Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Calgary's only indoor park, Devonian Gardens, open for pleasure



Devonian Gardens was officially re-opened today, marking a significant redevelopment of one of Calgary’s most treasured parks, and the city’s only indoor public park.

Originally completed in 1977, Devonian Gardens had not had any significant upgrades until the park was closed in 2008 to accommodate the redevelopment of The CORE shopping centre.  With a $37 million capital fund commitment from City Council, Parks was able to arrange a much needed renovation to the Gardens that coincided with the mall renovation.

Devonian Gardens“The former Devonian Gardens were beloved by Calgarians,” says Anne Charlton, Director of Parks.  “But they were tired, and most of the materials in the garden were aging and pushing toward the end of their lifecycle.  With the funding commitment from Council, we were able to create a new, fresh, timeless look.”

New plants, including exotic varieties from Hawaii and Florida, have been lovingly planted throughout the 2.5 acre space, and provide a tropical oasis for visitors.  A new skylight, part of The CORE redevelopment, extends into the Gardens and provides improved lighting.  Visitors will notice a more open space, complete with three ponds, filled with some of the original Koi fish, which were housed off-site during the renovation.

The new Gardens will accommodate activities such as events, education programs, and offers new park amenities including a restaurant, which will be announced later in the summer.

“I’m delighted to see that this gem in our city has been restored, as it is something very special for all Calgarians to enjoy,” said Mayor Nenshi.  “Parks make cities vibrant, liveable and memorable. The redevelopment of Devonian Gardens has restored our city’s only indoor public park into an international destination once again.”

Located on the fourth floor of The CORE shopping centre, Devonian Gardens will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Details for bookings in the Garden are still being finalized. More information on the Gardens can be found at calgary.ca/parks/devonian.

3 comments:

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  2. The old version had waterfalls, bridges, flowers, statues and benches all over the place for sitting and relaxing. The new garden has NONE of those things any more. It does have half a dozen sick fish, but when I seem to remember WAY more of them, this is no comparison. I was not impressed with the 2 inch steel pipe as a barrier around the pond. I watched a staff member tell a child to stay out of the water… with such a solid barrier I can’t imagine how this could even be a conversation. I would say it does make a great food court, but that is about it. No thought was actually put into this place other than “hey, let’s get rid of the old version in its entirety”. Of course the old version is what made it a City icon and tourist destination in the first place. Again, a lot of thought put into honouring the old version that people loved. They even have an area under construction and from what I learned when I asked, has been since it opened. It tells you to look up on the City website to find out what is happening and to my surprise learned… NOTHING. They won’t tell you what is happening, must be a conspiracy or something. Shame on the City for decimating and selling out such a great icon.

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