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Biosphere Environmental Museum Tips (10)

La Biosphere

A leftover from an American exhibit at the 1967 Montreal World's fair, this has been converted into a museum of water. The Museum is small and kind of lame but the attraction here are the views from inside the sphere

Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
Aug 25, 2006

The Most Famous Geodesic Dome

R Buckminster Fuller was a visionary and inventor, who is best remembered for the geodesic dome. Built out of triangles, the strongest geometric shape, this dome towers over l'Ile Sainte Helene.

It was created for Expo '67, for the US Information Agency. After the Expo, the USIA donated it to the city. In the early 1990s, Montreal architect Éric Gauthier redesigned the Biosphere as an educational institution, to enhance understanding of our environment. It re-opened in 1995.

Its contents are rather ho-hum, but this remains a truly impressive edifice. The view from the upper floor is great.

Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
Oct 08, 2009

Biosphere, tacky & dated but love those girders

Built for the 1967 worlds fair by Buckminster Fuller. Or as I call it, the Museum of Water.

This is kind of how water is affected and affects everything around it, especially as related to the St Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. Lots of interactive modules that are kind of fun. Take the One tonne Challenge, figure out if heat affets carbond dioxide and the greenhouse effect. See a movie on water in the world, hosted by the head of the UN…can’t remember his name right now.

There’s a pretty cool view from the 4th floor where you can go outside and see the dome built around the museum. The guides, especially Leah, are very helpful and take their water knowledge very seriously.

You’ll spend 1 –3 hours here.

Included in the museum pass, otherwise probably not worth the $20 or so admission fee.

Tom_In_Madison's Profile Photo
May 23, 2006

Science Fiction scenery

If you are an architecture buff...getting up close to Buckminster Fuller's largest spherical creation is a must! The Biosphere was the American Pavillion for Expo 67. It was built as an avant-garde statement glorifying the American space program.

Such a large volume with no column support makes it unique. During the world's fair the building's honeycomb modules were sealed from the elements. But its plexi membrane was lost in a fire leaving the skeletal metal frame as Montreal's largest sculpture. Rather than tearing it down, it was recycled as an environment museum. One can enter the structure without entering the museum. From far it certainly looks like a set for some sci-fi movie.

two_ways's Profile Photo
Jan 21, 2006
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Giant soccer ball

Inaugurated in 1995 as the first Ecowatch Centre in Canada, the Biosphere continues to raise public awareness about environmental issues affecting the St Lawrence seaway and the Great Lakes ecosystems.

The Biosphere's spectacular architectural structure was designed by notorious architect Buckminster Fuller and was originally constructed for the American pavilion at Expo '67. Inaugurated in 1995 as the first Ecowatch Centre in Canada, the Biosphere continues to raise public awareness about environmental issues affecting the St Lawrence seaway and the Great Lakes ecosystems. Located on Ile-Ste-Helene, the amazing 3-D globe that houses the Biosphere remains an architectural marvel as well as an information centre on important environmental issues.

The centre's stated mission is to educate the public on the importance of conservation methods and sustainable development and the dangers associated with neglecting this duty. In order to facilitate this goal, the Biosphere features four exhibition halls where visitors can learn about the environment, as well as the mammals and birds that inhabit local ecosystems through a variety of workshops and multi media activities.


heitzenrater's Profile Photo
Dec 08, 2005


Don't confuse this with the Biodome. The Biosphere is located in the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller to serve as the American Pavilion for Expo '67. A fire destroyed the acrylic skin of the sphere in 1976. In 1995 it was converted to have four exhibition areas, a theater, and an amphitheater, all devoted to promoting awareness of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes ecosystem. Multimedia shows and hands-on displays invite the active participation of visitors, and there is an exhibition related to the activities of the ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In the highest point of Visions Hall is an observation level with an unobstructed view of the river.

Blatherwick's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011


Very well done, we traveled through the Canadian tropical rainforest to the maple forest, through the Gulf of St. Larence and ended at the Sub Polar region with the penguins. Each habitat was realistic and beautifully presented.

The Symphony of Life was interesting; a participatory musical show inspired by the sounds in the biosphere.

Lunch at the cafe was better than expected, sandwiches, salads, soups were good.

apbeaches's Profile Photo
Jun 30, 2015

The Biosphere

The building was the United States pavilion for the 1967 World Exhibition Expo 67 Now it is an Environment Canada Museum that educate people about climate change ,water, as well as the st Lawrence Great lakes ecosystemOpening Hours


160, chemin Tour-de-l'Isle
Île Sainte-Hélène
Montreal (Quebec)
H3C 4G8

Opening Hours

Opening Hours:
September 9 to June 18:
from12 noon to 5 p.m.* Monday to Friday;
closed Tuesdays
Saturday, Sunday, statutory holidays,
Christmas breaks and
March Spring Break: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. including T
Closed December 25 and 26, and January 1.
*From 9:30 a.m. for groups with a reservation.

June 19 to September 8:
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. dailyentrance Fees* (taxes included)

Entrance Fees:
Adults: $9.50
Students and seniors (with ID): $7.50
Youth (7 to 17): $5
Children 6 and under (accompanied by an adult): free
Family rate: $20
Carte-musées Montréal and Accès Montréal cards are accepted.

orlandom's Profile Photo
Jun 14, 2006

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Built for Expo '67, this huge dome is dedicated to bringing awareness to the issues relating to the St. Lawrence River system.

acemj's Profile Photo
Sep 08, 2002


It wasn't open when I was there, but I liked how it looked. It was built in 1967. Now, it's a museum dedicated to water - particularly the St. Lawrence river and Great Lakes.

btex's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2002

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Getting to Biosphere Environmental Museum


160 Chemin Tour-de-l'Isle,Île Sainte-Hélène,Montreal,QC,H3C 4G8


  • Sunday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 17:00