Building Montréal is a hybrid game combining principles of simulation games such as SimCity and quest games such as Zelda. Players interact with the game intuitively; for example, they can build a house in a chosen location. They can also move characters around, have conversations and seek information to better orient their game decisions. Players must carry out short missions whose objectives are stated at the outset. During these missions, they must meet "challenges" in order to advance in the game.

The game unfolds in time in a linear fashion. When a player makes a move, the game validates that move and time automatically moves forward several years. By observing changes in the game matrix and various indicators (such as the number of "habitants"), the player can see the consequences of the move and can then take another turn.

A turn may therefore take a few seconds or several minutes, depending the effort players put into finding information to orient their decisions and the time they take to carry out missions and meet challenges. Players may also save their game.
Building Montréal is a hybrid game combining principles of simulation games such as SimCity and quest games such as Zelda. Players interact with the game intuitively; for example, they can build a house in a chosen location. They can also move characters around, have conversations and seek information to better orient their game decisions. Players must carry out short missions whose objectives are stated at the outset. During these missions, they must meet "challenges" in order to advance in the game.

The game unfolds in time in a linear fashion. When a player makes a move, the game validates that move and time automatically moves forward several years. By observing changes in the game matrix and various indicators (such as the number of "habitants"), the player can see the consequences of the move and can then take another turn.

A turn may therefore take a few seconds or several minutes, depending the effort players put into finding information to orient their decisions and the time they take to carry out missions and meet challenges. Players may also save their game.

© Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaelogy and History 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Game play consists of passing through, in order, the three broad periods of Montréal’s urban development. During each period, players carry out missions to further the progress of their city. Building Montréal has two player modes, "general" and "specific." These two modes are complementary and interdependent. They are not something players can select, but rather types of actions players can take. In other words, they are two ways in which players can carry out their mission. In the "general" mode, players build the city by modifying "states" specific to each square of the isometric matrix, using a menu. In this mode, players directly affects what the map looks like. When players validate their actions, indicators show the effects of their choices. This allows players to make adjustments; for example, if they notice the population is declining, they can assign the "vegetable garden" state to more of the squares. Players make decisions based on their available budget and the cost of each item, either intuitively or in a more discerning fashion, using information from "general" mode parameters.

To play the Read More
Game play consists of passing through, in order, the three broad periods of Montréal’s urban development. During each period, players carry out missions to further the progress of their city. Building Montréal has two player modes, "general" and "specific." These two modes are complementary and interdependent. They are not something players can select, but rather types of actions players can take. In other words, they are two ways in which players can carry out their mission. In the "general" mode, players build the city by modifying "states" specific to each square of the isometric matrix, using a menu. In this mode, players directly affects what the map looks like. When players validate their actions, indicators show the effects of their choices. This allows players to make adjustments; for example, if they notice the population is declining, they can assign the "vegetable garden" state to more of the squares. Players make decisions based on their available budget and the cost of each item, either intuitively or in a more discerning fashion, using information from "general" mode parameters.

To play the Building Montreal game, please follow this link.

© Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaelogy and History 2006. All Rights Reserved.

We decided use the precariousness of Montréal’s situation during this time (compared to that of Québec or Trois-Rivières) to characterize the period. This situation was due mainly to the hostility of the Iroquois, who were at war with Aboriginals allied with the French for control over the fur trade. The period extends from the first records of "Montrealist" victims in the burial registry of Ville-Marie’s first cemetery to the pictographic signatures of Native delegates at the ceremonies of the Great Peace of 1701. Aside from a few lulls, this precariousness affected the entire period.

The fur trade-the colony’s most lucrative activity and what made Montréal such a sought-after location-had highs and lows that mirrored the periods of calm in the Iroquois wars. Located at the confluence of water routes used by most Aboriginal fur traders, Montréal was a hot spot in this conflict, and the fur trade was therefore also partly contingent on it.

The three scenarios chosen to represent this period hinge on realities and issues related to the colony’s precariousness, which itself stems from its relationships with its Aboriginal allie Read More
We decided use the precariousness of Montréal’s situation during this time (compared to that of Québec or Trois-Rivières) to characterize the period. This situation was due mainly to the hostility of the Iroquois, who were at war with Aboriginals allied with the French for control over the fur trade. The period extends from the first records of "Montrealist" victims in the burial registry of Ville-Marie’s first cemetery to the pictographic signatures of Native delegates at the ceremonies of the Great Peace of 1701. Aside from a few lulls, this precariousness affected the entire period.

The fur trade-the colony’s most lucrative activity and what made Montréal such a sought-after location-had highs and lows that mirrored the periods of calm in the Iroquois wars. Located at the confluence of water routes used by most Aboriginal fur traders, Montréal was a hot spot in this conflict, and the fur trade was therefore also partly contingent on it.

The three scenarios chosen to represent this period hinge on realities and issues related to the colony’s precariousness, which itself stems from its relationships with its Aboriginal allies and enemies.
  1. The founding of Montreal - represented by the construction and role of Fort Ville-Marie.
  2. The fur trade - represented by the annual "fur fair."
  3. Making peace with the Aboriginal peoples - represented by events surrounding the negotiations for and signature of the Great Peace (1701).
The period begins with the construction of a fort to protect the colonists from Iroquois attacks and ends with the peace treaty signed by all of the Aboriginal nations in contact with the French, including the Iroquois.

To access the Learning Object Collection associated with this period please follow this link.

© Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaelogy and History 2006. All Rights Reserved.

We characterized this period by the building of fortifications and the military role of Montréal, initially as part of the French Empire in the Americas and later as a British colony after the fall of Montréal, in 1760. Montréal was the first city in New France to be fortified, gaining its stone ramparts even before Québec City . Unlike the wood fortifications they replaced, the stone walls created two separate urban entities-the fortified city within the walls, and the faubourgs , or suburbs, outside the walls. The latter truly came into existence only with the construction of the ramparts and with the changes necessitated by the numerous major fires that swept through Montréal around this time. Ironically, though the fortifications never came under attack, and Montréal was spared any damage related to the war with the British, these fires were just as destructive as any war. But the fires also paved the way for the rebuilding of most of the city’s dwellings in new ways and for new purposes, resulting in significant changes to the urban landscape during this period.

Montréal’s surrender to the British in September 1760, a year after Québec City , signaled t Read More
We characterized this period by the building of fortifications and the military role of Montréal, initially as part of the French Empire in the Americas and later as a British colony after the fall of Montréal, in 1760. Montréal was the first city in New France to be fortified, gaining its stone ramparts even before Québec City . Unlike the wood fortifications they replaced, the stone walls created two separate urban entities-the fortified city within the walls, and the faubourgs , or suburbs, outside the walls. The latter truly came into existence only with the construction of the ramparts and with the changes necessitated by the numerous major fires that swept through Montréal around this time. Ironically, though the fortifications never came under attack, and Montréal was spared any damage related to the war with the British, these fires were just as destructive as any war. But the fires also paved the way for the rebuilding of most of the city’s dwellings in new ways and for new purposes, resulting in significant changes to the urban landscape during this period.

Montréal’s surrender to the British in September 1760, a year after Québec City , signaled the end of New France . It did not mean the end of the fur trade, however. English merchants took over the trade with great success, in part due to the French-Canadian "infrastructure," consisting of the voyageurs and their Aboriginal partners, already in place. Since the beginning of the century, the fur trade had been based on a network of forts scattered throughout the Pays d’en Haut , or back country, extending west to the Rocky Mountains and south to the Gulf of Mexico . With this network now under the control of British merchants in Montréal, the city continued its control over the fur trade, still the colony’s most profitable venture.

The three scenarios chosen to represent this period hinge on issues and realities related to this "city of stone," or fortified city.

  1. Military hub of New France - represented by the building of Vauban-style stone fortifications, the first for a city in New France.
  2. Daily life in a French town - whose layout and occupancy was in part determined by the fires.
  3. Large-scale fur trade - represented by the drive and expansion of the fur trade now controlled by British merchants.
To access the Learning Object Collection associated with this period please follow this link.

© Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaelogy and History 2006. All Rights Reserved.

We characterized this period by the major changes to Montréal's urban structure brought about by a significant expansion of the city's commercial vocation throughout the 19th century. These changes began with the demolition of the fortifications at the turn of the 19th century, which paved the way for the construction of a harbourfront that literally "changed the face" of Montréal. This new face was not only architectural but also sociological and economic.
The fortifications were demolished. The business sector gradually took over the entire former fortified city (what is today Old Montréal). A first generation of residence-stores was built in Old Montréal. A second generation of buildings, warehouse-stores, replaced them in the second half of the century. More imposing in square, Victorian style, these buildings went along with the emancipation of the English-Canadian business class, which was gradually taking control of the young Canada . The arrival of huge numbers of English-speaking immigrants from the British Isles changed the character of Montréal. Some of these immigrants were heading w Read More
We characterized this period by the major changes to Montréal's urban structure brought about by a significant expansion of the city's commercial vocation throughout the 19th century. These changes began with the demolition of the fortifications at the turn of the 19th century, which paved the way for the construction of a harbourfront that literally "changed the face" of Montréal. This new face was not only architectural but also sociological and economic.
  • The fortifications were demolished.
  • The business sector gradually took over the entire former fortified city (what is today Old Montréal).
  • A first generation of residence-stores was built in Old Montréal.
  • A second generation of buildings, warehouse-stores, replaced them in the second half of the century. More imposing in square, Victorian style, these buildings went along with the emancipation of the English-Canadian business class, which was gradually taking control of the young Canada .
  • The arrival of huge numbers of English-speaking immigrants from the British Isles changed the character of Montréal. Some of these immigrants were heading west, but a large percentage of them remained in Montréal.
  • Another wave of immigration occurred in the 1860s, this time of French-Canadians from rural Québec, forced out because of a lack of farmland, moving to Montréal to find work. They found jobs in the factories that sprang up with the industrial age.

© Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaelogy and History 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • explain the importance of the foundation of Montreal in New France from 1642 to 1900;
  • put into context the socio-economic cleavages specific to that time;
  • demonstrate the importance of Montreal as a hub for British North America.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans