News / Calgary

Calgary's Devonian Gardens now half open

City expects to have other 50 per cent ready by early 2018

When it first reopened after renovations in 2012, Devonian Gardens had over 550 tropical palm trees and covers an area of approximately one hectare.

RANDY RISLING / Toronto Star Staff

When it first reopened after renovations in 2012, Devonian Gardens had over 550 tropical palm trees and covers an area of approximately one hectare.

Downtown office workers looking for a place to get out of their cubicle and get some fresh air have a new option this week.

Devonian Gardens has reopened another section of the indoor park to visitors.

In July of 2016, the city announced that it had to close down the park to do repairs to the garden beds, which were leaking in places.

Dave Harrison, project manager with the City of Calgary, said the work done was under warranty by the contractor.

They’ve recently opened the southwest section of the gardens, and now have about 50 per cent of the total area open to the public.

In March of this year, they had opened a small section of the gardens that included the playground.

"Building a garden on the fourth floor of a mall was a challenge – that's why it's opening it in sections," said Harrison.

To get the planters ready, workers had to remove live plants and temporarily keep them alive in other sections of the gardens while workers repaired the linings of the planters.

Harrison said they had to store much of the dried out soil in the empty Koi ponds to ensure that weight was evenly distributed around the building.

He said most of the plants and trees survived without any problems, and gardeners have taken the opportunity to rearrange a few of the plants to take advantage of better lighting.

When the city first announced repairs to the garden in July 2016, they anticipated the work would take six or seven months, according to a press release from that time.

Harrison said they now expect to the gardens to be fully open early in 2018.

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