Insectarium de Montréal
Insectarium de Montréal
Speciality Museums
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9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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CLOSED UNTIL 2021. Enjoy the newly renovated Biodôme, the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan and the Botanical Garden, all part of Montréal Space for Life, Canada's largest natural science museum complex.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie
Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie has one of Canada's most prominent Italian communities, with Little Italy concentrated along the convivial bends of Saint-Lawrence Boulevard. Known for its fantastic bars and authentic Italian fare, the domain includes the Jean-Talon Market, the largest public market in North America. Open year-round, sunny months see fruit and vegetable stalls set up outside the main chalet, while blustery weather draws crowds indoors to meat and cheese sellers, spices and truffles stalls, and for regional delicacies such as rare Charlevoix lamb. While the market dictates what's fresh for local restaurateurs, visitors can please more than their palates, taking in the Renaissance architecture and frescos of Madonna della Difesa, the picturesque Rue Saint-Rominique with its cheerful homes and splendid gardens, or the ornamented thoroughfare of Plaza Saint-Hubert.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

728 reviews
Very good

Penfield, NY374 contributions
Mostly for kids, but even my wife and I found some of the stuff interesting and their butterfly house is large and has many other interesting insects.

Hard to get to from the biodome (may need to climb across sizeable concrete barriers) but very close to the botanic garden that is a beautiful. In fact you can activate your museum pass here for the garden (that is cheaper than their passport or individual tickets)
Written September 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Boston, MA2 contributions
We took our 5 year old and 1 year old on a day trip of the Botanical Gardens and visited the insectarium as part of the trip.

It has an amazing collection of, well, bugs! It's not the most spectacular pleace I have ever seen, but engaging and we all learned a few things. Some of the beetles were incredible, and they had a great butterfly collection. The exhibits on the top floor were aimed at kids to explain the science of the insects; the displays on the lower floor were of collections of insects mounted.

The coolest part for me was a butterfly house with live butterflys all around. I have been to others and this was about the same, but wonderful for the 5-year old (and I got several really great photos).

The insectarium does not stand alone as a destination, but it's a good thing to do during your visit to the incredible Botanical Gardens and/or BioDome.
Written October 1, 2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Austin, TX40 contributions
First of all, let's get this out of the way. Yes, this is an insect museum. Many reviews complain that this is mainly pinned insects.....YES, that's exactly what it is. And that is what I was hoping for. Sure, there are some displays of live insects- a cool leafcutter any display, the obligatory tarantula, scorpion, stick insect, etc. displays, but mainly this was about displays of collected, pinned insects. Fantastic, just what I was wanted.

So, why did I only give it three stars? I debated between three and four, if there was an option for 3.5 I'd go with that. But overall it wasn't quite as balanced as I had hoped, and wasn't organized as well as I had expected. The balance? It was heavily weighted towards the more spectacular/pretty insects. So butterflies, moths, and beetles were well represented. And only the cool beetles. It has been a couple of weeks since I visited, but I don't recall any click beetles, for example, which are not pretty or cool, but represent a large group of beetles. Many groups of insects were buried in with other groups in a display like "Forest Canopy" or something like that so maybe I missed them. I was really hoping for a larger variety, and the variety shown in separate displays, which I'll discuss below.

As for the organization, as noted above, the displays were all about general things, and not as much oriented around the insects themselves. Sure, butterflies, moths, and beetles were shown to a degree, but not much else. When I was done I realized there wasn't a display on bees, wasps, etc. And I really wanted to see an Asian Giant Hornet. I finally found one on the "Defense" display. Why not have a display on hymenoptera and show the varities of this order that has 150,000+ members? Which includes ants, which might warrant their own display. Same with odonates, orthoptera, etc. I would have liked to have displays titled and oriented to the types of insects around the world, and a larger variety including some of the mreo obscure things like click beetles, odonates, ants, etc. I guess these aren't as sexy as butterflies, moths, and beetles, but it sure would be nice to see some orientation/organization around the different types of insects rather than the different habits/habitats/etc.

But they did have some nice stuff. Gorgeous birdwing butterflies, spectacular scarab beetles, longhorn beetles, etc. It is worth a visit. It could just be so much better, but then again, maybe my interest (in the families of insects rather than where you would find them and things about them) is the exception rather than the rule for the general public.
Written October 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Philadelphia,PA33 contributions
This place was really boring and small. Now I know why there were no lines and no one outside.

By the time we finished seeing everything, I was looking around for the start of the museum---I thought were in the lobby, but turns out it was the entire museum.

The beehive is cool, but not worth the admission price and time you take away from seeing other much cooler sites. Also, there was no ant farm which bummed me out.
Written November 7, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ted H
Lafayette, IN6 contributions
My wife and I stayed in Montreal one night (July 25) on a three-week trip through New England and Canada. The Insectarium was our first stop on entering town in the late morning. After parking in a designated lot, we waited twenty minutes in a line to purchase a parking pass ($12.00) for the car's dash. Everyone in the line ahead of us was struggling with the parking pass machine. Then we waited in the line to buy tickets to enter, which to our surprise would have cost us $57.00. One of four possible ticket stations was open. About twenty people were ahead of us and it was taking 2 or 3 minutes each for them to get through. We gave up and left. Buy tickets in advance or forget this place.
Written July 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

berlin34 contributions
So, one of the many interesting things that happens when you buy a big expensive all-round Montreal ticket which includes wonders such as the "Olympic Park" and the "Biodome", is that you also get free entry to the Insectarium (and as always, I shall mention not one bit of information regarding the pricing of these tickets, because I like to encourage outside reading). Now, I've never been to one of these places before, although I have many fond memories of the fabulous Porteath bee centre in Cornwall, which is where anyone who is anyone goes when they want some bee-related fun. I assumed that the Insectarium would be much the same sort of deal - a gift shop with some insect exhibits tacked on in an attempt to justify the crafty money-grabbing ways of the shop owners. Happily though, that's almost not entirely the case.

The Montreal Insectarium, or in French (because after all, Montreal is run by the frogs) "Insectarium de Montréal", was founded 1990 by an insect collector called Georges Brossard. Now, Georges is an interesting man, because he was a Notary until he was reaching his forties (but wait! There's more!), and then entered into the typical midlife crisis stage of his life at this point. Whereas any other man would decide to go out and buy a motorbike/sports car/plane/Russian bride, Georges went travelling, and his Wikipedia entry honest-to-god says that he "studied the insects he came across with great interest". Yes, our plucky hero went on holiday and spent it watching ants crawl across his veranda (which would presumably place him in Menorca… I've never seen so many ants in my life as the time I went to Menorca, but I digress terribly, please forgive me). Upon returning home, he decided to start collecting insects, which his wife must've been dead pleased about, and amassed a collection of over 250, 000 insects. At this point I imagine his wife got pretty pissed off and told him to stop collecting so many insects because they don't have any more space in the bungalow and it's them or me, mister, so he went to the Mayor of Montreal and asked for a place where he could show off his many insects to the public. Because Montreal is well-known for blowing all their money on stuff they really don't need to have, the Mayor said yes, and the Insectarium came to be. Now housing over half a million living/dead insects, the Insectarium is located just up the drive from where the Olympic Stadium is. There is a system of transport you can take, a train, which drives from the Olympic Stadium to the Insectarium, but my parents were never ones to waste money when they didn't have to (my dad is a Yorkshireman after all), so we instead made the decision "together" that we would walk there and save our money. It's not a long walk, and it didn't take much longer than 15 minutes to get to the Insectarium. The actual building for the Insectarium is inside a big botanical garden place which is quite pretty, and anyone over the age of 60 would probably love to go for a walk round there. Admittedly, Montreal is a long way to travel just for a pretty walk, but some people enjoy that sort of thing so I won't judge. The Insectarium is in this park, and with one flash of the tickets you get your hand stamped with something that I presume is a beetle, in case you want to come back, and you walk in.

Now this is one of the biggest attractions in Montreal, is the Insectarium, and I can tell you right now that this says some sad things about Montreal as a place. The Insectarium isn't a bad place to go to, in fact it's more fun that any other insect-themed museum that I've ever been to, but there is only so much you can do with a building dedicated to insects and creepy things with too many legs. Wandering round, there is an upstairs area and a downstairs area - where the grown-ups tend to huddle together on the benches, wishing they were elsewhere and drinking Oasis - and the way the place is set out suggests that the designers have been to Seaworld a few times. The layout is exactly the same as in one of those aquariums, with each different type of insect given a special zone. All the spiders are together, for example, and the ants, butterflies and so forth all have an area to themselves too. Basically the place is a selection of glass cases where you can play "spot where the insect actually is" with your friends and family, before trying out some of the hands-on activities. Don't worry, mums, because this isn't the sort of place where people make you hold giant spiders. Instead, there are things such as the weighing scales you stand on which tell you how many ants it would take to equal your weight (always handy), or the flashing light games where you have to guess what insects eat what. In fairness this is all pretty entertaining, and if you happen to be a fan of slithery things you'll be in your element.
But really, that's all there is here. There is, sadly, no glass walkway where you are surrounded by insects (like those things they ALWAYS have in a Seaworld), and I couldn't see anywhere where they gave you the chance to hold spiders or tiger ants - actually I think the reasoning for that one is pretty obvious. More annoyingly, at no point do they suddenly set off all the sirens, turn the lights red and get the assistants to run around screaming "THEY'VE ESCAPED! OH GOD, THEY'VE ALL ESCAPED!", which seems like a missed opportunity. Like I said, there is a gift shop, where you can buy all manner of insect-related merchandise, and the prices aren't too awful, considering. All in all, I can say that if you do ever buy a general "see Montreal" type ticket thingy and the Insectarium is one of the places you can visit, there's no real incentive to go or to miss it. It's competently set out, reasonably amusing for perhaps an hour or so, but it's never going to be a highlight of your trip.

Oh, and if you don't like insects then this is probably worth a miss.
Written November 4, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jose M
Guadalajara, Mexico169 contributions
This place has notting interesting to you, really boring, when I get there nobody was inside the place (now I know why), . I feel like I lost valuable minutes in this place. The place is quite simple, I advise you to expend time if you are in this area of Montreal, in Biodome or Gardens, or in Olympic City.
Written January 20, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NYC81 contributions
The Insectarium is located on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens. It was good for kids, but was very small. There was an interactive computer and screen show center. Then there were some exhibits on bugs with some interesting bug models. You should at least see it since when you get the tickets to the gardens this is included.
Written August 6, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ontario, Canada79 contributions
Took the Metro there, but note... it is another 10 minute walk to the ticket kiosk and another 5 minutes to the insectarium building itself. There are a lot of live insects and many preserved and mounted. If you don't stop to read each information plaque, then you'll have seen everything in 30 minutes. There is one full floor of displays. I think $20.50 is way overpriced and something closer to $12.50 would be more reasonable. You'd get more bang for your buck if you visited in the early summer when you could also wander the outdoor gardens at no extra cost. The flowers are all gone by mid Sept.
Written September 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

syracuse4 contributions
The museum had many strange and wonderous insects displayed and labeled inside glass cases. Several live specimens were also housed there for public observation. This is definitely worth the visit!
Written January 28, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Insectarium de Montréal (Montreal) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Insectarium de Montréal

Insectarium de Montréal is open:
  • Thu - Fri 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sat - Wed 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM