Montreal’s Jewish Museum recently moved to Mile End from its old digs in a less visited neighbourhood. The museum is housed in a former bar that sold magazines – with a big glass roof, which, it turns out, is a perfect set-up to light the art installations now being shown.
Mile End is still home to many rag trade factories that were traditionally run by the Jewish community, and a large Hasidic community who still operate what remains of that industry. The museum builds on that connection to offer walking tours and events that connect past and present. A must-try is their “beyond the bagel” eating tour, which uncovers some of the lesser-known Jewish foods available in the area.
The museum suggests booking the Beyond the Bagel tour 24 to 48 hours in advance. 12 hours’ notice is sufficient for the other walking tours. On a recent visit, I was struck by the enthusiastic museum staff and the very tender exhibit about window coverings that invited us to consider what is shown and what is hidden. Currently, the museum is only open for special events and tours, presumably so they can complete their renovation.