The Iroquoian village Hochelaga near Mount Royal was visited by Jacques Cartier upon his arrival in the region we now consider the urban core of Montreal. Acknowledging the depth of our local history, The Hochelaga Project is born of the notion that sustainability requires us to understand the repercussions of human activity on the environment, as well appreciating that local ecologies also impact our ways of living. This multi-year project is organized through undergraduate coursework and research to build a social and natural history of Montreal. The inspiration for this undertaking is derived from Eric Sanderson’s research in New York City, titled Mannahatta, which has since developed into the larger Welikia Project (http://welikia.org/). The Hochelaga Project crosses many thresholds, working as an educational initiative, a research endeavour, a public outreach opportunity and a whole new way of thinking about Montreal.