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'It's fabulous in every respect': The Leaf opens at Assiniboine Park

Dominating the tropical biome is a six-story high waterfall, the tallest indoor waterfall in Canada. (Source: Dan Timmerman, CTV News) Dominating the tropical biome is a six-story high waterfall, the tallest indoor waterfall in Canada. (Source: Dan Timmerman, CTV News)
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Winnipeggers who have been watching construction progress in Assiniboine Park over the last few years can now satisfy their curiosity – The Leaf is finally open to the public.

The new horticultural attraction operated by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy features four separate biomes filled with plant life from all over the world.

Saturday was the first opportunity for people to experience The Leaf. "It's been a remarkable day," said Laura Cabak, Director of Public Relations and Communications, "we're absolutely thrilled to be welcoming visitors here over the weeks and months and years to come."

Dominating the tropical biome is a six-story high waterfall, the tallest indoor waterfall in Canada. The Mediterranean biome has a cooler, drier climate for plant life from that part of the world. A display house currently features holiday-themed plants, but will change throughout the year.

The third floor of the building is a butterfly garden - Stan McLeod's favourite part, "I like the butterflies, they kind of land on me a bit. If you put your finger out, they’ll land on your finger, it's great," said McLeod.

Laurel Sarginson was also impressed, "I think it's fabulous in every respect, I'm beyond excited to be here," she said.

Sarginson had been anticipating the opening, "I've been watching the construction for two years as it develops, and we were so interested to see the lights come on."

Caback says The Leaf is for everybody.

"We've seen people from Guyana, and South America, and Paraguay, and Sri Lanka, and all over the world saying that this place reminds them of home. And the emotion that they are sharing and they stories that they are sharing are just amazing."

The Leaf is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is $15.50 for adults, with reduced rates for seniors and children.

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