MONTREAL -- Following a 13-week shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Montreal’s botanical gardens will reopen to the public on June 15. 

Some activities originally planned for the summer months have been cancelled to adhere to provincial health guidelines – but a lighter program will be available in July and August to “give people the opportunity to reconnect with nature,” according to a press release issued by Espace pour la vie, which oversees the garden as well as the city’s biodome, insectarium and planetarium attractions.

The greenhouses will remain closed for the time being, as will the pavilions in the Chinese and Japanese gardens. 

“The Jardin botanique is cherished by Montrealers on account of its great natural beauty,” Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said in the release. “It also acts as a green lung in this part of the city."  

Visitors are being asked to consult the garden’s website before heading over to enjoy the space, as tickets will be sold for specific time slots to control capacity. The centre is also recommending for people to purchase their tickets online to limit contact at their offices. Between June 15 and Aug. 31, admission will be free for children aged 17 and under. 

A number of measures will be in place at the gardens. Masks aren’t mandatory, but are strongly encouraged; sanitizing stations will be available throughout the space; and visitors may have to answer a few health questions. Those with symptoms are being asked to stay home. 

None of Espace pour la vie’s other attractions are set to reopen just yet. The planetarium is waiting on directives from the province’s public health director and the city of Montreal, and the biodome and insectarium are both still under construction. 

“I salute the work of Espace pour la vie, which has made every effort to offer a most pleasant and safe visiting experience in the present context,” Plante said. 

People who’d like to purchase tickets online can do so here