Designed by architect Buckminster Fuller to serve as the US pavilion for the 1967 World's Fair, the Montreal Biosphere is one of the cityÃ¢ÂÂs most instantly recognizable landmarks. Inside, it houses a range of exhibitions focusing on eco-technologies, sustainable development, and climate change. It's a must-see for all visitors to Montreal.
The Montreal Biosphere is a popular city landmark, with its striking lattice-shelled sphere visible from many parts of Montreal. See the structure up close while exploring Jean-Drapeau Park (Parc Jean-Drapeau) on foot or by bike or by following snowshoe and cross-country trails through the park in winter.
Some Montreal sightseeing passes include access to the biosphereÃ¢ÂÂs exhibitions, which focus on environmental issues. Permanent exhibits inside the museum include Ã¢ÂÂ+1ÃÂ°C What Difference Does it Make?,Ã¢ÂÂ which looks at the effects of global warming, and Ã¢ÂÂRenewable Energy: Time to Decide,Ã¢ÂÂ which explores alternative energy sources.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Montreal Biosphere is a must for architecture enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in environmental sustainability.
- Drinking fountains and picnic areas can be found in the surrounding Jean-Drapeau Park.
- The biosphere is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Montreal Biosphere in Jean-Drapeau Park spans two islandsÃ¢ÂÂSt. Helen's Island and Notre Dame IslandÃ¢ÂÂin the middle of the St. Lawrence River. To get there, ride the Yellow Line Metro to Jean-Drapeau station. From there, itÃ¢ÂÂs just a 2-minute walk to the biosphere.
When to Get There
The biosphere is open year-round, though opening days vary according to season, and the museum typically closes for a few weeks during the Christmas and New YearÃ¢ÂÂs period. The best time to visit is summer as warm weather allows visitors to enjoy all that Jean-Drapeau Park has to offer.
The History of the Biosphere
Originally designed for Expo 67, the biosphere was first covered by a clear acrylic coating but this was destroyed during a major fire in 1976. The biosphere remained closed from that time until the opening of the museum in 1995. For sci-fi fans, the structure may be familiar, having appeared in Battlestar Galactica and Robert AltmanÃ¢ÂÂs 1979 film, Quintet.