We saw it from across the river. It was a fresh summer day and we decided to go for an early morning run in the Old Port. As we traversed the piers, we passed cruises, restaurants and shops and as we got closer to the Clock Tower we saw it:
A giant iron dome across the river.
We immediately knew we had to go there. It took a quick Google search to find out that a ferry from the pier would take us across to Parc Jean-Drapeau on St. Helen’s Island.
The Biosphere was built in 1967 by architect Buckminster Fuller for the International and Universal Exposition that same year, also known as Expo 67. The original structure was covered with acrylic cells that sheltered the building inside. However on May 20, 1976 the building caught fire during renovations melting the acrylic cells and leaving behind only the steel skeleton of the structure.
It wasn’t until 1990 that the building was taken over by Environment Canada and restored. It opened its doors once again in 1995 and today stands as the only museum dedicated to the environment in all of North America.
Inside we found countless interactive exhibits, like a rain room that explained different weather patterns while fans blew wind and speakers recreated the sounds of the storms all around you. We also saw a 4D film, in which climate change was brought to life with actual raindrops, snow and icicles falling on you as the scientists explained the phenomenon.
To get there we took the Montreal, QC - St. Helene, QC ferry from Jaques-Cartier Pier on Old Montréal Port to the Parc Jean-Drapeau, then we walked 5 minutes in the park to the Biosphere. It’s a short walk that takes you through a more local side of Montréal.
Ferry price: CAD $4.25 per person
Adults: CAD $16
Seniors (65 years and over): CAD $12
Students (18 years and over): CAD $10
17 and under: Free
10AM to 5PM daily, except national holidays
*Museum admission ends at 4:15pm.
Address: 160 Chemin du Tour de l'isle, Montréal, QC H3C 4G8, Canada