Montreal Insectarium: The Largest "Bug Museum" in North America
The Montreal Insectarium first opened it doors February 7, 1990 courtesy of entomologist Georges Brossard's efforts to collect and mount several thousand insect specimens for public viewing.
Ironically, the former notary's work was originally hidden away in his basement for years, but with the support of Montreal Botanical Garden's then director Pierre Bourque, who eventually became Montreal city mayor from 1994 to 2001, the collection was put on temporary display at the gardens in 1986.
Visitors apparently liked it so much that by 1987, Brossard donated his collection to the city of Montreal. But the Insectarium still didn't have a home of its own.
After a couple of years of lobbying buoyed by enthusiastic public reviews of Brossard's exhibits at the Montreal Botanical Garden, the Insectarium was born, installed on the grounds of the gardens. And the rest is bug museum history.
Montreal Insectarium: Over 150,000 Specimens
Attracting over 400,000 visitors every year, the Montreal Insectarium counts 150,000 arthropod specimens -spiders, scorpions and centipedes do not belong to the insect family but they, along with insects, are arthropods- including about 100 live species on site, including scarabs, tarantulas and scorpions.
Is the Montreal Insectarium Suitable for Kids?
The Montreal Insectarium is great for children. I've seen 18-month-old babies as well as teens (and grownups) enthused and intrigued by the museum's interactive section and live displays.
Montreal Insectarium: Opening Hours
November 1, 2016 to May 13, 2017: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday
May 14 to September 4, 2017: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., every day
September 5 to October 31, 2017: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., every day
Closed December 25 and December 26.
Open New Year's Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Montreal Insectarium: Admission Fees January 5 to December 31, 2017
$20.25 adult ($15.75 for Quebec residents); $18.50 senior ($14.75 for Quebec residents); $14.75 student with I.D. ($12 for Quebec residents); $10.25 youth ages 5 to 17 ($8 for Quebec residents); free for kids under 5, $56 family rate (2 adults, two youths) ($44.25 for Quebec residents).
Save money and pay less on admission fees with the Accès Montréal card.
Montreal Insectarium admission grants complimentary access to the Montreal Botanical Garden.
Get details on other pricing options and group rates.
Montreal Insectarium: Parking Fees
Parking is $12 a day, less for half-days and evenings. Get details on parking locations. For visitors intent on saving money on parking, try finding a free neighborhood parking spot on Rosemont, east of Viau and west of Pie-IX, up 29th Avenue for example. It's further away than parking in the designated lots though, about a 10- to 15-minute walk to the Insectarium.
Montreal Insectarium: Getting There
To get to the Insectarium using public transportation, get off at Pie-IX Metro on the green line. The Olympic Stadium will be in plain view upon exiting the Pie-IX Metro station. Walk uphill on Pie-IX Boulevard, past the stadium, until you reach the corner of Sherbrooke.
The gates to the Montreal Botanical Garden should be visible across the street. Sharing the same space, entrance to the Insectarium includes access to the gardens and vice versa. After buying a ticket, take the right entrance to the outdoor Botanical gardens, and keep right, walking ahead for about five minutes. Walk past the rose gardens and when you see the Aquatic gardens, look ahead again to your right. You should be able to see the Insectarium building. For directions by car, call (514) 872-1400 for more information.
Montreal Insectarium: Food and Facilities
There's a picnic area selling light meals and snacks near the Insectarium. It's located by the Montreal Botanical Garden's Japanese Pavilion. Visitors who bring their own lunch can eat there as well as at the Montreal Botanical Garden's snack bar but not elsewhere on the grounds.
Montreal Insectarium: Address
4581 Sherbrooke East, between Pie-IX and Viau.
Montreal Insectarium: More INFO
Call (514) 872-1400 for more information and consult the official website.
Any Nearby Attractions?
The Insectarium and Montreal Botanical Garden are quite a ways removed from the downtown core, but they're in close proximity to a smattering of popular attractions that can keep tourists and residents busy the entire day. The Insectarium and the gardens are a short walk from the Olympic Park, the Montreal Biodome's five ecosystems -a rainforest in the dead of winter? Why not- and the Planetarium. In the winter, there's also Parc Maisonneuve's large skating rink and the Olympic Park's winter village.
*Note that admission fees, parking rates and opening hours may change without notice.