provide evidence of the biodiversity that thrived on the Island of Montreal before European colonization. How many of us have noticed the Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit in flower, or a rare phasmid? Making their home on the mountains sides and summits, they have flourished thanks to their relative isolation and the joint efforts of several public, private, and associative actors.

The Modified Mountain

Over time, the mountain has been transformed by humans: agriculture, quarries and cemeteries have each left their mark. Nonetheless, it is still home to many animals and to many of the activities that the mountain has traditionally been known for.

The Built Mountain

The majestic and tranquil nature of the mountain has inspired the architects of institutions that have decided to settle there. These buildings conserve the verdant landscape while adding to the grandeur and spirit of the place.

The Rural Mountain

The topography and hydrography of the mountain encouraged the development of market gardens and tanneries. The north faces pure air led the rich bourgeoisie to take advantage of the calm, bucolic charm of the country, with its quaint villages, and opportunities for outdoor sports.



The Institutional Mountain

Far from the turbulent city, the mountains tranquil character attracted many large religious institutions to the area, changing the relationship between man and mountain that had existed before. The northern flank is now both a centre for learning as well as a place for spiritual reflection.

The Underground Mountain and a Collection of Curiosities

The north face keeps many of its secrets below the surface. Archaeological sites lie next to tunnels, passageways, laboratories, and even the mortal remains of the famous. Moreover, the grand institutions have flung opened their vaults, displaying some truly stunning objects for the first time.

The Enlightened Mountain and the Active Mountain

The Universit de Montral, Polytechnique, and HEC Montral have been on the forefront of Quebecs scientific frontier. University researchers are still innovating and changing the way we live. Together, professors, researchers, students, graduates and employees are ensuring the mountain continues to shine bright.

A Mountain to Preserve and Discover

The protection and preservation of the natural and built heritage of Mount Royals northern face remain a constant challenge, but are central tenets for the institutions operating there and the organisations dedicated to its conservation.

Come discover the hidden face of the mountain!