Jardin Botanique de Montreal
Montreal’s other great oasis is its Jardin Botanique de Montreal built during the Great Depression as a public works project, the brainchild of then mayor Camille Houde, one of French Montreal’s greatest heros and certainly one of the city’s most astute politicians. The third largest in the world, it rivals Pare Mont Royal as the city’s most popular public green space. It is often featured in the wedding albums of successive generations of Montrealers of every ethnic persuasion and every social class!
Star attractions are the Japanese Tea Ceremony Pavilion and the Dream Lake Friendship Garden – the latter designed and built by the PR of China as a 350th birthday gift to Montreal.
One of its most novel attractions is the Montreal Insectarium, housing more than 250,000 live and dead insects from 100 countries. It was joined recently by the Montreal Biodome, which opened in 1992 and quickly became the city’s top man-made attraction: a vast environmental museum on the site of the former Olympic Velodrome features four climate controlled ecosystems – the Laurentian forest, the St. Lawrence marine environment, the polar world and the tropical forest, along with their indigenous flora, fauna and many native animals.
In the nearby Parc Olympique is the impressive Stade Olympique, which was originally built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, but is now home to the Montr6al Expos baseball team during the spring and summer months, as well the venue for megarock shows. And yes, the Stadium’s observation deck offers a spectacular view of Montreal and the StLawrence River beyond.