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.
Facts For Your VisitFee: Yes
Open NowHours This Week:
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- 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
Address: 160 Chemin du Tour de l'isle, Montréal, QC H3C 4G8, Canada
Phone: (514) 283-5000
Official Website: Biosphere MontrealMap of nearby accommodations:
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 4 - Yellow||Station Jean-Drapeau||2 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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Ratedout of 5
Nice place to visit and to know more about the environment. Great view from the top, it's possible to see Jean Drapeau park and also the city of Montreal. This place was part of the pavilion of USA for the Expo 67 Montreal.
José A Rangel Piñate - 3 days ago
The museum is amazing and it addresses multiple things pertaining to the environment. It truly let's you think outside of the box when learning about pollution, climate change, new technologies, energy, etc. I really enjoyed the movies about Canada's scientists combating climate change through innovations, it was really inspiring. This is a great place to be and you will learn many new things about the environment!
Oacia Fair - 16 days ago
This museum was extremely impressive. They manage to explain the dire state of climate change and the difficult choices our society faces, while keeping a hopeful and largely optimistic tone when discussing our future. The exhibits themselves are gorgeous and all appear brand new. The architecture is mind blowing, especially from the inside. It does a fantastic job of bringing Buckminster Fuller's metaphor of "spaceship earth" to life, putting visitors inside a visible, yet hard to fully conceive, physically bounded structure.
Jesse Brydle - 30 days ago
Never had an opportunity to go inside since it wasn't free and you need to pay to get in. However no one can hide this giant biosphere and they light up in the night as a bonus. They have a picture gallery outside for people who want to just understand the place. I'm surprised by the engineering marvel of constructing this biosphere's spherical dome. Visit on a nice sunny day and it's only few steps from Jean drapeau station
S.A. Shivram - 30 days ago
We went in the summer of 2018. Great place to visit especially if you have a particular interest in Expo 67 nostalgia (like me). The interior renovations are really nice and structurally very interesting. I would give this place at a minimum 3.5 star and recommend visiting. It may be a bit more of a challenge if you are bringing teens who may find it less interesting.
Jordan G - 3 months ago