Winnipeggers and tourists will have one less hot spot to visit in the city — and warm up in — after this spring.
The Assiniboine Park Conservatory will close permanently in April.
The lush, humid — and importantly for many Winnipeg residents and winter visitors, warm — indoor horticultural attraction, which is more than a century old, has exceeded its lifespan and must be demolished to make way for the final phase of the park’s $200-million redevelopment, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy says.
That redevelopment includes the new Canada’s Diversity Gardens.
The conservatory building was constructed in 1914 and remodeled in 1968. Its last day open to the public will be Easter Monday, April 2.
Starting March 27, the conservatory will hold an open house-style celebration for its last week of operations. Visitors are invited to submit written, photographic and video memories by March 2 to be included in a slideshow presentation.
The open house will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily during the conservatory’s final week.
Demolition will commence in the spring, followed by construction of supporting greenhouses for the Diversity Gardens. Eventually, the site will be redeveloped into green space for public use.
“We understand that the conservatory has been a favourite gathering place for Winnipeggers and Manitobans alike for over a century, and we recognize the significance of the loss for members of our community,” said Bruce Keats, chief operations officer for the conservancy.
“The closure of this building is the next step in bringing Canada’s Diversity Gardens to life.”
Plans for the eventual closure of the conservatory were made as far back as 2009. In recent years, problems with the building have grown, and conservancy officials say it is only a matter of time before a major failure forces the immediate closure…