The power of Television is not to be underestimated. Watching a documentary one night some shots of the Montreal Biodome were included and we found it fascinating to see some of the ecosystems of the American continents. We could see all of the systems at the same time! At the time, we were planning an overseas trip and were endeavouring to define where in the world to go! Intrigued by the concept of the Biodome we decided to travel and see it personally on a trip to the US and Canada.
We reached Montreal after taking the trains in and across the US leaving from Los Angeles. The first day after our arrival was the day we had chosen to see the Biodome. Taking the train was easy as it was close to the Biodome itself. As we did not know what to expect, the walk through the first door had us hooked. The recycling of the old Olympic stadium was wonderfully done. In its former life, the Velodrome had been part of the 1976 Montreal Olympics
The initial walk into the tropical rain forest was a warming one after the very cool temperatures outside. All the plants and animals were part of the South American rainforests. The rain forests are rapidly being cut down so to see a replica at close quarters was great. The monkey cute, but he was shy of having his photo taken! The animals all appeared to be happy in their environment, despite the happy chattering and wonder of many schoolchildren, admittedly a little too noisy perhaps.
The Laurentian Forest is a seasonal one and the internal climate is controlled to ensure there is autumn, winter, spring and summer conditions. To allow the plants and trees to have the colder temperatures that they need to shed leaves and re-emerge in the spring. I really loved the otters they were fun to see and watch. There were beavers as well but we were not lucky enough to see them. There were of course birds, fish and many other animals living out their lives.
As we moved into the Gulf display there were seabirds flying without a concern in the world. Plenty of room, as well as a fake sea coast that defied description. It was so real, it was amazing that this scene was actually enclosed. As we walked on through there was a tank full of fish including a stingray and shark as well as plenty of others in the seawater aquarium alongside the track. The seawater is actually created at the Biodome, as you will be aware Montreal does not have a sea frontage.
From the tropical to the bare rocks and landscape of the Labrador coast and sub Antarctic conditions found off the tip of Sub Antarctic islands and South America. You immediately get the feeling of how hard living in those conditions must be for animals. We then came upon the penguins, which were adorable to watch. The Biodome is also able to breed the penguins, this speaks volumes that they like living in the enclosure. You can spend all the time in the world wandering here and being amazed at the achievements of the people who came up with the ideas found here. A place to return to time and again.