The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is located approximately 9km north of Niagara Falls on the grounds of 40 ha. This year-round butterfly house along with a 200-seat auditorium room, a gift shop, and a climate-controlled greenhouse, was opened in 1996. The Conservatory glass dome is 1,022 square meters in size with 180 meters of trails inside the greenhouse portion, where a wide variety of foliage grows. The Conservatory owns over 2,000 tropical butterflies from over 60 different species. Trails wind through the rainforest setting, passing by a waterfall and pond, and continue on to the Emergence Window, where these marvellous insects leave their pupae and prepare for their first flight!
The Conservatory imports close to 3,000 butterflies per month from world butterfly farms in the Philippines, El Salvador, Australia, and Costa Rica, as butterflies usually have a lifespan of two to four weeks. Banded orange, ordinary Mormon, blue morpho, Gulf fritillary, cydno longwing, Doris longwing, monarch, Julia, Low's swallowtail, and other species belong to Conservatory. Special netting along the inside of the conservatory dome keeps the butterflies from dying from hypothermia or from getting stuck. Butterfly food plants at the conservatory such as Ixora, Liatris, Pentas, and Lantana are replaced every two to three weeks because caterpillars have enormous appetites.
Bright colours have always attracted butterflies, so if you want them to land on your body, you should wear something vivid and, of course, move slowly. Visitors are also allowed to view the butterfly life cycle in the Emergence area where over 45,000 butterflies come to life annually.