Quebec environmental science centres

Biosphère (Montréal, QC)


© Environment Canada, 2008

A Montréal architectural icon designed for Expo 67, the Biosphère officially opened under the stewardship of Environment Canada in 1995 and joined the Space for Life museum complex in April 2021. As a museum devoted entirely to the links between society and the environment, the Biosphère is dedicated to raising public awareness of environmental issues and mobilizing citizens through its programming, activities and exhibitions. Like the other Space for Life institutions, the Biosphère's mission is to bring humans and nature closer together and to encourage citizen action and participation in the socio-ecological transition. Access the Space for Life website.

Canadian Meteorological Centre (Dorval, QC)

Canadian Meteorological Centre

© Environment Canada, 2008

The Canadian Meteorological Centre is home to environmental programs in weather, climate, and air quality, and expertise during environmental emergencies. It consolidates modeling and environmental prediction capability and professional development capacity at the national level, in order to foster effective science and technology transfer, greater innovation, and workforce training and development.

Facility highlights include:

Centre St-Laurent (Montréal, QC)

St. Lawrence Centre

© Environment Canada, 2008

Located in downtown Montréal, Quebec, the Centre St-Laurent’s (CSL) administrative and specialized laboratory facilities are home to several federal government departments including Environment Canada.

Aquatic Contaminant and Water Hydrology and Ecology research and technical staff at CSL undertake laboratory and field activities which generate scientific data and related information aimed to improve knowledge of large river ecosystems. Studies on the impacts of human activities and climate variability on organisms, plant diversity and productivity inform regulatory decisions related to water discharge levels to the St. Lawrence, “species at risk” (Species at Risk Act) and the commercial fishing industry. The fate, bioavailability and stability of new and existing contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials) in large river ecosystems are investigated using analytical tools and methods (e.g., genomics, biomarkers) which have been developed and evaluated by CSL staff. These studies enable an increased awareness of the multiple stress factors impacting large fluvial ecosystems.

Water quality monitoring surveys assessing the suitability of shellfish growing areas along Quebec’s north shore of the St. Lawrence River are coordinated and undertaken by CSL’s Marine Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance unit. These activities fulfill EC’s obligations under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program. Fresh Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance scientists report on water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the St. Lawrence River based on regular monitoring of water, sediments, wetlands and benthic organisms. Focused studies inform and address environmental issues such as eutrophication of water bodies, and the presence of other toxic substances (e.g., metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated diphenylethers). 

Accredited to ISO 17025 international standards, Environment Canada’s Quebec Laboratory for Environmental Testing, provides chemical and toxicological analysis, scientific expertise and technical support to EC research and monitoring programs including the St. Lawrence Action Plan, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Index, Environmental and Wildlife Enforcement, Clean Air Regulatory Agenda and emerging priorities such as EC’s Chemical Management Plan

CSL science programs support EC’s responsibilities under the Canada Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Fisheries Act.

National Laboratory for Severe Weather Meteorology (Montréal, QC)

The National Laboratory for Severe Weather Meteorology was formed in 2004. The lab’s mission is to provide improved scientific understanding and prediction of high-impact weather, primarily focussing on application of numerical weather prediction models for forecasting severe weather phenomena. The lab is co-located with the Environment Canada Storm Prediction Centre in Montréal. Outputs include applied research to address forecasting issues identified in the Department and facilitation of technology transfer of science results into the operational weather forecasting program.

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