News / Vancouver

Van Aquarium gets a green light for revitalization project

The Vancouver Aquarium is pushing through with a scaled-down version of its original expansion project this fall after the Park Board approved its revised plan Monday night.

"With funding from both the federal and provincial governments in place, the Vancouver Aquarium is moving forward with its largest expansion ever," said Vancouver Aquarium president John Nightingale in a statement.

Due to reduced funding from the federal and provincial governments, the Vancouver Aquarium revised its plan that was approved in 2007 by downgrading the expansion by 1,161 square metres while increasing green space by 1,415 square metres.

Visitors will be greeted by a new five-metre, wide floor-to-ceiling tank on the Aquarium's front wall, adjacent to the entry.

A new salmon hatchery will also be available for the general public as well as an enhanced viewing area for the seal and sea lion pools.

Imaq, the Aquarium's only male beluga whale, was shipped off to Sea World in San Antonio, Texas Saturday on a five-year temporary loan because of construction plans to extend the belugas' pools.

The Aquarium received $25 million from the provincial and federal governments in August 2010 to start the revitalization process for some of its aging physical infrastructure.

"Visitors will appreciate the increased facility space, which will provide more room to explore and learn about the complex issues and activities taking place in British Columbia, Canada and Canada's Arctic," Nightingale added. "There will also be new, changing exhibits, opportunities for indoor and outdoor cultural events and greater family activities."

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