Assiniboine Park’s Diversity Garden price tag hiked up to $97M
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy has released a new virtual tour of The Leaf and outdoor gardens that will comprise of Canada’s Diversity Garden, which is currently being built in the southeast area of the park.
Along with the new look also comes a new price tag of $97 million, which is $20 million more than planned.
The Leaf, an indoor horticultural attraction, started its construction in the summer of 2017.
Surrounding The Leaf are the outdoor diversity gardens made up of the Indigenous People’s Garden, Kitchen Garden, Performance Garden, Sensory Garden, Seasonal Garden and The Grove.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy said the Diversity Gardens faced some road blocks along the way.
"As we've gone through a tendering process in the last few years, we've constructed while we tendered and we've discovered that those costs were not entirely accurate, so now we have a better idea, that's white its considered a class one estimate, it's based on tender results," said Margaret Redmond, the president and CEO of the conservancy.
She said the cost increase is also partially due to the time it took to finalize funding from all three levels of government.
This led to rescheduling some construction initially set for 2018 to 2019.
"A two or a three month delay in a project like this is not necessarily a two or three month delay because two critical aspects of the project have to occur in warm summer and fall months and they can't both occur at the same time," Redmond said.
She said the conservancy will rely mostly on fundraising to cover the remaining $20 million for the project.
The City of Winnipeg has already met its funding expectations.
Despite the new price tag, Redmond is excited about the opening of the gardens.
“With the ongoing support of our donors and government partners we are looking forward to completing this transformation and the opening of The Leaf and diversity gardens in the late 2020,” said Redmond.
- With files from CTV's Jeremie Charron