L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

Montreal’s Space for Life: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Montreal is home to a diverse array of institutions showcasing different elements of the natural world. It is not uncommon for those residing in or nearby the metropolis to have visited or heard of one of these five influential institutions, after all it is not only their educational value that makes them well-known, but also their architecture, which enriches Montreal’s skyline. 

The education programs at the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden, Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan, and the Biosphere each work towards increasing the public’s connection to the fields of astronomy, biology, botany, ecology and entomology. Rather than each museum be operated separately, they are all in fact comprised within Montreal’s Space for Life, forming Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Space for Life seeks to raise awareness on the principles and importance of biodiversity conservation and ecological transition by connecting the public to nature at its institutions. Creating spaces where the public can engage and feel connected with the natural world not only makes for an interesting educational program, but also makes room for citizens to reflect on the importance of sustaining a healthy and sustainable relationship between themselves and the natural world.

Serving as evidence of the importance of these institutions, the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (as well as Minister responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region), Benoit Charette, has stressed the value that the Biosphere holds in Quebec – and more generally speaking, Canada – when he stated that “… The Biosphere museum is helping to engage Quebecers in the fight against climate change and efforts to protect the environment. This contribution is more essential than ever at a time when we are striving to limit global warming. Best of luck to Space for Life in pursuing its activities!”

Having the Space for Life’s museum complex situated in Montreal positions the city as a leader of sustainable development and environmental protection. Having a congregation of natural science museums that are dedicated to raising awareness on different aspects of the natural world in one Canadian metropolitan city sets the stage for what other cities in Canada could and should strive towards in the near future. 

The museum complex not only sets the stage for what should be expected in terms of natural science education and awareness institutions in Canada, but it also ensures that city dwellers do not lose sight of the natural world. Through exhibitions, programs, and other interactive projects, these institutions remind us that we need to push past the concrete jungles that are our cities and re-evaluate our way of living in order find a way to sustainably co-exist with nature. After all, maintaining a sustainable relationship between humans and nature is critical in ensuring that a healthy planet and human population can come to be simultaneously. 

To get a closer look at the institutions that comprise Montreal’s Space for Life, check out this video: