“This museum belongs in a museum!” is not a phrase often uttered about the bland buildings that typically house even the most interesting of curated collections. But the opposite is true for the Redpath Museum.
Built in 1882, the museum is named for its donor, Peter Redpath, who was a sugar baron and industrial magnate at the time. Redpath wanted to create a place for carefully curated natural history of every stripe, from geology to anthropology.
And that’s exactly what the Redpath Museum is.
The building rests on the campus of McGill University in Montreal, and shares a name with the Redpath Sugar Museum (what else?) in nearby Toronto. The building is old and beautiful, and its status as the quintessential “oddball” or just plain old museum have earned it use as a set in more than one film and television production.
Colorful stuffed birds, fossils encased in stone, and, of course, dinosaur bones, inhabit every shelve and deck each hall in this much-loved location. The Evolution Exhibit features a massive Albertosaurus skeleton, which is appropriate for Canada, and is undoubtedly the main attraction. The museum is also home to a small collection of glass marine life models by the famous father and son team Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. (More photos here.)
Know Before You Go
Bus: 24 (Sherbrooke Street) or 144 (Pine Avenue). Métro: green line, Peel or McGill stations. Bixi: stands on Sherbrooke and University Streets. Please note that there is no AC and the building can get quite hot in the summer.