The Butterflies are Free!

Don’t you love free activities for your family? The Ottawa Butterfly Show is a free, open to the public annual event that runs daily for ten days in October. The show features 1,300 butterflies that arrive in five separate shipments, representing 41 different species worldwide. Butterflies love to land on colourful clothing and will climb on to an open hand. The event is appropriate for people of all ages.

Show Dates and Times:

Saturday, October 5th, 2019, through Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Daily hours are 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Note: the wait time before entering the greenhouse can be up to 2 to 3 hours. Large groups and those with special needs must take this into consideration.

Show Location:

The show takes place in the Nesbitt Biology Building, located in the south-east corner of Carleton University Campus. Carleton University is located between Colonel By Dr. and Bronson Ave. along the Rideau canal.

Free Exhibit, Donations Welcomed:

The Butterfly Show is free and open to the public, although we rely on your generous donations to keep it running year after year.

Donations can be made Online, using Carleton University’s secure FutureFunder platform or in-person, with a cash/cheque donation in the main lobby of the Nesbitt Building during Butterfly Show hours.


For more information please contact the Department of Biology or visit their website!


We look forward to seeing you there!

Visit the event website for more information →

Butterfly Show Engages Community

Carleton’s biology department has been successfully hosting its Butterfly Show for nearly two decades. An annual community event held in Carleton’s greenhouse, the Butterfly Show features exotic butterflies from 41 species worldwide. While the show is undeniably enchanting, the real beauty lies in the ways in which the show brings together community, enables family bonding and allows for a fun learning experience for children, students and adults alike.

Read the full story here.

Watch ‘Papa Papillon,’ a documentary by Fangliang Xu, here.