Watch the 21st Annual Biology Butterfly Show live!

Live streams will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily beginning Saturday, Oct. 3 and ending Sunday, Oct. 11.

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 one week 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 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.

2020 Show Dates and Times

Saturday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct.11
Daily hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The 21st Annual Biology Butterfly Show Goes Digital!

In 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing all we can to keep our community safe and to contribute to slowing the progression of COVID-19 in Ottawa, across the country and around the globe. Therefore, the 21st Annual Biology Butterfly Show will be held as a virtual event.

This year’s free virtual show will consist of Let’s Talk Science presentations, butterfly live feeds, informative videos, and more! Live feeds will be available for viewing on both the Carleton Biology Butterfly Show and the Carleton University Faculty of Science YouTube channels. Visit the event website during the show for additional details including live-feed and live-presentation schedules.

Q&A: Ask an Expert

Do you have a question you’d like answered during the show? Please submit your questions in advance by completing the form found at

Virtual Tour Options

Please e-mail for more information about virtual tour options in 2020.

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.


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


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.