Cover of the "What building stones tell" pamphletBuilding stones and fossils of downtown Montreal

Palaeontologists seek out fossils in the most remote places on Earth, but you can find them right here in downtown Montreal – without even picking up a shovel. Built from a variety of local and imported stone, the city’s churches, offices and apartment buildings harbour a veritable compendium of fossils and geological specimens. Our Building Stones and Fossils guide will help you track them down.

NEW! Free downloadable Fossil Exploration Guide (in English). This GIS Storymap gives you a virtual tour of seven sites around McGill University downtown campus that are loaded with fossils.   

Map of fossil sitesTwenty fossil sites near Montreal

Go fossil hunting on the island of Montreal at one of these easy-to-reach sites.

The Gault reserveThe Gault Nature Reserve

A small site about the Gault Nature Reserve at Mont St-Hilaire with information about its history, geology and the animals and plants that can be found on it.

The Ordovician dioramaOrdovician life and fossils

Learn more about the creatures that lived in the warm seas of the Ordovician that covered Montreal almost half a billion years ago and the fossils that they left.

The Museum's Ordovician diorama provides more information about this time period.


If you use the resources here, please fill out our feedback form. We appreciate your comments!

Land Acknowledgement

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence marks this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

The Redpath Museum's director EDI statement.

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