Montreal

Montreal Biodôme's grand reopening delayed until spring 2020

The Biodôme has been undergoing renovations to the tune of more than $27 million since April 2018.

Despite the delay, Espace pour la vie says the animals are doing well

Work on the Biodome is ongoing, as it's expected to reopen to the public by spring 2020. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Montreal's Biodôme was originally supposed to reopen to the public this summer. As delays piled up, project organizers moved the opening date back to September 2019, then December.

As of Wednesday, Espace pour la vie says the public will be allowed back in by spring 2020.

The Biodôme has been undergoing renovations to the tune of more than $27 million since April 2018.

During a site visit for media, project organizers explained the delays were caused by a shortage of supplies and specialized labourers.

They added, however, the postponement would not stretch the project's budget any further.

After the renovations, Espace pour la vie is hoping to attract a record number of visitors to its new habitats. (Espace pour la vie)

It's a difficult project, explained Biodôme director Yves Paris, because they have to take out elements of the old velodrome in order to expand usable space without affecting the structure itself.

Bad news aside, Espace pour la vie said in a statement that the animals under its care are doing well and that some of the penguins being housed in a refrigerated room in the building's basement had chicks this year.

The statement went on to say that the delayed opening will give the Biodôme's furry and feathered residents time to adapt to their new environment.

Penguins living in the building's basement brought some new chicks into the world this year. (Espace pour la vie)

"The Biodôme cannot reopen until its new animal habitats are fully satisfactory and the animals have had time to become acclimated to their new surroundings."

The organization hasn't been resting on its laurels during the closure either. Upon reopening, some new Callithrix monkeys and capybaras will be joining the collection.  

Once it reopens, the Biodôme's administration is hoping to recoup lost revenue by staying open longer and attracting more visitors than ever before.

With files from Radio-Canada's Anne-Louise Despatie

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