What Is A Fluvarium?

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What is a Fluvarium?

The Fluvarium is a public environmental education centre focusing on freshwater and riparian ecology.  The word Fluvarium is derived from the latin root “fluv” meaning flowing water.  Fluvarium therefore literally means “windows on a stream”, and aptly describes the nine large viewing windows that allow our guests a glimpse into a natural, freshwater habitat.

The Fluvarium also holds a naturally lit catering venue that is a popular spot for weddings, meetings, conferences and events.  The natural light from the two storey atrium and 14 windows transports guests to a natural retreat without ever leaving the city.

The Fluvarium is run by the Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental education and freshwater ecology.


The Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation


The Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation will engage the community, create awareness and inspire all to protect and conserve water resources. We will become the primary aquatic resource centre for the province.


The QVRRDF through education, advocacy and stewardship inspires the protection, conservation and enhancement of freshwater ecosystems of the Northeast Avalon region of Newfoundland and Labrador.  The QVRRDF operates The Fluvarium as a public centre for environmental excellence.

Our History


Rennies River Pool 1947

The Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation (QVRRDF) operates The Fluvarium as a public centre for environmental excellence.  QVRRDF was established as a registered non-profit charitable organization in 1985.  It was formed by a group of  interested individuals who were motivated to protect and enhance Rennie’s River, a major waterway flowing through the heart of St. John’s into Quidi Vidi Lake. QVRRDF started with a goal to build a walking trail along the meandering path of Rennie’s River. It was soon realized that the polluted river had to be cleaned up. A series of projects were undertaken including stream stabilization, general environmental restoration, and construction of a fish ladder. Over 7.5 km of walking trails, including boardwalks and look-out areas, were completed along the banks of Rennie’s River and around Quidi Vidi Lake. In 1990, The Fluvarium opened to the public. With a focus on environmental education, especially teaching children about water ecology, conservation and preservation, this facility features many unique attractions.

The Fluvarium 1990

The Fluvarium 1990

Its location and role as a natural environmental teaching resource is a powerful education, tourism and economic generator. The Fluvarium owes its existence and success to the efforts of many interested individuals who played a significant role in the formative years prior to 1990, including Shannie Duff, John Gibson, Stephen Herder, Paul Johnson, John O’Mara, John Perlin, Lewis Stoyles, and Brian Wood.