Spring in Montreal is a great time to enjoy the little things in life- and by little, we mean tiny, as in the tiny bugs and butterflies that flutter around the Insectarium and Botanical Gardens around now…
The Montreal Insectarium is one of the city’s most original attractions – and as of last summer, a whole new exhibit infests the insects’ museum space at the heart of the Botanical Gardens. We, the Insects is an interpretive, interactive display that tells the story of life on Earth from the insects’ point of view.
We learn that insects make up around 55% of all life on our planet, and that they’re ubiquitous, and also that they’re very, very weird. During a visit, we get close-up looks at the bejeweled variety of bugs in all the colours of the rainbow, as well as a chance to visit close-up with some of the big guys (under glass), including a tank beetle and a glorious, elegant stick insect in a green wonderland all his own.
After a couple of hours playing in the bug paradise of the Insectarium, be sure to head down the garden path to the Botanical Gardens, where the butterfly attraction, Butterflies Go Free, is in full flight. The Montreal Buzz has already proudly featured this great exhibit, but we thought you should know that, this year, they’ve expanded the butterflies’ domain to include two separate viewing areas, that together contain around 75 species of butterfly, with a population of around 20,000 over the course of the event which lasts until April 29.
The butterflies hail from all over the world, including the U.K., Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Tanzania and of course Canada, all under one cozy roof. What better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing on a bench in the Day butterflies’ dome – the gorgeous blue Morphos, who frolic in a purpose-built chute and allow visitors to get really close up. If you stand very still, it’s likely they’ll even land on you! It’s weird but very cool.
Across the complex, the newest thing in butterfly displays are the Night Butterflies – a separate display featuring the strange world of fluttering creatures that only come out at night. Have you ever seen a Cobra Butterfly? Or a Caligo Butterfly, perched on a piece of kiwi? It’s a strange and slightly terrifying sight, to be sure – and totally worth the trip.
Montréal Insectarium, 4581 Sherbrooke East, (514) 872-1400
Montreal Botanical Gardens, 4101 Sherbrooke East, (514) 872-1400