November 15, 2022 to August 31, 2024
An iconic mountainAffectionately referred to as “the mountain” by Montrealers, the Mount Royal is a Montreal landmark. Located in the heart of the city, this vast territory contains a rich ecology and an exceptional biodiversity.
Today the Mount Royal is a heritage site protected by many people and organizations. But how did our ancestors view this mountain? How have they inhabited it? The Mount Royal has been a key witness to the evolution of the center of the island of Montreal for the past 5000 years. The exhibition Our Moutain: Memories of Mount Royal tells the story of this emblematic place.
Created to mark the bicentennial year of birth of the Mount Royal Park’s creator, American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, (1822-1903), the exhibition focuses on the main issues that played a role in the mountain’s development and preservation efforts.
Discover the Mount RoyalThe Mountain as Territory
The Mount Royal is one of the ten Monteregian Hills of the region. Composed of three summits, its highest elevated at 233 meters, the mountain imposes itself in the heart of downtown Montreal. The mountain’s territory has many green spaces, including multiple parks, cemeteries and renowned institutions that have found their home on its slopes.
The Sacred Mountain
Nomadic and semi-nomadic nations started coming to the island of Montreal 5000 years ago. From the 1300s of our era onward, the St. Lawrence Iroquoians built settlements and established the village known as Hochelaga. Installed on one of the Mountain’s slopes, the Iroquoians used its resources while also attributing mythical and sacred properties to it. The Mount Royal was also adopted by many religious communities, such as the Sulpicians and the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph.
The Mountain as Garden
Over the centuries, cultivators have exploited the wood, stone and fertile soil around the mountain. In the early 1800s, wealthy citizens fleeing the dense city center built villas that completely transformed the landscape of the Mount Royal and its surrounding areas. The mountain thus became a playground for residents who practiced sports, such as snowshoeing.
The Mount Royal Park In the 1860s a park project slowly emerged among other proposals. Many citizens wished to preserve the mountain and make it accessible to Montrealers. In 1874, Frederick Law Olmsted was hired by the city of Montreal to draw the plans of the Mount Royal Park. The park was inaugurated in 1876. The year 2022 marks the bicentennial anniversary of the great landscape architect’s birth.
Credits and curatorshipA Musée des Hospitalières exhibition curated by Jean-François Leclerc, historian and museologist.
This project is funded through the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal reached between the Ville de Montréal and the Gouvernement du Québec.