The news that the city is going ahead with replacement of the propagation houses and progressing with plans to rehabilitate the Conservatory is certainly welcome. The idea of creating a new shell to replace the Conservatory will allow the collection to remain without destruction of the larger plants. A modern, energy-efficient, public and education-friendly facility will only increase the use and become a part of the city tourist experience.
I must complement the Friends of the Conservatory who took up the challenge to show how it can have many faces and attract the young and old alike. There has grown a great working relationship between the Friends and the staff that has facilitated the many successful events. Longer hours and events are only the tip of the iceberg. With better space many new displays can be created, learning experiences for the public and students, cost recovery through tourist dollars, perhaps a tea/coffee room, a sales area, etc.
As well, the outside is starting to become an area of interest. There are now bee hives at the Conservatory so the grounds could also contribute to the new Conservatory. This could be a "hive" of green knowledge for the public and the many new green organizations.
Once again congratulations to the Friends, staff and management of the Conservatory.