Tours and programs

Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site

Power, love and politics, discover the intrigues of life in the Cartier home. Choose between for a guided or self-guided tour, as well as a special holiday tour and outdoor audio tour.

Guided tours

Visits led by a guide

A guide shows a group of visitors the Cartier's house

Although the site and exhibits can be explored on your own, it is possible to visit with the help of a guide who will follow you along the way, sharing fascinating anecdotes about the Cartier family and answering any questions you may have. There are no specific times for guided tours (they are available on request).

Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site also welcomes private groups (family and friends), tourist groups, school groups and day camp groups. Find out more about our group activities.

If you wish to take a group tour, you must make a reservation in advance by sending an email to

Guided tour: A Victorian Christmas

A little girl and a costumed guide contemplate an old-fashioned Christmas tree

Be sure not to miss our special holiday program, where a festive ambiance and the preparations for a 19th-century bourgeois Christmas take center stage.

Explore Christmas magic in Sir George-Étienne Cartier's Victorian home, decked out with vintage ornaments. With your guide, learn more about the fascinating origins of Christmas traditions that are still enjoyed today.

Tour program: Guided tour of the main living room, dining room, blue salon and Mrs. Cartier's bedroom through various themes such as the Christmas tree and ornaments, etiquette and traditional cooking, Santa Claus, games, Christmas cards and gifts. The tour ends with the serving of old-fashioned hot drinks, such as wassail and spiced hot chocolate.

Length: About 50 minutes. Several departures are offered throughout the weekend.
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays from December 1st to 17, 2023. Check out the detailed schedule.
Public: Open to all. Families and children are welcome!
Languages: French and English.
Reservations: Booking recommended. To make a reservation, send an email to
Fees: See the fees.

Visit of the buildings

Victorian house, east side

As soon as you enter Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site, you'll be invited to visit both sides of the famous Victorian house on Notre-Dame Street in Old Montreal.

After paying your entrance fee at the reception desk on the ground floor, turn left and enter the house on the east side.

You will be able to see the State of Play exhibition, with its interactive games that plunge you straight into the debates of the Confederation era.

Once you've climbed the stairs to the building's second floor, other exhibits such as Stories in Silver and Imagine a Country await you on the east side.

Victorian house, west side

While the east side of the house resonates with the present, the west side of the property presents the past through sumptuous rooms that have skilfully stood the test of time.

On the other side of the porte cochere are the main salon, dining room, tea room and Madame Cartier's bedroom, which you can visit at your leisure.

Suggested tour

Stop 1: The Victorian house

Take a tour of the house's two floors to see and learn all about life in the Cartier household.

Stop 2: The outdoor audio tour

The Cartier neighbourhood
1863 photo of Cartier and his two daughters
Complete your discovery of Monsieur Cartier's fascinating life and influence in Old Montréal with this free self-guided tour!

Download Parks Canada's national application and discover these historic places scattered throughout Old Montréal. Over the course of a dozen stops, you will discover the places frequented by Cartier and his entourage in the mid-19th century. Ready for a trip back in time?

In 1848, George-Étienne Cartier became a Member of Parliament and bought his house on Notre-Dame Street. Montréal was the capital of the United Province of Canada and the country's largest metropolis. Did you know that the area we now call Old Montréal was at that time the centre of the city? It was also the seat of the colony's political, judicial, financial and commercial powers. Many of the places frequented by the prestigious Cartier family still exist today and bear witness to this exciting period.

  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Distance: 1 kilometre
  • Public: for everyone
Parks Canada App

Download Parks Canada App.

In order to get the most out of your self-guided tour, we recommend:

  • Downloading the application before you arrive at the site, as the historic site does not have Wi-Fi. You can also use the Wi-Fi terminals available to visitors in Old Montréal. Once downloaded, the app works offline.
  • Using a well-charged smartphone for an optimal experience.
  • Wearing appropriate walking shoes and clothing suitable for the weather.

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