Group wants funding for new Halifax Public Gardens greenhouse

By Meghan Groff

The Public Gardens Foundation is hoping to secure funding for a new facility.

Its chair of the board, Robert Pace, said the Halifax Public Gardens' existing greenhouses on the north side of Sackville Street at Bell Road are unsightly and outdated.

He appeared before the community planning and economic development standing committee last week to outline his proposal for a new 10,000-12,000-square-foot Victorian-era greenhouse that would be open year-round.

“So you could have winter gardens in there, you could have an interpretation centre, you could have classes held to explain to people how to grow, how to prune and how to fertilize,” Pace told CityNews Halifax.

There would also be a large lower level to store maintenance equipment.

He thinks it could be a world class addition to what he says is one of the city's top tourist attractions, and it would be a benefit to locals as well.

“The city has done a great job of attracting and increasing our population, but I think there's also an expectation that you have to actually provide green space for all these people who are going to be living downtown,” Pace explained.

The project is expected to cost $8-million, and Pace hopes the three levels of government would each kick in $2.5-million, with the remaining $500,000 coming from donations.

He said both the federal and provincial governments are “enthusiastically supportive” of the plan.

At last week's meeting, HRM's community planning and economic development standing committee agreed to ask council to approve a staff report to further study the proposal.

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