10. Canadian Historical Museum

Passing by the Pharmaprix store on Côte des Neiges Road, it can be hard to imagine that the building opened in 1935 as the Canadian Catholic Museum (later renamed Canadian Historical Museum), a wax museum that operated until 1989.

Praised for the “purity of its lines and style” when it opened, it’s been altered substantially since but the impressive exterior works of French sculptor and museum co-founder Albert Chartier remain. These include statues of the New Testament’s Four Evangelists, styled in an Art Deco manner with rippled contours, and an arched frieze of maple leaves at the former main entrance.

Canadian Historical Museum: The Four Evangelists

Architect Paul M. Lemieux employed a modified horizontal Streamline style, with the statues in place of rounded edges. When we visited, a dumpster sat in front one of those statues, its beauty persisting in spite of this indignity. This is an apt metaphor for Montreal Art Deco – though not always respected as it should be, as long as it survives, it continues to shine.

Un trésor caché

Next, read about Mexico City Art Deco gems, top 10 secrets of the NY Botanical Garden, and NYC’s first Art Deco skyacraper: the NY Telephone Building.

Contact the author at @Jeff_Reuben