The renovation project will meet key accessibility objectives for the 19th-century building while ensuring that its historical and architectural features are carefully protected and conserved.
- Renovations and Collections
- Closure and Reopening
- Services to Faculty and Researchers
- Engagement with the Public
Renovations and Collections
Why is the Museum being renovated and why now?
Inaugurated in 1882, the Redpath Museum is a prime example of Victorian architecture on the McGill campus. Currently, the Museum collections can only be reached by a staircase, effectively excluding visitors with reduced mobility.
With support from Ministry of Education grants, operating and accessibility funds, and generous donors, the Museum now has funding secured for these much-needed renovations, and thanks to significant preparatory work and planning by McGill Facilities Management and Ancillary Services, the project is ready to begin.
What will be included in the renovation project?
The renovations to make the Museum universally accessible will include:
- A new entrance with a ramp to the building to provide improved access, including for those who use a wheelchair or for whom stairs are a barrier.
- An elevator will be installed to enable access to all indoor public spaces.
- Two new washrooms will be added, with space for wheelchairs and easier access for those with other mobility needs. They will be gender inclusive and include automatic doors.
- Some passageways will be opened to create additional circulation space and allow more natural light into the Museum.
What will happen to the collections during the renovations?
The collections will be carefully packed and stored or relocated to protect them from damage or construction dust. Arrangements for Redpath collections used in teaching are currently being explored.
Will the collection be the same when the museum reopens?
In consultation with key internal and external stakeholders, the Faculty of Science and Museum staff will continue to review and improve the Museum’s exhibits during the closure period. We look forward to sharing these developments with our visitors when the Museum reopens.
Closure and Reopening
When will the Museum close for renovation?
The Museum will close to the public for the holidays after December 22, 2023, and will remain closed to prepare for renovations starting January 2024. This work starts with packing and moving collections out of the planned construction zones.
Why can’t the Museum stay open during renovation?
The renovations will turn the Museum into a construction site. Only those involved in undertaking the work will be able to circulate safely. The collections will also need to be sealed away and protected, so there will be nothing to see until the work is done and the Museum reopens.
When will the Museum reopen?
It depends on the scope of the work and whether there are delays during the renovations. However, the current expectation is that it will reopen two to three years after work begins. It is unlikely that it will reopen before the end of 2025.
Services to Faculty and Researchers
What happens to the Museum staff and the services they provide while the work is underway?
Museum staff members will remain at the service of the McGill community for assistance in research and teaching projects. The team will also continue to serve the wider Montréal community through public outreach programming. Temporarily, they will work from a different location but will be available for meetings and consultations.
What if I need access to artifacts?
Some faculty members and researchers may need access to parts of the collection during the renovation period. Those needs are being identified and worked out this fall. If you are a graduate student, faculty member, or researcher who will need access to specific artifacts for research or teaching purposes, please contact our curatorial staff: annie.lussier [at] mcgill.ca (Annie Lussier), for World Cultures Collections, and anthony.howell [at] mcgill.ca (Anthony Howell), for Natural History Collections.
Engagement with the Public
What should parents, school groups and other members of the general public know?
During the renovations, the Museum team will continue to engage with the public and the McGill community in various ways. Stay tuned for more details and check the Learning Services page on our website for updates.
For any other booking queries, please redpath.museum [at] mcgill.ca (contact us).
How can I learn more about the renovation project?
If you have questions about the renovations themselves, you may feel free to contact the Redpath staff:
- Administrative office: ginette.dessureault [at] mcgill.ca (Ginette Dessureault), Administrative Manager and Building Director, and shawn.mccutcheon [at] mcgill.ca (Shawn McCutcheon), Administrative Coordinator for the Public Program
- Curatorial staff: annie.lussier [at] mcgill.ca (Annie Lussier), World Cultures Collections, and anthony.howell [at] mcgill.ca (Anthony Howell), Natural History Collections
- Learning Services: sara.estradaarevalo [at] mcgill.ca (Sara Estrada Arevalo), Museum Educator
Will it be possible to host events or rent space in the Redpath Museum during the closure?
The Museum will be unable to host events during the closure. For any questions, please redpath.museum [at] mcgill.ca (contact us).