The Centre des Sciences de Montréal Proposes Science, Technology and 3D IMAX
Montreal Science Centre: In a Nutshell
The Montreal Science Centre is one of the city's most popular attractions and top museums, especially with families. Interactive science and technology exhibits are part and parcel of the experience, as are 3D IMAX films. Conveniently located in Old Montreal, along the edge of the Old Port, near several other attractions, including Pointe-à-Callière, the Notre-Dame Basilica, Marché Bonsecours, the Bonsecours Basin and the Clock Tower Beach.
From Turn of the Century Hangar to Science Central
Formerly a hangar built in 1908 along the Old Port's King Edward Quay, it was the year 2000 that marked the Montreal Science Centre's official debut after a significant renovation effort was put in motion in 1999 to transform the building into a science and technology complex.
At the time of its inauguration, the Montreal Science Centre was called iSci Centre. But that only lasted for two years.
By 2002, the name Centre des Sciences de Montréal was etched in proverbial stone and the science and technology complex has since become one of the most popular Montreal destinations, up there with the Montreal Botanical Garden and the Biodome, attracting over 850,000 guests in 2012, as per Montreal tourism board figures. That's double what the centre attracted just a decade earlier.
A great place to bring kids, Montreal Science Centre exhibits tend to be accessible, interactive and feature subjects that successfully capture public interest. Topics like dinosaurs, cavemen, magic and even sex are dissected in a fun, tasteful, and engaging manner for a variety of age groups. Finding facts in fiction and differentiating sense from nonsense are also typical themes found in Montreal Science Centre presentations. Previously featured exhibitions include Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology and Star Wars: Identities.
Part and parcel of the Science Centre's main draws are its IMAX presentations, films usually screed in 3D that typically examine subjects related to the natural sciences. Previously aired films include Titans of the Ice Age 3D, Great White Shark 3D, and Flight of the Butterflies 3D.
Caveats and Tips
If you have your heart set on catching an exhibit AND seeing an IMAX film, then check the schedule before heading out and make sure that your film of choice is being aired in a language you can understand. Also, consider that Montreal Science Centre admission is not cheap. A family of four can easily spend up to $100 to catch an exhibit and a 3D IMAX film when you factor in taxes and service fees. There has been criticism from seasoned travelers that the Montreal Science Centre is not nearly as large as other North American science and technology complexes and yet charges comparable rates.
Exhibition rooms open Monday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. IMAX films usually air late morning, afternoons and evenings. Note that exhibition room hours may change on a seasonal basis. Open most holidays.
Admission rates vary significantly depending on your age as well as which exhibitions and IMAX films you choose to see. Package deals are available and occasionally special discounts are offered. Here's the current list of admission fees.
2 de la Commune Street West
Montreal, QC, H2Y 2E2
- By public transit: Place d'Armes Metro
- By car: map
Note that admission fees, parking rates and opening hours may change without notice.
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Previous Exhibit: Body Worlds, Animal Inside Out
Hot off the success of Body Worlds, Animal Inside Out, a science exhibit revealing the intimate anatomy of 50 animals from 30 different species using plastination, a technique invented in 1977 by Body Worlds creator and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. It entails replacing body fat and fluids with polymers and resins which, once in place, harden the cadaver into the desired position, stopping decomposition in its tracks.
The Montreal Science Centre featured the infamous exhibit April 2016 through March 2017, an extended run due to the Centre going on strike for several months in the summer and fall.
Previous Exhibit: Dinosaurs Unearthed
For the 2015-2016 season, the Montreal's starring exhibit was Dinosaurs Unearthed, a paleontological display of animatronic dinosaurs, full-scale skeletons and detailed fossils.