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Montreal’s Biodome shutting down until 2019 for renovations

A rendition of what the new Montreal Biodome could look like. Courtesy: Kanva Architecture

Moving is a stressful operation but imagine moving 4,500 residents. That’s what the Montreal Biodome will be doing.

After 26 years in operation, the Biodome is shutting down for the next year-and-a-half to undergo renovations.

While some of the animals will be able to stay during construction, most will be shipped to different zoos across the country and even the United States.

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When they move back, their home will look completely different.

There will be a new walkway and a mezzanine level to experience the ecosystems from a different perspective.

Penguins will live behind an ice wall simulating their natural habitat, something visitors will be able to experience up close and personal.

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Preview of the ice wall being built for penguins at the Biodome. Courtesy: Kanva Architecture

“The fact that you’re in the climatic conditions of the subarctic, the smells, the sounds, I look forward to sharing that with people,” architect Rami Bebawi said.

The goal is to update the mechanisms that have been in place for almost three decades but most importantly to create a more meaningful and interactive visit.

But it’s no easy feat.

“Overwhelmed… There’s a lot to do but we are well prepared for that,” Biodome biologist Jean-Philippe Gagnon said.

Gagnon says the team has been preparing for almost a year. Caregivers will also travel with their animals.

The Biodome will remain open until Monday, April 2.

It’s expected to reopen in late summer 2019.

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