Beneficial insects Garden shows and expositions Pollination Public Gardens

A Brand-New Pollinator Garden at the Montréal Insectarium

This year, the start of summer coincides with the inauguration of the Montréal Insectarium’s Pollinator Garden. Espace pour la vie invites visitors to discover temporary art installations that are sure to pique their curiosity!

From June 22 to July 3, miniature installations showcasing pollinating insects in a zany way, and a giant flower that puts humans on the scale of these insects will perk up this new space accessible free of charge. Moreover, while the plants quietly make themselves at home in the Pollinator Garden throughout the summer, scientific guides will accompany visitors in their discoveries. Discoveries that may well encourage people to do more for these invaluable pollinators!

The brand-new Pollinator Garden is home to some 75 nectariferous plant species, shrubs and host plants for butterfly larvae and caterpillars. Its objective is to create opportunities for bringing people closer to the insects. It’s therefore a natural fit with the Montreal Insectarium.

In addition to attracting bees, bumblebees, butterflies, beetles, etc., the Pollinator Garden will introduce gardeners to the plants that feed them. This includes such garden plants as the following.

  • yarrow (Achillea millefolium),
  • wild ginger (Asarum canadense),
  • giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), and
  • heart-leaved crambe (Crambe cordifolia).
Wasp pollinating an inflorescence.
Wasp pollinating an inflorescence: just part of the daily exchanges between plants and insects that keep our world thriving. Photo: Gilles Murray, Espace pour la vie

As they bloom, these plants will offer different textures and smells. They are conducive to stimulating landscaping ideas for your garden, which can also play a role for pollinators. In pots or in the ground, take inspiration from the My Space for Life Garden program. Use it to learn How to Create an Oasis for Monarch Butterflies or to participate in the Biodiversity Challenge.

This immersive inauguration is the first of four events that will unfold during the coming year. They celebrate and value insects in various ways: artistic, gourmet, scientific, etc.

Entomophilia: Love of Insects

Amusing display of bees caring for plants under a glass dome.
Entomophilia: the new catchphrase to express our love, respect and appreciation of insects.

The ultimate goal of the Insectarium is to contribute to the advent of an entomophilic* society—a society where insects are known and valued by as many people as possible, as beings that are as fascinating as they are beneficial to the balance of ecosystems, fully respected as members of the great community of life, says Maxim Larrivée, director of the Montréal Insectarium. The museum strives to be more than a destination, but also an actor in societal transformation in its own right, leading it to play different roles beyond its walls.”

* In the context of the new Insectarium, with its architecture and museology inspired by biophilia, we are giving the word entomophilia a whole new meaning, in the sense of love, respect and appreciation of insects.

More than ever, we must protect biodiversity. Espace pour la vie wants to mobilize citizens, but also give them the tools they need and show them the role they can play to tackle this collective challenge. By offering a new way to connect with insects, we believe that the Insectarium’s Pollinator Garden can contribute to changing the way we look at and behave towards insects. And inspire us to take action for their safeguard, and ultimately our own safeguard,” said Julie Jodoin, interim director of Espace pour la vie.


Giant flower showing child how pollination works.
BZZZZZZ! Pollination on a human scale!

BZZZZZZ! is a work created by Castor et Pollux, an urban landscape design agency. It evokes the stamens and pistils of flowers that insects land on to feed on nectar, thus carrying pollen from one plant to another. Inspired by the red baneberry (Actaea rubra), a plant native to Quebec, the ephemeral work is made of natural materials (bamboo, cotton, wicker and wood). 1.8 to 3 meters tall, this giant installation enables humans to experience a change of scale. And it gets them a little closer to the perspective of pollinating insects.

Mini-Scenes From Daily Life

Illustration showing a long-horned beetle sitting at a buffet.
A long-horned beetle sitting at a buffet… hopefully not in one of the trees in your garden!

Quebec artist Alexis Johnston-Benamou has developed eight miniature sets featuring pollinating insects from Quebec. He then transposed them into the world of humans. So, a long-horned beetle is seen sitting at a buffet, an Admiral butterfly is getting a makeover, etc. Through the artist’s zany imagination, the natural behaviors of insects (pollination, reproduction, etc.) instantly become more familiar to humans.

Take Part in the Biodiversity Challenge

Espace pour la vie invites visitors to take advantage of their visit to the Pollinator Garden to participate in the Biodiversity Challenge. How? By taking one or more photos of nature that they can then share with other nature lovers.

The New Insectarium

New Insectarium with pollinator garden in foreground.
The Pollinator Garden in front of the new Insectarium.

The Insectarium is the first museum in North America where it will be possible to observe so many species of insects—living (some of them roaming freely) and naturalized—in a single location. It invites future visitors to enjoy extraordinary encounters with insects. The museum team offers an immersive and educational experience. The design helps transform the relationship that humans have with insects. Hopefully, it will trigger in them to appreciate insects, a state consciously referred to as “entomophilia”* at the Insectarium.

Design of the Pollinator Garden: atelier le balto (Berlin, Germany), specializing in landscape architecture

Your Visit!

Timed Tickets

To experience the new Insectarium, book a set time when purchasing your tickets.

Tickets and the Espace pour la vie Passport are on sale here.


Montréal Insectarium

4581 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2

Telephone: 514 868-3000 or toll-free: 1 855 518-4506

Don’t miss this launch of the Montréal Insectarium’s Pollinator Garden! There’s a whole new contact between humans and insects for you to discover!

For further information:

Information and photos from

Espace pour la vie is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.

2 comments on “A Brand-New Pollinator Garden at the Montréal Insectarium

  1. Great displays with lots of fun ways for kids to learn to love and respect insects.

  2. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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