Not to be confused with the Biodôme at Olympic Park, this interactive science facility is housed under a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller to serve as the American Pavilion for Expo 67. A fire destroyed the sphere's acrylic skin in 1976, and for almost 20 years, it served no purpose other than as a harbor landmark. In 1995, Environment Canada (www.ec.gc.ca) joined with the city of Montréal to convert the space. The motivation is unabashedly environmentalist, with exhibition areas, a theater, and an amphitheater devoted to informing visitors about water quality, biodiversity, and climate change. An interactive walking tour, dubbed GeoTour 67, uses GPS (Global Positioning System) devices. "Planète Bucky," a permanent exhibit, highlights Fuller's forward-thinking inventions for sustainable development. There's a preaching-to-the-choir quality, but the displays and exhibits are put together thoughtfully, and engage and enlighten most visitors -- at least, for a while.
- Frommer's Staff