Black bears, arctic foxes, and lynx are just some of the species you’ll find at the Ecomuseum Zoo Montreal, an open-air wildlife park that houses rescued, orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals native to Quebec’s St. Lawrence Valley. In addition to outdoor enclosures, the zoo has an indoor space housing reptiles, amphibians, and nocturnal creatures.
Visitors can pre-purchase a zoo entrance ticket to gain speedy, skip-the-line access. Inside, you can explore independently; wander around the outdoor area, read informational panels, and see which animals you can spot.
Visitors can also sign up for guided experiences. Join a docent-led tour focusing on the zoo’s larger mammals, learn about raptors during a birds-of-prey guided tour, or try your hand at being a zookeeper for a day by helping staff feed and care for the animals. Night tours and breakfast tours are also available; additionally, some Montreal sightseeing passes include free access to the zoo.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Ecomuseum Zoo is a must for families.
- The zoo has a picnic area but no on-site restaurant, so bring your own food.
- Sub-zero temperatures are normal between December and April and most of the zoo is outdoors; if you visit in winter, be sure to wear warm layers.
- Most of the zoo, with the exception of the indoor “From Light to Dark” exhibit, is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Ecomuseum Zoo is situated in Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue on the western edge of the island of Montreal, about a 25-minute drive from downtown Montreal. The best way to get there is by car, as there is no direct bus link between downtown Montreal and the zoo. Free parking is available.
When to Get There
Most of the zoo is outdoors, so the best time to visit is summer. The zoo does remain open in winter, and although some creatures go into hibernation, others, such as the arctic fox, thrive in colder temperatures.
Other Animal-Related Attractions in Montreal
Wildlife lovers may want to visit some of Montreal’s other animal-themed attractions. Stop by the Biodome in the Olympic Park, where a series of recreated North American ecosystems play host to a range of birds and animals, from penguins to capybara. Nearby is the Montreal Insectarium, which contains many different species of creepy crawlies, including living specimens—it’s a big hit with children.