Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
   

What are the ‘green’ aspects of the project?

Canada’s Diversity Gardens will be an icon for global connections and environmental stewardship, aiming to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification in building design. Through the efficient use of solar panels, earth ducts and a geo-thermal energy system, The Leaf will be an energy efficient building of the highest caliber, equipped with on-site renewable energy. 

Additional components of the green energy system include:
• Efficient passive ventilation system
• ETFE roof material
• Earth berms to maximize heat retention
• Cistern to collect rain water and snow melt for irrigation
• Maximized capture of light exposure

What is ETFE?

ETFE (ethylene- tetra-fluoro-ethylene) is a co-polymer resin that is extruded into a thin film. The plastic-like material is translucent, extremely light-weight, very durable and resistant to corrosion and is self-cleaning. ETFE does not degrade with exposure to UV light, atmospheric pollution, harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures. The material has withstood extensive testing within extreme environments, and is expected to have a 30-50 year life expectancy while requiring minimal maintenance. Despite its weight (1/100 the weight of glass) ETFE handles snow/wind loads very well. In sheet form, it can stretch three times its length without losing elasticity. 

What will the traffic flow be like in Assiniboine Park once Canada’s Diversity Gardens is open?

The vehicular access point to Canada’s Diversity Gardens will be from the Shaftesbury entrance of Assiniboine Park with a clear one-way traffic route. In an effort to create a safe vehicular intersection, the intention is to close the entrance at Park and Corydon Avenue to vehicular access and make it a pedestrian and bicycle access only. Additionally, it is our intention to work the with City of Winnipeg to create a transit stop just west of the intersection to make it easier for people travelling to Canada’s Diversity Gardens by public transit. 

APC will also be expanding the free shuttle service throughout the Park to help visitors get from one area to another. Once construction is complete, the number of parking spots available will be more than double the current capacity in this section of the Park. 

Will the butterfly garden be open year-round?

The butterfly garden will be open year round and will be included in the general admission fee to The Leaf. Once The Leaf is open, the seasonal butterfly garden that is currently at the Zoo will be repurposed. 

Will there be sufficient light for the plants in The Leaf to grow properly, particularly during the winter months?

The Leaf has been positioned to maximize natural light exposure to all of the plants inside the facility. The ETFE on the top of the building is three layers thick, allowing it to regulate the amount of heat and light coming through in the summer months. The glass along the southeast and southwest portion of the building is single paned so that the lower sunlight in the winter will be maximized. The result will include significantly more light exposure allowing for a greater diversity of plant material to be showcased than in the current Conservatory.

What is the production timeline for plants in Canada’s Diversity Gardens?

A specific planting plan for Canada’s Diversity Gardens is currently in development. Plant material selected for Canada’s Diversity Gardens will not be grown on site, but rather purchased from specialty nurseries across North America. Some plant material may come from other public garden institutions, but the majority will be come from specialized nurseries in the southern United States. All plants will be installed a few months prior to the opening of the Canada’s Diversity Gardens so as to allow time for the material to get established in their new surroundings.

What is APC’s pest management strategy?

Within the gardens and existing Conservatory, APC practices an integrated pesticide management (IPM) strategy. This is a method of controlling harmful insects and diseases in an environment by using other insects or natural substances instead of pesticides.

What types of plants will be in the Gardens?

A specific planting plan is in development; however the selected plantings will celebrate the use of plants in our lives – food and drink, health and wellbeing, beauty, spirituality, and conservation. Some of the plants may have purposes beyond aesthetic and interpretive materials will share the cultural significances of the plants within the gardens.

What will happen to the current Conservatory?

A number of feasibility assessments conducted since 2002 have concluded that the Conservatory is at the end of its useful life and it is not practical to attempt to maintain it for the future. The building has experienced a variety of ongoing operational deficiencies. For these reasons, the decision was made to schedule the closing of the Conservatory in April 2018, giving the community advance notice and the opportunity to give the Conservatory the farewell it deserves. The short-term plan for the Conservatory site will be for construction of the support facilities and green houses, the long-term plan is to convert the site into a green space for public use.

Will Canada’s Diversity Gardens have an admission fee? Will there be a membership program?

Yes, The Leaf will be admission based but the exterior gardens will remain free to the public, similar to the current English Garden and Leo Mol Sculpture Garden. There will be a membership program developed for Canada’s Diversity Gardens closer to the time of opening.

What is the construction timeline for Canada’s Diversity Gardens?


Government funding for Canada’s Diversity Gardens was formally announced in July 2017 allowing APC to move forward confidently with project planning and construction. We are now working toward completion and opening of The Leaf in late 2020. This timeline is contingent on meeting two major seasonal milestones that must be completed in warm weather:
1) installation of the specialized roof in summer 2019 (3 – 4 months)
2) planting of the biomes in summer 2020 (3 – 4 months)