Frequently asked questions
See the most popular questions
Do you offer guided tours?
No, but you can put questions to the science educators at the various ecosystems and use the mobile app or an identification guide to learn more.
Is the Biodôme accessible to people with reduced mobility or with strollers?
Do I have to buy my tickets before I visit?
Because of the COVID-19 situation, we are strongly recommending that you buy your timed tickets online.
How can I download the mobile app to visit the Biodôme?
If you don’t have a compatible mobile device and want to visit the Biodôme using the mobile app, go to the Société des Amis du Biodôme (Friends of the Biodôme) counter, located in the Biodôme lobby, where you can borrow an iPod at no charge. You’ll need to leave a piece of photo ID (driver’s licence or medicare card) to borrow the device.
Is there a restaurant?
Yes, the restaurant offers a full vegetarian menu with hot and cold plate options.
When will the Biosphère become part of the Espace pour la vie museum complex?
The process of incorporating the Biosphère’s operations and programs is currently under way, and we can already state that the well-known museum of the environment is now part of the Espace pour la vie family!
The transfer from the Government of Canada to the Ville de Montréal took place on April 12, 2021. The Biosphère has been promoting dialogue and debate on science, culture, social innovation and the environment since 1995. It will now be able to pursue its mission as an integral part of the largest natural science museum complex in Canada.
When will the Biosphère be reopening?
The Biosphère will resume its activities as soon as its operations have been fully integrated into those of the Ville de Montréal.
Once the transition process has been completed, the Biosphère will become Espace pour la vie’s fifth museum and will continue to address public concerns about environmental issues and engage and mobilize people through its programs.
Why is management of the Biosphère being transferred from the Government of Canada to the Ville de Montréal?
In 2019, as the Biosphère’s lease held by the federal government was coming to an end and following discussions with the Ville de Montréal, which owns the building, the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec and the Ville de Montréal announced that a working committee had been struck to ensure the reputation and continuity of the Biosphère’s activities, as well as its public education and environmental mission. The three levels of government, with shared environmental priorities, began working together to pool their resources and ensure a promising future for the Biosphère.
Consultations and brainstorming workshops in which Espace pour la vie took part were conducted with Montrealers by an independent consulting company, bringing together representatives from the university, environmental, cultural and heritage communities. The decision to integrate the Biosphere’s activities into those of Espace pour la vie emerged from the consultations. It seemed important to maintain the Biosphère’s role of promoting environmental awareness and education while continuing to give Montrealers an opportunity to benefit from this museum that has been operating for over 25 years.
The mission of the Biosphère and that of the four Espace pour la vie museums naturally converge around the importance of transforming society to face the major environmental issues of our time. In this respect, the five institutions will together be better able to focus on environmental education and awareness from a perspective of ecological transition and social transformation.
How long will it be before the Biosphère will be ready to put on a new exhibition?
The Biosphère has been closed for over a year now because of the pandemic, but its team has not been sitting idle, and three new exhibitions are slated to launch as soon as the museum reopens. The new programming will be announced shortly. It is worth noting that the Biosphère already features a wide range of programs. In addition to the three new exhibitions, a dozen or so others can be visited all year round. Moreover, the Biosphère is planning new exhibitions and activities for 2022. Like the museum’s existing programs, they will be designed to engage and mobilize visitors and build support for the ongoing ecological transition.
Space for LifeAll issues
Are the Jardin botanique and the Insectarium in the same building?
No, they are about 10 to 15 minutes apart on foot or 5 minutes by car.
Is it easy to travel between the museums?
It's easy to travel between the Jardin botanique, Insectarium, Biodôme and Planétarium Rio tinto Alcan on foot or by car. The Insectarium is on the same site as the Jardin botanique, and the Biodôme and Planetarium are about a 10-minute walk away from the Insectarium.
What are the museums’ rates and opening hours?
What is the best way to get a map of the museums?
A map will be given to you at the reception desk of all our institutions. If you’d like to look at a map or print one out now, please refer to the following pages.
How is family defined for family rates?
A family is composed of a maximum of five people (limit two adults per family). Please note that admission is free for children ages 0 to 4.
Does the Insectarium accept insect donations?
The Insectarium accepts donations of insects as long as they correspond to the criteria of the scientific collection. By way of example, Québec’s entomological heritage, insects from the north or biogeographical areas bordering Québec and Canada, complementarity with other existing entomological collections belonging to our partners.
When will the Insectarium close for renovations?
On Monday, March 11, the Insectarium as we know it will be temporarily closed to the general public to start the Metamorphosis project, a spectacular architectural transformation that will expand its size by 68%.
When will the Insectarium reopen?
The transformed Insectarium will welcome back the public in the summer of 2021.
I bought a Passeport MTL or Passion Montréal package. Can I lose any benefit?
With these packages, you can visit the Insectarium until March 10. After the closing of the Insectarium, it will still be possible to visit the Jardin botanique.
I was given some guest passes for the Jardin botanique and the Insectarium that I thought I’d use this summer. What can I do with them?
Guest passes holders for the Insectarium will have to visit the museum before it closes its doors to the general public, on March 11. Otherwise, unused tickets prior to the closing date will automatically be expired. The guest passes will still be valid to visit the Jardin botanique.
Jardin botaniqueAll issues
Is it possible to buy a plant from the Jardin botanique?
Unfortunately, the Jardin botanique de Montréal does not sell its plants to the public as a rule. There are exceptions, such as the Great Gardening Weekend and special plant sales at the Garden’s boutique.
Occasionally, the Jardin botanique’s affiliated societies also organize plant sales. However, these special events are generally reserved for members.
Can I take a picnic to the Garden?
Unfortunately, the Montréal Botanical Garden’s official policy does not allow picnics on site, except in areas that are designated for meals (the meal area at the Insectarium, as well as the picnic areas situated in front of the Lion statue and at the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion). The restaurant’s patio offers outdoor tables, and you can eat a meal there brought from home.
Please note that alcoholic beverages, chairs, coolers and blankets are not authorized inside the Garden. Only alcoholic beverages purchased on site can be consumed at the Garden’s restaurant, on its patio and in the meal area of the Insectarium.
You can also start with a visit to the Garden and then enjoy a peaceful picnic at Maisonneuve Park. Afterwards, you could always come back to the Garden to continue your visit. Just let the attendant at the gate know that you’ll be coming back and he or she will stamp your hand as proof you have already paid for admission when you return. If you need to leave the Garden and use a parking lot, use the Insectarium’s lot (the second traffic light east of Pie-IX, near Maisonneuve Park).
Can I use my tripod or other photography equipment at the Jardin botanique?
Tripods and monopods cannot be used in the exhibition greenhouses or the pavilions. However, a tripod can be used in the outdoor gardens*.
You must not block visitor traffic or interfere with employees’ work. You also may not set up your tripod in certain areas (these areas are marked as areas where walking is prohibited), in areas that are off limits to visitors or flower beds. For certain exhibitions, flash may be prohibited.
* Exception: For safety reasons, tripods are not permitted in the Chinese Garden during the “Gardens of Light” event when there are a lot of visitors. Tripods will only be tolerated when there are not many visitors on site.
Are there courses or workshops on horticulture and/or botany?
The Friends of the Botanical Garden organize courses and workshops for amateurs. Visit this page for more information about courses and workshops at the Garden (french only).
Professional-level courses towards a general DEP in horticulture followed by an ASP are given by the École des Métiers de l'Horticulture (french only).
Does the Jardin botanique accept plant donations?
Unfortunately, the Jardin botanique does not accept plant donations.
If your plants are too big for your apartment or you are moving and have to leave your plants behind, we suggest that you offer them to community centers, schools, daycares, churches or hospitals.
On the other hand, some horticultural and ecological clubs organize plant exchange days for their members. You can also place an ad on the bulletin board of a business in your area. You will likely find a taker!
Finally, there are networks on the Web that allow you to offer your surplus to other gardeners in your neighborhood.
Planétarium Rio Tinto AlcanAll issues
What does admission to the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan include?
Your ticket to the planetarium lets you attend two shows of your choice on the same day. It also gives you access to the current exhibitions.
Are the Planetarium and its theatres wheelchair-accessible?
Yes, the entire building is wheelchair-accessible. Both theatres have designated areas for wheelchairs.
Does the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan have a free section?
Yes, it is possible to visit the exhibitions for free during regular opening hours. It includes various interactive kiosks, multimedia games and projections in addition of temporary exhibitions.
Are the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan's shows appropriate for children?
The shows are designed for people 7 years of age and older. The Montréal Space for Life does not recommend bringing younger children (0 to 6 years old) as the shows can be very upsetting for a young audience due to the sound level and special effects (“vertigo” effect, storm, etc.).
Please note that, out of respect for the other visitors, anyone who cannot remain quiet during the show will be asked to leave the theatre without refund.