City earmarks cash for Diversity Gardens

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City council has voted to give the Diversity Gardens at Assiniboine Park a major financial injection.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/07/2017 (1850 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

City council has voted to give the Diversity Gardens at Assiniboine Park a major financial injection.

The gardens, which are budgeted at $75 million, will replace the conservatory at the park.

On Wednesday, in an 11-to-five vote, council agreed to earmark $10 million in next year’s capital budget to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. It set aside $4.7 million in temporary funding in 2019 and approved a $17-million loan guarantee.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Canada's Diversity Gardens is expected to cost $75 million and be completed by the end of 2019.

“I’m looking forward for when the Diversity Gardens is open,” Mayor Brian Bowman said. “The leadership team in the conservancy is second to none.”

Several councillors said they wanted to withhold the $10 million untill they received the conservancy’s business plan for the project.

“We have the right to ensure the business plan is strong,” Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt said.

But Bruce Keats, the conservancy’s chief operating officer, told councillors the business plan had been vetted by civic, provincial and federal bureaucrats.

“They have done their due diligence,” he said. “We have provided an executive summary to city council.”

Keats said the plan has to remain confidential because they are competing against other tourist attractions such as the Manitoba Museum and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Keats said they are looking to charge a $10 admission fee for adults to the building, which will house plants from around the world. Visitors will be able to stroll outside the gardens for free.

“This development will be a horticultural showcase not only for Winnipeg and Manitoba, but also Canada and North America.”

Land is being cleared at the park for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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