Conservatory closed down


Thunder Bay’s Centennial Botanical Conservatory has been closed due to safety concerns.

The City of Thunder Bay said Tuesday said that the facility will be closed for at least two months.

The temporary closure is a precautionary measure resulting from glass that has fallen from the facility’s ceiling over time, the city said.

Access was already restricted in a section where a pane of glass fell earlier this month, the city said in a news release.

During the closure, city staff will take safety precautions while they work at the Conservatory to maintain plants.

The city’s facilities and fleet department has assumed day-to-day maintenance of the Dease Street building, and will be assessing and preparing further action plans.

A report on the feasibility of maintaining and operating the existing Centennial Conservatory is to be presented to city council by April.

The Conservatory was opened in 1967 by the Fort William parks board as a Centennial project.

Its largest room is the tropical house, a humid arboretum. The east wing is reserved for seasonal floral shows and the west wing contains a permanent display of plants native to arid regions.

While the Conservatory is not considered a heritage building, its design is unique to the region.

Based on comments received from tourists and local citizens, it’s evident that the facility has made a significant contribution to the quality of life of the community over the years, the release said.

City council and administration recognize the need for additional infrastructure funding for city facilities and other assets, the release continued.

They are looking for an increase in annual funding of $9.5 million by 2014 through an enhanced infrastructure renewal program, the city said.

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