Past exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions presented at the CHM since its opening in 1983

Most of our temporary exhibitions are produced by our team with the collaboration of historians, professionals and citizens. Thanks to them, as well as groups and communities, collections and anonymous heroes, facts about society and events have taken their place in the collective memory of Montrealers. The CHM is also one of the rare museum sites where heritage photography is showcased year after year.

Thread of Tenderness, fio de ternura

February 1st to May 7, 2017

Un grand-père et son petit-fils

Montreal’s Portuguese community seen through the grandparent-grandchild relationship.

The role of grandparents is ever evolving but continues to be a constant through different eras and in all communities. The Centre d’histoire de Montréal presents Thread of Tenderness – Fio de ternura, an exhibition of photographs and personal accounts uniting grandparents and grandchildren through the viewpoints of three Montrealers of Portuguese origin: Joaquina Pires, the exhibition’s curator, photographer Fernando Santos, and videomaker Francisco Peres.

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Scandal! Vice, Crime and Morality in Montreal, 1940-1960

November 15, 2013 to April 2, 2017


From the 1940s to the 1960s, Montreal bustled to the rhythm of its nightclubs ans basked in the neon glow of its cabarets. The city's often smoldering night-life sometimes overflowed into the dark corners of illegal gambling dens or behind the curtains of brothels. Scandal! Had Montreal really become a city of sin and corruption? Our inquiry sets out to shed some light on the matter.

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In Griffintown

From September 24, 2015 to September 4, 2016

Dans l'Griff

An exhibition that takes visitors into the neighbourhood of Griffintown, as depicted through the lives and memories of the Mercier family. This francophone family has always lived in what is often considered an Irish, anglophone part of town. Their life stories will take us down the streets of an industrial sector that has undergone quite the metamorphosis.

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Montreal Nightlife

From June 27 to August 16, 2015

Montréal Nightlife

An exhibition of the best entries in the 36th edition of our Montréal à l'œil photo competition.

Montreal’s nightlife is one of the city’s great assets. Winter or summer, the streets are enlivened by cultural events and festivals organized all over the Island, not to mention the many bistros, bars, and clubs that fill up after dark.

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Here I am in Montreal (in French only)

From May 20 to June 14, 2015

J'arrive à Montréal… Young people newly arrived in Montreal present their takes on the City through the filter of their respective cultural and personal backgrounds. They come from Haïti, Algeria, Moldova, Philippines or China. Their varied perceptions of the City also open a window on the reality of immigration.

You Are Part of History! is an ongoing project within the framework of the Agreement between the City of Montreal and the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion.

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Raconte-moi… Haïti et Montréal (exhibition in French only)

From January 13 to April 26 avril 2015

After touring multiple cultural centres in Montreal neighbourhoods (the Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord, the Maison Pierre-Chartrand and the maison de la culture Rivière-des-Prairies), the exhibition ends its run at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal. The exhibition combines photographs, paintings, art installations and a documentary that tell a story of adaptation and integration by Haitians, who arrive in Montreal soon after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. The original exposition has been augmented with new interviews and art that go beyond commemoration and help explore the challenges of integration.

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Here I am in Montreal (exhibition in French only)

From May 20 to December 7, 2014

J'arrive à MontréalYoung people newly arrived in Montreal present their takes on the City through the filter of their respective cultural and personal backgrounds. They come from Haïti, Algeria, Moldova, Philippines or China. Their varied perceptions of the City also open a window on the reality of immigration. You Are Part of History! is an ongoing project within the framework of the Agreement between the City of Montreal and the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec.

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The Hidden Face of the Mountain

May 17, 2013 to April 13, 2014

The Hidden Face of the Mountain Mount Royal’s south side is a famous symbol of Montréal that dominates the city’s landscape. However, its north side still has many secrets left to discover. This exhibition shows us the treasures and mysteries of its history and its cultural and natural heritage. An anniversary exhibition created by the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with the CHM.

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Lost Neighbourhoods

June 15, 2011 to September 1, 2013

Lost Neighbourhoods A number of urban renovation projects in the 1950s and 60s transformed the landscape of Montréal. The Habitations Jeanne-Mance, the Radio-Canada building and the Bonaventure Highway replaced whole segments of old neighbourhoods. Through an exceptional and little-known municipal collection of photographs of homes, businesses and backyards eaten up by modernization, the exhibition brings the memory of these lost neighbourhoods and their inhabitants back to life. In collaboration with Archives de Montréal.

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We Are Here

March 8, 2012 to April 14, 2013

We Are HereLife Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations An exhibition from the Montréal Life Stories project, which presents the personal accounts of Montrealers from all over the world who have a unique story to share about their displacement due to war, genocide and the violation of their human rights.

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Modern Montréal

September 22, 2010 to August 28, 2011

Modern Montréal Since the end of the 1920s, Montréal has been a cradle for a surprising modernity. This exhibition presents the best shots from the 31st edition of the “All Eyes on Montréal” photo contest. In collaboration with Docomomo Québec.


The Adventures of the Unpredictable Dr. Bethune

November 17, 2009 to August 29, 2010

The Adventures of the Unpredictable Dr. Bethune Imagery inspired by comic books and pop art takes us in Dr. Bethune’s wake through the contrasting worlds of Gravenhurst (Ontario) Montréal and China. The exhibition focuses on his time in Montréal, a place where life-changing encounters made him the doctor, artist and community activist that we know today.

This exhibition was presented as part of the “Tribute to Norman Bethune 1890-1939,” created by the city and the CHM in partnership with Concordia University, the Fondation Aubin, the Chinese Cultural Community and Cultural Centre of Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, McCord Museum and Radio-Canada.

Thanks to an online photo bubble, you can see the exhibition as it was presented at the CHM (all rights reserved):


Made in Montréal

June 20, 2009 to March 13, 2011

Made in Montréal Miss B. took visitors into her investigation of items in a collection of more than 4,500 CHM artefacts.


Who Set Fire to Montréal. 1734 – The Trial of Angélique

October 11, 2006 to December 30, 2008

Who Set Fire to Montréal. 1734 – The Trial of Angélique Visitors were challenged to find the real culprit behind the fire that, on April 10, 1734, destroyed the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) along with some forty houses in Montréal.

Angélique, a black slave of Portuguese origin, born in Madeira near Lisbon, arrived in Montréal in 1729 at the age of 24. Suspected, accused and convicted of having set the fire, she was condemned to torture and then to being hanged and burned, her ashes scattered to the wind.

Was the rumour true? Archives of the trial leave room for doubt, since Angélique did not try to escape. Instead, she stayed to help her mistress, whose lover fleed the scene. Arrested and thrown into prison, Angélique loudly proclaimed her innocence. Was she innocent? If so, who was guilty? Or was it an accident?


Industrial Montréal

March 14 to November 30, 2008

Industrial Montréal An exposition that gave legitimacy to a neglected and unloved heritage: Montréal’s tremendous industrial heritage, which has made the city the economic capital of Québec and Canada since 1850. The best photographs of the 29th edition of the “All Eyes on Montréal” contest. With the participation of the Association Québécoise pour le Patrimoine Industriel, the contribution of Photo Service and the gallery-workshop Nicolin & Gublin.


Baby’s On The Way: 100 Years of Births in Montréal

June 15 to November 7, 2007

Baby’s On The Way: 100 Years of Births in Montréal The exhibition tells a story filled with contrasts, using Québec’s metropolis as an example. Another way of celebrating 100 years of helping life grow at Sainte-Justine! As well, visitors will learn about the founding of the Sainte-Justine children’s hospital and the unique contributions made by two courageous and visionary women, Justine Lacoste-Beaubien and Irma Levasseur.

In collaboration with the CHU Sainte-Justine.


Expo 67 – Passport to the World

June 23 to September 3, 2007

Expo 67 – Passport to the WorldOne day, one day… On April 28, 1967, Québec opened itself up to the world with the Montréal World’s Fair, a veritable passport for Montrealers to explore creativity and the world itself. This exhibition, presented at the Île Sainte-Hélène Aquatic Complex, was an opportunity to relive or discover Expo 67 to better understand what Montréal has become over the past 40 years.

In collaboration with Parc Jean-Drapeau.


Jeannot… and the Parks. Montréal’s Parks in Photographs, 1953-1963

May 4 to August 20, 2006

Jeannot… and the Parks. Montréal’s Parks in Photographs, 1953-1963 An ambitious and innovative project, the city’s parks department was created in 1953 at the instigation of Claude Robillard. The watchword: “Recreation in beautiful surroundings.” On the program: Free play and organized activities as well as cultural and sporting events, from performances by Paul Buissonneau’s travelling La Roulotte theatre, to the Jardin des Merveilles children’s zoo, play modules, a "park parade" and many other activities.

In collaboration with the city’s archives department.


Montréal Celebrates Its Olympics

July 18 to September 1, 2006

Montréal Celebrates Its Olympics The exhibition was composed of images from competitions, events, crowds, and slices of Olympic life. It showed the participation of 92 nations in the Olympicss, for a total of 6,084 athletes in 198 competitions and bore witness to the 3,195,170 visitors and one billion people watching the Olympics on TV.

The exhibition was created jointly by the CHM and the citys archives department as part of the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Olympics. It was presented in the hall of honour at city hall.


JAZZ: Swinging Nights in Montréal

May 5, 2005 to March 26, 2006

JAZZ: Swinging Nights in Montréal With this exhibition, the CHM brought back great moments in jazz, that made Montréal one of the jazz capitals of North America. Throughout the exhibition, visitors were accompanied by the voices of two well-known Montréal jazz lovers: Gilles Archambault and Katie Malloch.

The exhibition follows the history of jazz in Montréal through its many styles, from ragtime, swing and be-bop through to contemporary jazz. The musical journey included encounters with the issues and events of the day such as prohibition, the arrival of Mayor Drapeau, the creation of the first black musicians’ union and Québec's Quiet Revolution.

On the second floor of the CHM, a replica of a jazz club was created where concerts were given.

In collaboration with the Phonothèque Québécoise with financial support from Canadian Heritage.


Wired – City life and Montréal’s Commission des Services Électriques, 1914-1933

September 30, 2004 to April 3, 2005

Wired – City life and Montréal’s Commission des Services Électriques, 1914-1933 The photographs in this exhibition were delightful glimpses into the daily life of Montrealers between 1914 and 1933. Taken by the Commission des Services Électriques de Montréal, this photographic heritage was the subject of the first joint exhibition by the CHM and the city’s archives department.


Tèt Ansanm, Tous Ensemble – Haitians in Montréal

May 19 to September 5, 2004

Tèt Ansanm, Tous Ensemble – Haitians in Montréal Visitors had the chance to discover Montréal’s Haitian community through this exhibition of private and public archives and rare and ordinary objects collected over the years. Memorabilia, images of events and memorable or everyday encounters, portraits of noteworthy or anonymous figures – in short, everything that will make it possible to tell the story of Montréal’s Haitian community one day.

This exhibition was presented in 2004 as an initiative of the Forum culturelle haïtienne de Montréal and in collaboration with organizations such as the Centre International de Documentation et d’Information haïtienne, caraïbéenne et afro-canadienne (CIDIHCA), Images interculturelles and La Maison d’Haïti.


ENCONTROS: The Portuguese Community, Neighbours for 50 Years

September 18, 2003 to April 25, 2004

ENCONTROS: The Portuguese Community, Neighbours for 50 Years Fifty years ago, in May 1953, the first wave of immigrants arrived in Canada, 400 years after Portuguese sailors explored Canadian shores and tried to establish a colony. These 50 years as neighbours transformed some parts of Montréal, as if the Portuguese community had always been part of Montréal’s landscape. Today, there are Portuguese people who live all over the greater Montréal area, having found their place in every cultural and socioeconomic background across the city.

As part of this anniversary, the CHM, in collaboration with the Carrefour des Jeunes Lusophones du Québec, the Mission Santa Cruz and the Portuguese Association of Canada, presented the experiences of the Portuguese community in the greater Montréal area in three different locations.

The CHM exhibition showcased these family treasures while telling the story of the Portuguese community in Montréal and questioning its identity and future.

Wish You Were Here: Two Photographers on the Road, 1910-1940

June 27 to August 31, 2003

Wish You Were Here: Two Photographers on the Road, 1910-1940 The CHM presented this delightful tour of Québec as it was between 1910 and 1940, thanks to photographs taken by tourists John Boyd and Clifford M. Johnston, who criss-crossed the province many times in order to take in the modernity of its cities and the picturesque charm of its countryside.

The photographs were drawn primarily from the National Archives of Canada and the Archives of Ontario.


Min Zamaan – For So Long Now:
The Syrian-Lebanese Community in Montréal, 1882- 1940

October 10, 2002 to June 8, 2003

Min Zamaan – For So Long Now In 1882, the first immigrant of Syrian-Lebanese origin arrived in Montréal. Over the next three decades, some 2,000 men and women followed his lead, leaving behind the cities and towns of Bilad al-Sham (geographic Syria) to become the city’s first Arabic-speaking community.

The exhibition showcased the beginnings of the Syrian-Lebanese community in Montréal and in the rest of Québec: their cities and towns of origin, the highlights of their trip to North America, the years of “settling in,” putting down roots and contributing to economic and cultural life in Montréal and Québec, and “legendary” figures in the community.

The exhibition also presents a portrait of today’s Arabic-speaking community in Montréal through photographs taken by Rawi Hage, an artist of Lebanese origin.

Living Memory

May 31 to September 22, 2002

Living Memory “Living Memory” was presented by DARE-DARE in collaboration with the CHM at the CHM and in the city. Ten artists explored Montréal’s memory. From fires to public health and legends about the story of the slave named Angélique, the Russian community in Nelson and the Indian Act in vacant lots, this laboratory exhibition invited visitors into an unusual artistic and historical adventure.


Beyond the Call of Duty: Chronicles of Domestic Life in Private Homes, 1920-2000

September 12, 2001 to April 28, 2002

Beyond the Call of Duty: Chronicles of Domestic Life in Private Homes, 1920-2000 “Beyond the Call of Duty” was the result of an original investigation led by Raphaëlle de Groot, visual artist and guest CHM exhibition commissioner artist. Combining historical, artistic and sociological research, Ms. Groot introduced us to the history of domestic services in Montréal through the memories and intimate experience of the people most closely affected by the topic.


Silo nº5

June 29 to December 3, 2000

This exhibition explored the history and memory of the industrial giant known as Silo No. 5, the best known of the grain elevators in the Port of Montréal, whose enigmatic presence in the urban landscape elicits passionate reactions.

As part of the “Silophone” event coordinated by par Quartier Éphémère. In collaboration with Héritage Montréal, the Association Québécoise pour le Patrimoine Industriel and Docomomo Québec.

So Far Away… So Close. Memory of a Century: 20 Portraits, 20 Montrealers, 20 Meetings

May 4 to June 11, 2000

Some 20 large portraits by photographer Karim Rholem offered visitors a close encounter with 20 people who arrived in Montréal during the 30th century, pushed out of their native lands by the tumultuous waves of history, with faces that were so open and moving.

Witnesses: Chronicle of a Non-Event

March 10 to April 23, 2000

Four young photographers decided to immortalize an exceptional moment: that of the passage to a new century. Between midnight on December 31 and noon on January 1, from Québec City to Montréal, they took photos, hour after hour, of events both modest and grandiose, and people who were joyful, worried or indifferent. Witnesses: Chronicle of a Non-Event was born from this photographic race and was presented for the first time at the CHM. A black-and-white photography mosaic, the exhibition included a soundtrack of interviews and background noises captured over the course of the 24-hour period, along with a text by writer and film director Jacques Godbout.

The Eye of the Metropolis

September 15, 1999 to February 27, 2000

From September 9 to 11, 2000, 30 photojournalists from all over the world were given a mission to deliver their vision of Montréal in 60 hours. Just 60 hours for 30 different subjects, an original portrait of Québec’s largest city, a unique place in North America. More than 30,000 photos were taken.

The event that led to these unusual photos being taken was created by Productions de L'Oeil, a company that specializes in media events. These 20 photos were exhibited at the CHM.

Montréal in the 1950s. Alan B. Stone, photographer (1928-1992)

January 27 to September 6, 1999

Unusual photographs that convey a mastery of the art and an original eye of this little-known Montreal photographer, filled with beauty and humanity. In collaboration with the Archives Gaies du Québec.

This exhibition was later presented at the Maison de la Culture Marie-Uguay, then at the Écomusée du Fier Monde.

Their Honours, the Mayors: A Comedy in Three Acts.

September 18 to December 6, 1998

Their Honours, the Mayors: A Comedy in Three Acts. An unusual electoral campaign was in full force at the CHM: Visitors discovered the history of Montrals mayors, from Jacques Viger to Jean Drapeau, thanks to period caricatures, illustrations and artefacts.

The History of Montrals Public Baths, 1860-1960.

June 4 to September 7, 1998

This exhibition, which was first presented at the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve History Workshop, was later presented at the Bain Morgan in 1996, and then at the comuse du Fier Monde. The CHM added a new presentation and other artefacts. Everyday objects, bathing suits and bathing caps, scenes shot in the public baths and testimonials all tell the story of Montrals public baths.

A Forgotten Heritage: The le Sainte Hlne Military Complex

February 12 to April 13, 1998

A travelling exhibition from the Stewart Museum as part of the Exhibiting on the Island program.

Expo 67: We Walked on the Islands...

July 9 to December 7, 1997

Expo 67 For the 30th anniversary of Expo 67. An exhibition created around testimonials and visitors memories with inventive, educational scenography. A call to citizens was made for items for the exhibition.

Montral in Colour

April 2 to June 15, 1997

An exhibition developed by the Maison de la Culture Marie-Uguay. Twelve works inspired by Montral landscapes by 19th-century artists such as Franchre and Delfosse and 20th-century artists such as Suzor-Ct and Bloomfield.

Adrien Hbert: An Artist in the Port of Montral

February 13 to March 25, 1997

A travelling Montral Museum of Fine Arts exhibition as part of the Exhibiting on the Island program.

Tea, A Drink to Quench All Thirsts!

May 29 to December 8, 1996

Tea, A Drink to Quench All Thirsts! An exhibition about tea, its history, and rituals and techniques of preparation across the world

Presented in collaboration with the Notre-Dame-de-Grce and Cte-des-Neiges maisons de la culture. The exhibition was then presented in several other cultural institutions.

Department Stores: Modern-Day Cathedrals

May 9 to December 10, 1995 and January 26 to April 11, 1996

The history of department stores, veritable temples of consumption, made its mark on Montrals economic, social and cultural faces. Dupuis Frres, Morgan/The Bay, Eaton, Simpson and Ogilvy evoke memories of this new era of shopping!

Follow the Guide! The History of Tourism in Montral

September 21 to December 11, 1994 and January 28 to April 16, 1995

This exhibition featured highlights of our citys evolution as a tourist destination, beginning with the New France era and its first tourist, Asseline de Ronval. In collaboration with the Office des Congrs et du Tourisme de Montral.

Rumours of the City

May 9 to September 5, 1994

Montral as seen through texts and works of contemporary artists interpreting the modern-day city.

Native Culture As Seen By Georges Sioui

February 5 to April 17, 1994

An exhibition designed by the network of maisons de la culture as part as a series of exhibitions about cultural communities. As guest curator, Georges Sioui presented his vision of Amerindian history.

A Toast to History! The Alcohol Industry in Montral

May 10 to December 12, 1993

An exhibition that explored the beginnings of an industry that marked the citys development both economically and socially. In collaboration with the Socit des Alcools du Qubec and the Brasserie Molson-O'Keefe.

Know-How: The Railroad Industry in Montral

January 5 to April 25, 1993

Created by the Socit Historique de Montral in collaboration with the CHM and with the participation of the Canadian Railway Museum, this exhibition highlighted the work of thousands of men and women here and elsewhere who were essential to developing and running an industry that was vital to the citys growth.

Make Way for Montrealers!

May 15 to November 9, 1992

An exhibition around some 100 key figures, men and women, who left their mark on Montral, including historian Marie Morin in 1697 and Ernest Ouimet, who opened the first cinema in 1906.

Sacred Fire: Firefighters in Montral from 1642 to 1992

January 14 to May 3, 1992

An exhibition created by the Service de la prvention des incendies de Montral and the Pompiers Auxiliaires de Montral in collaboration with the CHM.

Lanes, Yard and Gardens: The Backstage of Montral

May 18 to December 1, 1991

An exhibition showcasing the history of the backyard in urban life. Who could be found in the lane? Where do we find backyards in Montral? What do artists think of it all?

Montral in the 1940s by Conrad Poirier

May 3, 1988 to November 30, 1988

Created and developed by the CHM and the Archives Nationales du Qubec Montral.

Montral, The Winters of Yesteryear...

January 21, 1988 to January 31, 1988

Created and developed by the CHM as part of the Fte des Neiges presented in the hall of honour at city hall.

Saint-Henri, Yesterday and Today

September 23 to October 22, 1987

Created and developed by the CHM in collaboration with the Socit Historique de Saint-Henri as part of the MAC/Ville agreement.

Sainte-Justine Hospital, 1907-1987

May 27 to June 20, 1987

Created and developed by the Centre d'histoire de Montral. Presented at the Maison de la Culture Cte-des-Neiges.

125 Years of Public Transportation in Montral, 1861-1986

November 27, 1986 to September 13, 1987

Created and developed by the CHM in collaboration with the STCUM and the Canadian Railway Museum.

When the Earth Speaks to the City

October 1 to November 23, 1986

Created and developed by the Socit d'Archologie et de Mumismatique de Montral in collaboration with the CHM.

100 Years of Solidarity,1886-1986

August 19 to September 21, 1986

Created and developed by the FTQ and the Conseil des Travailleuses et Travailleurs de Montral.

Edgar Garipy, Photographer (1881-1956)

May 1 to August 18, 1986

Created and developed by the citys cultural activities department.


March 13 to April 27, 1986

Created and developed by Hritage Montral in collaboration with the educational department of the Montral Museum of Fine Arts.

Facets of the History of Radio in Qubec

September 5, 1985 to December 18, 1985

Created and developed by the Institut Qubcois de Recherche sur la Culture.

The Fur Trade

May 30 to June 30, 1985

Created and developed by Parks Canada.

Make Way for Squares

April 23 to May 25, 1985

Created and developed by Marc Henri Choko of UQMs department of design, in collaboration with the CHM.

A Look At Commercial Architecture in Montral

November 15, 1984 to May 15, 1985

The Street Where Children Are Found

November 16, 1983 to October 30, 1984