Centennial Conservatory Gets Boost with $1.7 Million in Federal Funds

Mayor Bill Mauro, Parks & Open Spaces Manager Cory Halvorsen, MP Marcus Powlowski
Mayor Bill Mauro, Parks & Open Spaces Manager Cory Halvorsen, MP Marcus Powlowski - IMAGE SUPPLIED

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – “I am very happy to make this funding announcement. I have always really enjoyed the Conservatory because even in the middle of February when Spring seems a million miles away, you feel like you are in the tropics when you walk into the Conservatory. Thanks to our Government’s funding, provincial funding, municipal funding and the work of many volunteers, the Centennial Botanical Conservatory will continue to be enjoyed by many generations to come,” states Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River.

The Centennial Conservatory will keep being an oasis of summer for years to come today due to an investment from the federal government.

Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River announced over $1.7 million dollars in funding from the Government of Canada’s Heritage Ministry towards a full renewal and restoration of the Centennial Botanical Conservatory. The City of Thunder Bay had applied for funding from the Ministry’s, Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for their project entitled, “Centennial Botanical Conservatory Renewal.”  The $1,710,000 in funding will specifically focus on renovations to the main Conservatory area and the East and West Wings of the structure.

The renovations to the Centennial Botanical Conservatory will once again bring the facility up to its original operating capacity and will ensure the ongoing management and protection of the botanical collection. The City of Thunder Bay expects these renovations will increase attendance and programming opportunities, especially with the reopening of the cactus house (the west wing) and the creation of the multi-purpose room (the east wing). The project will also improve accessibility to the space and allow for the capacity for more community partnerships.

The total expenses for the Centennial Botanical Conservatory renewal project are estimated to cost $4,670,000 with a project completion date of 2024.

“I want to thank the Federal Government for their contribution towards the renewal of the Centennial Botanical Conservatory through the Ministry of Heritage’s Cultural Spaces Fund.  I also want to thank our two local MPs Marcus Powlowski and Patty Hajdu for their advocacy and support as the City moved through the application process. It has been very clear that the Conservatory is a valued asset to the residents of Thunder Bay and those visiting our City.  I am proud that, as a Council, we have made the revitalization of the Conservatory a priority as this decision has been a long time coming and it will ensure a vibrant and exciting future for the Facility,” said Bill Mauro, Mayor, City of Thunder Bay.

Quick Facts

  • The Centennial Botanical Conservatory consists of a 7,000 square foot indoor tropical display area that features over 600 plants, mostly tropical and cacti.
  • The Conservatory also has 8,300 square feet of production greenhouse space.
  • Admission is free to the Centennial Botanical Conservatory and has about 30,000 visitors a year.
  • The Conservatory offers educational/interpretive tours for the public and for schools.
  • The Conservatory was opened in 1967 by the Fort William Parks Board as a Centennial project.
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