Find out why the Montreal Biodôme is one of Canada’s top attractions
Whether you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to put on your summer travel itinerary or hoping to find the perfect family experience, you’ll want to add the Montreal Biodome to your to-do list. The Biodôme is not only one of Montreal’s must-see tourist destinations, it is also considered one of Canada’s top attractions. It’s the only place where you can experience first-hand all five ecosystems of the Americas under one roof.
The Biodôme is also part of Montreal’s Space for Life, which is the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. This one-of-a-kind complex houses the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Biosphere, the Montreal Botanical Garden and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. Biodôme means “house of life” and life is definitely what you will find in each of the five ecosystems, especially since the attraction has undergone a major overhaul ahead of its reopening in 2020. The revamped and revitalized space focuses now on a more multisensory and immersive approach. live.
At the top of the Biodôme, there is now a large observation deck that offers better panoramic views of the tropical rainforest, the Laurentian maple grove and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which facilitates the observation of animals and Plant. There’s also a new Bio-machine exhibit area that offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Biodôme. Visitors will also enjoy using a new app that allows for a more immersive, easy-to-follow experience that even includes an augmented reality component to view the animals in 3D. Another welcome addition is the Time to Act exhibition which showcases environmental initiatives from around the world.
A unique blend of a zoo, a natural history museum and a botanical garden, the Biodôme has more than 2,500 animals and more than 800 plant species. While penguins and monkeys tend to be crowd favorites, there’s an incredible range of things to see in each of the five ecosystems.
One of the greenest ecosystems in the Biodôme, the tropical rainforest zone has a relative humidity of at least 70 to 80%. Incredibly lush and vibrant, you’ll find tropical vegetation and animals like perched parrots, a caiman basking at the water’s edge, or a curious group of odd-looking capybaras in a pond full of frolicking fish. Take the footbridge to the new mezzanine to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the treetops. If you’re really lucky, you might spot the two-toed sloth sleeping in the thick foliage.
Gulf of St. Lawrence
This ecosystem offers an incredible chance to explore the underwater life of the Americas. Hundreds of fish are found here, including cod, striped bass, salmon, and even stingrays, as well as invertebrates like starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and crabs. In the ecosystem of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you have the opportunity to observe marine and land environments and enjoy breathtaking scenery evoking Quebec’s Gaspésie. Be on the lookout for gulls, guillemots and terns gliding around the coastal marsh and steep cliffs.
Laurentian maple grove
The Laurentian maple ecosystem is a wonderful way to explore a typical Quebec forest — from the inside! See if you can spot the secretive lynx in its habitat and laugh at the antics of the mischievous raccoons. You’ll also hear the gentle lapping of a stream flowing between maples and firs and you might spot a river otter or a beaver busy building a dam under the watchful eye of a porcupine, usually perched in the treetops above the river.
This ecosystem is definitely a favorite as it is home to an enchanting group of penguins. Watch them waddle over the rocks and take turns plunging into the water. Thanks to the large windows, it is easy to observe them while they swim and play. While the king penguin impresses with its size and majestic carriage, the northern rockhopper penguin seduces crowds with its comical crown of yellow and black feathers. A total of four penguin species – the king penguin, gentoo penguin, northern rockhopper penguin and macaroni penguin – inhabit the ecosystem of the Biodôme’s subantarctic islands.
Second only to penguins on the cuteness scale, puffins (sometimes called “sea parrots” because of their large, colorful beaks) are the main draw to the Labrador Coast ecosystem. To bring home what it’s like to experience a winter in Eastern Canada, a real wall of ice has even been installed to ensure an unforgettable immersive experience.