The Americas are home to four ecosystems, and at the Biodome de Montreal you’ll be able to walk through them all (well, replicas of them at least). Visitors will be guided by naturalists through the biodome, traveling through the tropical rainforest, Laurentian maple forest, Gulf of St. Lawrence and Sub-Antarctic Islands, and observing over 4,800 animals representing 230 species and about 750 plants. Interestingly, these exhibits are housed in what was once the cycling stadium used in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Essentially, the experience is similar to visiting a zoo but delivers more of an immersive experience that makes you feel like you’re really in the wild.
While there is much to learn about as well as flora and fauna to see in these four ecosystems, there are a few highlights of a visit to the Biodome de Montreal. You’ll see king penguins in the Sub-Antarctic Islands, adorable puffins in the Labrador Coast, beautiful lynx of the Laurentian Maple Forest, and about 20 fish species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Probably the most interesting eco-system in terms of animals is the Tropical Rainforest, where you’ll find monkeys, parrots, capybaras, two-toed sloths, anacondas, yacare caimans and many others. Along with seeing wildlife, you’ll learn about environmental issues impacting these ecosystems.
You also have the option to visit their Botanical Gardens, featuring 75 hectares (185 acres) with 10 greenhouses and 35 themed gardens. Some of these include the Chinese Garden, First Nations Garden, Japanese Garden, Alpine Garden, and Courtyard of the Senses.
The Biodome de Montreal is located at 4777 Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday, 9am to 5pm (closed December 24 and 25). Admission is $18.75 for adults, $17.50 for seniors 65 and older, $14.00 for students 18+ with ID, $9.50 for students 5 to 17, and $52.50 for families. Discounts available to Quebec residents.