Biosphere Montreal

The most popular pavilion at the Expo 67 World Fair, today the Biosphere serves as North America's only museum dedicated to the environment

Aerial View of the Biosphere
Aerial View of the Biosphere cc licensed photo by abdallahh

The Biosphere is fascinating as both a renowned Montreal landmark and as a unique museum that will please visitors of all ages. There are a variety of permanent exhibits located both inside and outside this gigantic steel tube dome that will educate on the latest issues surrounding our environment and its many eco-systems.

One of Montreal's most prominent and iconic landmarks, the Biosphere located on Île Sainte-Hélène, was originally designed by the forward thinking architect Richard Buckminster Fuller as the United States Pavilion for the 1967 World's Fair. Constructed of tubular steel this giant geometric dome stands as tall as a 20 storey building. Fuller wanted the structure to be bolted together but the American officials wanted it to be welded. This helped ensure that the structure remained as the legacy that it is today. The frame was covered with tinted transparent acrylic panels.

The Biosphere became the most successful pavilion at the fair with a total of 5.3 million visitors passing through it during the six month Expo. After the fair, the United States government donated the Biosphere to the City of Montreal. It served a variety of functions which included that of a conservatory housing a variety of plants and birds.

In 1976 the Biosphere was engulfed in flames when a welders torch accidentally set fire to the acrylic panels resulting in the complete loss of its covering. After that it sat dormant for about 15 years at which time Environment Canada made an agreement with the City of Montreal to turn it into the environmental Museum it is today. After a major restoration of the steel frame and the design and construction of new interior structures the museum opened to the public in 1995

The Biosphere Today

Since its inauguration in 1995 the Biosphere has built up a wide range of permanent exhibitions as well as hosting a variety of temporary exhibitions which all focus on aspects of our environment and eco-systems. Many exhibits are hands on and children and adults will find the museum both fun and educational.

You should try to include a visit to the Biosphere on your itinerary when you visit Montreal because the admission charges are nominal and you will not be disappointed with its many the exhibits. You can also enjoy some great 360 degree views of the city from inside the dome.

Nearby attractions: Stewart Museum at the Fort and Ile Sainte-Helene and Parc Jean-Drapeau

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Biosphere Montreal

Fee: Yes

Closed Now

Regular Hours:

  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Museums

Address: Parc Jean-Drapeau
160 Chemin Tour-de-l'Isle
Montreal, QC H3C 4G8
Canada

Phone: +1 514-283-5000

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4 out of 5 4 Star Rating
Based on 43 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating The Biosphère was one of my favorite places in Montreal. While we got in for free after purchasing Montreal Passports for our honeymoon I would 100% pay the... Read More

Naomi S. Dec-21-2018

5 Star Rating An amazing place to learn and enjoy your time around Montréal. Do not forget to take a look around the city from the top. Videos and a lot of cool... Read More

Marcelo M. Mar-22-2019

3 Star Rating Soooo we went here thinking it was similar to the Biodome... it is not. While the building looks VERY cool from the outside, there's not too much to do... Read More

Jenna W. Dec-10-2018

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Directions

Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 4 - YellowStation Jean-Drapeau2 Minutes

How to get to Biosphere Montreal by Metro

By Metro: Take Metro Line 4 to Station Jean-Drapeau and follow the signs for the Biosphere

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Video highlights of the Montreal Biosphere

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