Looking forward to seeing The Leaf


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/07/2021 (686 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg with its Conservatory has always been a place of refuge for me – and for thousands of other people.

I remember a walk a group of us seniors once went on to see the Leo Mol Gardens –  we ended up at the conservatory to rest our weary legs in the cool comfort of the lush greenery.

And I recall going there with my friend Lila to say goodbye to the place, for we had been notified that the conservatory was to be razed and replaced by Diversity Gardens – a one-of-a-kind colossal structure like none other in North America.

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn Diversity Gardens in Assiniboine Park, as it appeared while under construction in the fall of 2019.

It wasn’t long before our conservatory disappeared. Always wanting to stay on top of things, I went to the internet for information. What was shown there was beyond belief. A variety of gardens would form what they called The Leaf. There would be sky-high trees, tropical, with a transparent roof above that would withstand our frigid/torrid Manitoba seasons. There were other features, all too futuristic to have credibility at the time. In fact, some people looked at me quizzically when I tried to describe what we were being told to expect in the future.

I had my son and his wife drive me past the place in the fall of 2019 where the structure was beginning to take shape. Yes, something was happening there, and even dozens of Canada geese had come to inspect the place. They made a pretty picture that day – something so familiar and beloved set against the looming beginnings of the mysterious structure to come.

Now we read that part of these Diversity Gardens will be open to the public before long, and because we have been cooped up for so long due to COVID-19 regulations, there will be no charge to see The Leaf that is being prepared right now. We’d already been notified there will be an admission fee in the future, to help offset the cost of such an overwhelmingly unique construct at our park.

If nothing else, it is bound to put Winnipeg on the map. It may seem outrageously extravagant right now, but it’s not necessarily just our forefathers who had the big dream of setting aside Assiniboine Park. Our present generation of city planners are also dreaming big. And as we tighten our belts to help pay for this innovation, we applaud their foresight, their vision for the future. It makes me proud to say, “I live in Winnipeg.”

Now – who’s coming with me to see the place this summer?

Anne Yanchyshyn is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email her at

Anne Yanchyshyn

Anne Yanchyshyn
St. Vital community correspondent

Anne Yanchyshyn is a community correspondent for St. Vital.

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