Montreal Insectarium (Closed Until 2021)

A woman and two children look at specimens at the Montreal Insectarium
Chris Cheadle / Getty Images

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 installed on the grounds of the gardens—and the rest is bug museum history.

However, the Montreal Insectarium closed to the public in 2019 for renovations that would expand many of its habitats and facilities. The Montreal Insectarium is scheduled to reopen in June of 2021.

Getting to the Montreal Insectarium

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, and the gates to the Montreal Botanical Garden should be visible across the street. Sharing the same space, the 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 and you should be able to see the Insectarium building.

Typical Admission Fees

When the museum is open, it does charge an admission fee for all guests, but the pricing options for Quebec residents differ from those charged to out-of-province tourists:

  • $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)
  • $56 family rate for two adults and two kids ($44.25 for Quebec residents)
  • Free for kids under 5

Admission to the Montreal Insectarium grants complimentary access to the Montreal Botanical Garden. Additionally, the Montreal Insectarium is included on the Accès Montréal card, which offers tourists discounts to local attractions. Save money and pay less on your visit (when the museum reopens) by buying this card when you arrive in the city.

Free Street Parking and Official Lot Fees

Parking in the Montreal Insectarium lot is usually $12 per day, but can be less for half-days and using the lot in the evenings. Additionally, there are several parking lots and various free parking spaces nearby. Get details on parking locations.

For visitors intent on saving money on parking, try finding a free neighborhood parking spot in Rosemont (east of Viau and west of Pie-IX up 29th Avenue, for example). While it may be further away than parking in the designated lot, it is only about a 10 to 15-minute walk to the Insectarium from Rosemont, and you won't have to pay a fee.

Family Friendly and Full of Bugs

The Montreal Insectarium is great for children. From 18-month-old babies to teenagers (and even grownups), almost everyone who visits the Montreal Insectarium is enthused and intrigued by its interactive section and live displays.

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 such as scarabs, tarantulas and scorpions.

Other Nearby Attractions

The Insectarium and Montreal Botanical Garden are quite 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, 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 and will be updated once the Insectarium reopens in 2021.