Space for Life - Biodôme, Montreal
The Biodome de Montreal is probably the most premiere family tourist attraction in Montreal. It is housed in the old velodrome that was used in 1976 Summer Olympic where it hosted cycling and judo competitions. Instead of letting the velodrome evolve into a white elephant like many such Olympic venues, Montreal decided in 1988 to convert the building into the biodome. The results were a resounding success. There are four replicas of environmental systems here. The highlight is the tropical exhibit which features a replica of South American rain forest. The exhibits has a large array of animals and fish from the Amazon including scarlet macaw, piranhas, caiman and numerous insects. It is quite a pleasure visiting this particular exhibit. The other exhibits feature the Laurentian forest, the St Lawrence Marine life and the Artic and Antarctic These are all interesting but cannot top the rain forest exhibit. There is a good chance to get a decent up close look at animals like lynx and penguins. Through the biosphere there are also all kinds of flora which make the whole facility extremely lush.
There are some downsides to your visit to the Biodome. It is extremely popular hence there are long lines and claustrophobic crowds. It is also rather expensive with $19.75 for an adult ticket.
This was sooo interesting! An actual ecological system with animals that can essentially roam about without cages. You walk through a curtain of heavy rubber strips (so the animals don't get out) and it was as if you entered another world. Birds flying about, ducks waddling on your path. The penguins didn't get a complete freedom but their environment looked rather comfortable! We saw a tropical forest, a marine system, an Arctic and Antarctic systems!
Opened from 9am - 5pm daily, extended hours during spring break and summer
Closed on some Mondays and holidays. Ticket prices vary depending on package and age.
Please check out my travelog for more Biodome photos.
This unique indoor zoo, displays animals and vegatation from 4 distinct eco systems; tropical forest, Temperate northern forest (Local), Canadian Maritime, and polar. A great place to visit year round!
Montreal converted the velodrome from the 1976 Summer Olympics to this facility, which replicates four ecosystems found in America--South American rain forest, North American wilderness, St. Lawrence River estuary, and an Arctic/Antarctic polar area. The temps changes as you go. I remember the rain forest area being particularly hot and humid. Many of the animals roam all around you. It is sometimes hard to remember when you're there that you are indoors.
I loved the biodome! It's basically an indoor zoo, but the animals are all in their natural habitat. You walk through several different ecosystems, like the rain forest, St. Lawrence River, Subpolar region. They had monkeys, alligators, anacondas, posinous frogs, lynx, puffins, peguins, otters, different birds, and a few others. The ecosystems were amazingly well done, I really felt like I was in the rainforest---they had vegetation eveywhere except the walkway, and trees going up high to the ceiling-they did such a fantastic job. The animals roam fairly freely in the enclosures, like the monkeys would jump from tree to tree over your head. I definitly recommend doing this no matter what your age. Little kids will definitly love it, but my boyriend and I are both in our 20's and it was one of our favorite attractions in Montreal. Walking through the exhibit, stopping and really looking/taking pictures, took around 2 hours.
We went on a Friday, which I think is field trip day-there was a lot of kids running around on tours which could be annoying, so if you can try to go on a diferent day of the week (not sure how crowded it gets on weekends). They had a nice gift shop too with general Montreal/Canadian souvenoirs and biodome gifts too.
We were able to buy tickets too for the botanical garden and the butterflies go free exhibit. The walk from the biodome to the botanical garden was kind of far, but the butterlies go free exhibit was beautiful and worth the trip.
The biodome is also located in the same complex as the Olympic Stadium, so you get to see the biodome, the botanical garden, and the Stadium all at the same time. However, the biodome is far from the downtown/old Montreal areas, where a lot of hotels are located. We took a cab to the biodome, but it was really expensive for a ride that was probably about 10 minutes, so we took the metro back. There is a metro stop right by the Olympic Stadium, much cheaper. The biodome also has its own parking, which was about 13$.
Also, don't get it confused with the biosphere, which is something different all together and in a completly different part of town (the biosphere has to do with the world expo).
Located in the Olympic Park literally a stone's throw away from the Olympic Stadium, the Biodome is one of those famous Montreal attractions that should be paid a visit to at least once, especially if you're an animal lover, or an ecosystem-enthusiast.
I honestly didn't know a whole lot about the biodome, and I wasn't sure what to expect. My immediate assumption was that it was a tropical garden conservatory, where maybe birds flew around, but that would be it, however I was wrong! There's so much more!
The biodome replicates various ecosystems, from the tropical rainforests of the Amazon, to the Laurentian boreal forest of Québec, to the St-Lawrence estuary, to the Antarctic.
This environmental museum houses thousands of plants and animals from 4 different ecosystems of the 3 Americas: tropical forest, laurentian forest, St. Lawrence marine ecosystem, and the polar world. This is the only place where you'll see penguins, lynx, and sloths all living under the same roof!
I consider this an unusual museum, but definetly worth a visit when staying in Montréal. The round buiding itself is unusual architecture. One walks through a pathway to see creatures in their natural habitats. The order is definetely not random. The whole essence is moving from one ecosystem to the next. One example is the rainforests of North America. What I really love is that this complex is adjacent to the subway and the Montréal olympic stadium.
There are plenty of tipps about the Biodome already. But to be honest, we weren't as impressed as a lot of others. The little monkeys in the tropical zone were nice. The $12.50 pricetag didn't really please us, and that was already with student discount - plus $1.50 for checking the coats. I absolutely recommend not going through holidays or probably even weekends: the whole place was literally packed with strollers and kids, so it was really a pain to get through. There is not that much walking to be done, so in case you come with little kids, you can easily leave the stroller in the car. Most kids we saw chose not to ride in their's either.
Not to be confused with the Biosphere (the geodesic dome on l'Ile Sainte Helene), this is a living museum of the earth's major ecosystems. It contains examples of several habitats, ranging from the arctic to the rain forest. And, of course, the Canadian forest. This is a terrific place for children to learn about their world. It's also a way to escape from the cruel winters here.
The dome is next to the Olympic Stadium complex. It is a zoo and has 4 different areas of attraction- a zoo, botanical garden, tropical and polar environments. It costs around 11 Canadian and would take 2-3 hours to see the sites and animals.
I loved this exhibit. The building is a bit old and doesn't look like much on the outside. The exhibits are grouped by region and have mostly aquatic and aviarian exhibits. But they are very open planned and the birds get to fly around. They also have an arctic exhibit with Penguins which was very cute. There are some mammels in the exhibits as well. It took me about an hour to see. Ticket alone is $12, or you can combine prices for other things in the Olympic park.
An oasis in the heart of the city, the Montréal Biodôme recreates some of the most beautiful ecosystems of the Americas. A center for education, conservation, and biological research the Biodôme structure itself is another engineering materpeice. Tours range from $12-20 CAD and are well worth the cost.
The Biodôme gives back to Nature
The Biodôme's conservation activities, governed by the most stringent international standards for animal and plant health, aim to preserve its live collections while safeguarding the natural environment. The institution participates in a number of national and international conservation programs set up to prevent the extinction of endangered species and encourage their re-introduction into the natural environment.
Current programs focus on the following animal species:
Vulnerable or endangered species in Québec
Behind the scenes
A never-ending challenge
The Biodôme houses thousands of animals and plants, huge collections that are closely monitored at all times. Our teams must take inventory, schedule feedings, water plants, nurse sick animals and sometimes even stay up all night when a birth is expected. Some species are also protected by specific conservation programs.
In fact, most of the professionals at the Biodôme are involved in caring for our "guests": veterinarians, horticulturists, biologists, animal attendants, technicians, dieticians and cooks.
Launching of a network of acoustic bat inventories in Quebec
insect-eating bats of Québec, whose roosting places are disappearing;
the striped bass, a fish that has disappeared from the St. Lawrence Estuary;
the copper redhorse, a fish endemic to the Richelieu River and threatened with extinction;
Endangered species in the South American tropical forest
the hyacinth macaw, the world's largest parrot and an endangered species;
the golden lion tamarin, a small monkey whose tropical habitat in Brazil is disappearing rapidly.
Conservation and research programs are also in effect for certain plants:
broad beech fern.
On our trip across Canada we visited the famous Biodome which was well worth it. With species of fish, birds, penquins and other animals set in the forest. You can have ear phones to guide you around the dome with all the information which is very interesting.