The Montreal Planetarium (formerly the Dow Planetarium) is a decommissioned public planetarium located at Chaboillez Square just outside downtown Montreal. It permanently closed in October 2011.

The planetarium was opened in advance of Expo 67, inaugurated on April 1, 1966 by then-Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau. Its inaugural show, “New Skies for a New City”, premiered on April 4, 1966. Work had commenced on the project more than three years before its launch, under the guidance of Dr. Pierre Gendron, a former professor of chemistry and founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa, who was an avid amateur astronomer. President of the board of directors of Dow Breweries, Gendron convinced Dow to create a world-class planetarium in Montreal, as part of the Canadian Centennial celebrations.

The architects on the project were David-Barott-Boulva. The chosen design had an astronomical theme, and the exterior of the dome resembles Saturn surrounded by its rings. The Planetarium was built at a cost of $1.2 million on the site of the historic Bonaventure Station on Chaboillez Square near Old Montreal.

The Planetarium produced more than 250 shows, was visited by nearly six million spectators, and made more than 58,000 presentations in French and English. The Planetarium was one of Montreal’s most popular tourist attractions. On October 10, 2011 the Planetarium gave its final show.

The city-owned building has been ceded to the École de technologie supérieure, a major engineering school which is nearby.

 

 

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25/06/2013

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