Treasures in the Attic: Discover Iconic Toys Loved by Five Generations of Montrealers!

Treasures in the Attic

Toy Engine, Lionel Corporation, 1926-1933.
Gift of the Estate of Omer Lavallée, © McCord Museum

To the great delight of the thousands of visitors who step into a world of wonder every year, the McCord Museum is presenting an exhibition of toys for the ninth time, but with a captivating new twist on the theme. Until March17, 2019, children, parents, grandparents and friends are invited to discover the Treasures in the Attic at William and Sarah’s grandparents’ house. There are some 220 iconic items on display, most of them drawn from the McCord’s vast collection—toys loved by generations of Montreal children.

Like Ali Baba’s cave, the attic is filled with treasures—memories, surprises and curiosities from bygone eras. Twins Sarah and William have mislaid their own toys in this magical place where rocking horses turn into knights and figurines become ballerinas. Will they ever find them?

Treasures in the Attic

Model fire engine, about 1890.
Gift of Mr. R. H. Gaunt, © McCord Museum

From 1880 to today
GI Joe, Barbie and Mr. Potato Head are among the Treasures in the Attic visitors come across as they take a trip through time. In four scenes set in the attic of a century-old house, the exhibition tells the story of a Montreal family through each generation’s beloved games and toys. In the first section, devoted to toys from 1880 to 1909, today’s children will go back to the turn of the 20th century and discover the toys their great-great-grandparents played with. They’ll see how some types of toys have changed over time and new ones made their appearance.

Fun and games of all sorts
Treasures in the AtticMany people fondly remember their grandparents’ attic as a mythical place, the repository of family memories and pivotal moments in the lives of generations. This mysterious, nostalgia-filled room fascinates Sarah and William. Every time they venture up, they discover a parallel world where childhood seems frozen in time. On this visit, the twins ask the other children to help look for the toys they’ve mislaid on one of their wild adventures. They can’t find them, even though they’ve looked in the darkest, dustiest corners. In addition to this quest, kids and grownups will enjoy a captivating immersive experience as they try all sorts of games: navigating mazes, recognizing textures by touch, illuminating intriguing wall drawings using ultraviolet flashlights, dressing up and spotting the mistakes. There’s lots of fun to be had in the attic!

Toys from five generations of Montrealers
The 220 items in Treasures in the Attic bear witness to the world Montreal children lived in and they have a fascinating social dimension. To bring to life the parallel overlapping worlds in the exhibition, the Museum asked Montrealers to provide photos of children of yesterday and today for an historical slide show. The distinctive finish of the slides and Polaroids will bring back warm memories for adults, while the youngest visitors will be amazed to discover the «big little world» of the children of another time.

For more information, including opening hours, visit:   514-398-7100

McCord Museum
690 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec  H3A 1E9

Related Posts