LivingTravelMontreal Redpath Museum: From Ancient Mummies to Shrunken Heads

Montreal Redpath Museum: From Ancient Mummies to Shrunken Heads

Housed in Canada’s oldest building specifically built as a museum, the Montreal Redpath Museum first opened in 1882 displaying the collections of then-director McGill and famed natural scientist Sir William Dawson. Praised for its design, the Redpath Building roughly exemplifies the style of the popular Greek Revival in the mid-19th century.


Permanent collection

Open to the public free of charge, the Redpath Museum has assembled nearly three million objects spanning the gamut of natural sciences, covering paleontology, geology, zoology, ethnology, and mineralogy. Highlights in the permanent exhibition include:

  • 150,000 fossils and fossil replicas including dinosaur bones
  • 2,300 Greek and Roman coins
  • 3 Egyptian mummies
  • 16,000 mineral specimens
  • a shrunken head


Strange fridays

On select Fridays at 5pm (except in the summer months), the Redpath Museum invites a McGill scientist to “bust a science myth.” Lectures are held in the Redpath Auditorium and are generally free. Donations are encouraged. Past Freaky Fridays include melting glaciers, what do you give away? , Carnivorous Parasites: Extreme Microorganisms in the Face and the Creation Museum: $ 30 Million in Antiscience and Bad Education .



From theoretical physics to pediatrics, everyone is invited to learn more about science and its many facets. On a Thursday of every month at 6pm (except in the summer months), the Redpath Museum houses Cutting Edge . A series of lectures inviting McGill scientists as well as top scientists from around the world to speak about their field of expertise, admission is free and the public is welcomed to a wine and cheese after the lecture. Past lectures include Einstein and Time , Ozone Depletion and Climate Change , Alice and Bob’s Strange Adventures in Quantumland, and Predicting and Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death .


Sunday documentaries

Enjoy watching a science documentary while passing through the museum. Sunday afternoons are generally free. Screen time subject to charge without prior notice. Check the schedule for more details.


Family events: discovery workshops

Every Sunday, September through April each year, Redpath offers hands-on science-related activities for kids. There is a nominal fee in the range of $ 10 per participating child but zero charge for parents. Reservations must be made one week before a scheduled activity to guarantee a spot. Call (514) 398-4086 extension 4092 for reservations or more information. Previous workshops included a wide range of kid-approved topics such as sharks, volcanoes, and flowers.


Opening hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday from
11 am to 5 pm, Sundays from
1 pm to 5 pm, Sundays in July and August
Closed on holidays, including an extended Christmas break.



Free. Donations are encouraged to make the Redpath Museum free and accessible to all. Discovery workshops, some strange Fridays, and special events may charge a nominal fee.


Contact information

859 Sherbrooke West (corner of McGill College, through the McGill gates)
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6
Call (514) 398-4086 for more information. Map of
Redpath Museum website

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