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Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site

A christmas tree stocked with surprises!
A christmas tree stocked with surprises!
© Parks Canada

A Victorian Christmas

The Magic of Christmas Unfolds

November 19 to December 18, 2016:
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
December 26 to 30:
Monday to Friday, 12 am to 7 pm

Christmas table surrounded by Victorian characters
Pleasant conversation with characters of another time!
© Parks Canada

Victorian Christmas exhibition and activities

The splendour of Victorian Christmas is revealed in each room of the grand residence belonging to the illustrious George-Étienne Cartier. Feast your eyes on the beautifully laid table, the magnificent tree, piles of gifts and other delights, as well as old-fashioned Christmas cards and early representations of Santa Claus. The magic of Christmas will fill and inspire you through the holidays and beyond!

Rediscover the wonder and traditions of the season, and spread the joy wherever you go!

“Kissing under the mistletoe” souvenir photo

Christmas tree decorations
A magical experience awaits!
© Parks Canada

There are many legends and folktales involving mistletoe. For some people, this magical, sacred plant with medicinal properties is a symbol of love and forgiveness. One popular belief holds that hanging mistletoe in your home during the holidays will bring you luck at the end of the year and into the next.

Share a kiss under the mistletoe with your other half, your parents, your children or your friends, like so many before you!

Workshop: Making Christmas cards and decorations

Adults and children creating Christmas greeting cards
Share the pleasure to create a greeting card
© Parks Canada

This year, give someone the joy of receiving a greeting card you made yourself. Artist MamiKiki will open up her treasure chest full of ribbons, pine cones, lace and assorted items in a myriad of shapes and colours for you to use. Personalize your card and enjoy the pleasure of giving. Those who wish may donate their creation to the Association des popotes roulantes du Montréal métropolitain (meals on wheels), to be given to someone living alone.

Enjoy old-fashioned wassail and hot chocolate

People tasting Victorian era hot beverages around a table
Long live the wassail and the hot chocolate!
© Parks Canada

Come down to the comfortable lounge in the basement to enjoy old-fashioned wassail (a warm drink made from apple juice and seasoned with spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger) or hot chocolate (developed by the Historic Division of Mars based on a recipe from 1750).

Warm up your insides and your taste buds in a delightfully casual setting!

Historical clips on the origin of Christmas traditions

Traditional Christmas tree
The Christmas tree: the most beautiful presents!
© Parks Canada

Where did the story of Santa Claus originate? Why do we give each other gifts and cards? To find out more about these traditions, try out our interactive terminals, where storyteller, historian and Victorian specialist Yvan Fortier will share his knowledge of and passion for Victorian Christmas with you.


Youth (ages 5 to 16): $5.80
Adults: $7.80
Seniors: $7.30
Family: $19.60