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About the Biodôme

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The Montréal Biodôme is an oasis in the heart of the city.
Photo: Biodôme de Montréal (Claude Lafond)

An oasis in the heart of the city, the Biodôme de Montréal offers its visitors the “true nature” of the Americas at her most beautiful and most surprising by way of four ecosystems:

  • the Tropical Rainforest, lush and warm even in the depths of a Montréal winter;
  • the Laurentian Maple Forest, changing with the seasons;
  • the Gulf of St. Lawrence; astonishing in its enormous diversity
  • the Subpolar Regions of the Americas: the Labrador Coast and the Sub-Antarctic Islands, thrills guaranteed.

The name of the institution was carefully chosen. It means “house of life.” When the Biodôme opened, in 1992, its “ecosystem” concept was a world first. Almost thirty years later, this systemic approach still has no equal, either in the faithful and complex way in which it represents the natural environment (climates, “rocks,” lighting, etc.) or in how both the animal species themselves and the animal and plant species interact.

Its mission: committing to protecting the environment

Just like the other Space for Life institutions, the Biodôme aims to raise individual and collective awareness about the need to get involved in protecting our natural heritage. It carries out its mission through educational, conservation, research and outreach efforts.

Its message: sensitizing, preserving, educating

Nature is complex, beautiful and vulnerable. The four ecosystems, representing it in the way they do, deliver a fundamentally important message: we are all part of nature, and we can help preserve it. The Biodôme also works towards that end by way of activities in education, conservation and scientific research.

A place for education about the environment

The Biodôme provides the general public and school groups with numerous and varied settings and tools for exploration: ecosystems, discovery room, temporary exhibitions, nature interpreters along the pathways, educational activities, day camp, publications...

A place for conservation

The only one of its kind, the institution is home to thousands of living plants and animals, preserved and presented in line with strict ethical standards. It also takes part in national and international programs aimed at the restoration of endangered species and the preservation of fragile natural habitats.

A place for scientific research

Ecosystems are true laboratories at the service of the advancement of knowledge. The Biodôme research team works on a number of projects in the strategic areas of biodiversity and sustainable development. Already, discoveries have been made both at the Biodôme itself – including a new species of acarid – and in the field, with the researchers doing their work not just in Québec’s marine and terrestrial environments but in South America as well.

A little history: from velodrome to Biodôme

The Biodôme was created by Ville de Montréal and the Régie des installations olympiques in what was formerly the velodrome for the 1976 Olympic Games. This was necessarily a multiphase project:

1988

Feasibility study;

1989

Official announcement and hiring of teams;

1989-1990

Definition of the concept and drafting of plans;

Infrastructure and engineering work;

1991

More specific work carried out;

Search for plants and animals;

1992

In March: Arrival and acclimation of plants;

March to June: Arrival and acclimation of animals;

June 18 and 19: Official opening!

The year 2019 marks a new era in its history: truly entering the 21st century thanks to its spectacular migration.

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