Montreal

Montreal museums are free on Sunday. Here's what you need to know

If Sunday’s Museum Day attracts as many people as last year's edition, almost 100,000 visitors will circulate though 34 Montreal museums.

Most museums open at 9 a.m. and the event can get crowded by early afternoon

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of 34 participating institutions. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Today is Museum Day in Montreal.

A total of 34 museums are taking part, ranging from big names like the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d'art contemporain, to much more obscure places — like the Musée des Ondes Émile Berliner with its collection of audio equipment, or Musée de Lachine which showcases archeology and history.

Organizers expect up to 100,000 visitors in all.

Hopping from one institution to another can be done by walking, or renting a Bixi, which are free for the day.

Institutions further afield, like Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire and the Biosphere on Île Sainte-Hélène, can be accessed with free shuttle buses provided by the STM.

Figuring out where to go, however, can pose the real challenge.

The group behind the event, the Montréal Museums Society, has found a solution to that by setting up at the Place des Festivals and enlisting volunteers to offer advice to museum-goers as of 9 a.m.

The site will also offer its own entertainment, with circus performers and activities for children.

Montréal Museums Society spokesperson Véronique Gosselin personally recommends the museums along the STM's blue shuttle circuit which goes to the southwest part of the island.

"This is a really nice route," she said.

Crowd size typically balloons as the day wears on, so Gosselin said people who don't want to wait in line should consider going out in the morning — most of the museums open at 9 a.m.

By early afternoon there are often a lot of people taking part in the event and there may be more of a wait, she said.

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