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Schedule and rates of the Biosphere

The Biosphere through time

A bit of history

The dome

Mandated by the United States Information Agency in 1964, Richard Buckminster Fuller, an architect, designer, inventor and philosopher, developed the geodesic dome as the structure for the United States Pavilion at Expo 67.

The dynamic, free-standing structure is composed of cylindrical steel tubes sub-divided into side-by-side plastic covered triangles. This concept required a considerably small amount of materials than conventional architectural designs of such magnitude.

The Biosphere's structure reproduces more than 75% of the surface of a sphere and is the largest building of its kind in the world. Fuller's work quickly became a symbol of Expo 67.

Donation

Once Expo 67 was over, many of the pavilions on the site were dismantled. But the United States Pavilion was donated to the City of Montréal by then-U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. The City of Montréal officially took possession of the geodesic dome on January 31, 1968.

Man and His World

For more than eight years, from 1968 to 1976, the Biosphere played host to exhibitions, works of art, theme-based gardens, many bird species (the forerunner of the Biodome) and a wide range of activities for the family, even a movie theatre!

The scientific aspect was also featured with the addition of animated activities on photosynthesis, soil conservation, pollution problems in cities, etc.

The 1975 brochure has a line that reads: « Une oasis de joie de vivre » (A joyful oasis)

Museum

In 1995, after many years of studies, the City of Montréal finally announced the Biosphere's new vocation: a museum promoting the environment and its protection. Now that's a mission in keeping with the philosophy of the Biosphere's creator, Mr. Fuller!

The restoration costs were so expensive that the City of Montréal decided to keep just the tubular structure and completely redo the interior. The renovation project was carried out in collaboration with Environment Canada, which has occupied the premises ever since.

The renovation project was carried out in collaboration with Environment Canada, which occupied the premises for several years. In 2021, the Biosphere is integrated into the Espace pour la vie museum network, which also includes the Biodôme, the Jardin botanique, the Insectarium and the Planétarium.

Sources

  • Société du parc Jean-Drapeau Archives
  • City of Montréal Archives
  • Environment Canada

Photo credits

Here is information regarding the photos displayed on this page for which the copyright does not belong to the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau.

Archives de la Ville de Montréal 1 2 3

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To obtain more details or for any request for information, do not hesitate to contact our staff.

Mobility

Getting to Biosphère, Environment Museum

To make it easier to get around, here is the exact location of the Biosphere at Parc Jean-Drapeau posted on Google Maps.

Subway Station

The Jean-Drapeau subway station on the Line 4 — Yellow is located on Île Sainte-Hélène, in the heart of Parc Jean-Drapeau. To get to the Parc easily and quickly, the subway is still the best way to go!

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River shuttle

During the summer season, Parc Jean-Drapeau visitors can use the river shuttle as a means of transportation, from the Vieux-Port de Montréal (Jacques-Cartier pier) and the city of Longueuil.

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STM shuttle

Three STM shuttles provide a connection between the Jean-Drapeau subway station and various attractions.

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Bike

The Parc is one of the few places where you can cross the Saint Lawrence River on your bike: simply take the bike paths of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Concorde Bridge or the Bike link.

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Walking

People can enjoy many of the cycling paths to get to or pass through the Parc Jean-Drapeau, either running or walking.

With more than 25 kilometres of trails and pathways, the Parc is a pleasant spot for hiking, all year round.

Parking

Motorists can get to Parc Jean-Drapeau by taking the Jacques Cartier Bridge or the Concorde Bridge.

Nearby parking areas: P10, P11

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Taxibus service

You can reserve a taxi for your travels at the Parc by using a valid STM transport fare.

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  • Subway
    Station
  • STM
    shuttle
  • River
    shuttle
  • Bike
  • Walking
  • Parking
  • Taxibus
    service