Archive | The Montreal Biodôme, a museum of flora and fauna
The Montreal Biodôme, a museum of fauna and flora” />
< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">Penguins at the Biodôme in 1992
June 19, 1992 saw the official inauguration of the Montreal Biodôme. Thirty years later, a look back at the beginnings of an institution that enjoyed instant success.
In the summer of 1989, Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa announced a major project: the transformation of the Olympic velodrome into a Biodôme.
“This is the ideal type of investment,” says Robert Bourassa of the future Biodôme de Montréal. On the program Première édition of August 18, 1989, journalist Ruth Loiselle summarized the main lines of this project, which combined economic development and environmental protection.
Robert Bourassa announced a major project in 1992: the transformation of the Olympic velodrome into a Biodôme.
“Bikes will make way for thousands of animals and plants to live in their reconstructed habitat. »
— Journalist Ruth Loiselle
Following this news, the cyclists say they are disappointed to lose this training ground built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Quebec Federation of Cycling Sports asks the government for an alternative solution, which it categorically refuses. . According to André Vallerand, minister responsible for the file, the velodrome has not stopped accumulating deficits over the years.
The project is moving forward. Its realization is orchestrated by Pierre Bourque, director of the Botanical Garden and future mayor of Montreal. Less than three years later, the Biodôme was inaugurated on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the Quebec metropolis.
Report by journalist Gilles Payette on the Montreal Biodôme, a few days before it opens to the public.
In this report aired in Montreal this eveningof June 15, 1992, the journalist Gilles Payette presents the specificities of this unique place a few days before its opening. The Biodôme is “the only place in the world where you can go, in a few seconds, from a temperate climate to a climate in hot countries”.
Four reconstructed ecosystems including coexist: the North and South Poles, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Laurentian Forest and the Tropical Rainforest. The natural habitat of plants and animals is recreated so that they can adapt to their new environment. The well-being of these species represents a major challenge for the professionals who work there.
No less than 750,000 visitors come to the Biodôme in the first three months. On September 25, 1992, in Montreal this evening, Gilles Payette devoted a report to this success. The place quickly became one of the busiest places in Canada.
Report by journalist Gilles Payette on the popularity of the Montreal Biodôme, three months after its opening.
“It's magnificent”, “spectacular”, “very nice”… tourists are full of praise.
Visitors still have some reservations. We regret that we cannot observe all the animals. Beavers, for example, sleep during the day and stay hidden. The atmosphere of the polar world still needs to be improved and the variety of fish is lacking in the St. Lawrence basin. The Biodôme team promises to take corrective action.
Thirty years later, the “living” museum continues to draw crowds and remains one of the most visited places of the metropolis.
The Biodôme closed its doors in 2018 for major renovations and reopened two years later, in 2020.
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