Construction on the 4.8-hectare garden began at the beginning of 2017. The garden features secluded forest paths, fruit orchards and more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and wetland plants.
“We’re so thrilled to finally be able to share with the public this time of transformation at the garden,” garden director Lee Foote said.
“From the moment people drive through our new entry gate, to their first glimpse of the extraordinary Aga Khan Garden, I’m confident visitors are going to be amazed at all that’s new and beautiful here.”
The new garden was made possible thanks to a $25-million gift from the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of about 15 million Ismaili Muslims around the world. The University of Alberta bestowed an honourary doctorate to the Aga Khan in 2009.
The Mughal-inspired garden was created using historic Islamic landscape architecture and will be the northernmost Islamic garden in the world.
The feature is expected to more than double the number of annual visitors to the botanic garden. Parking improvements and a new entry plaza were also constructed in order to accommodate the spike in visitors.
“The Aga Khan Garden has been designed and constructed to provide enjoyment for hundreds of years and many generations to come,” Foote said.
“Everyone is welcome to enjoy this beautiful new space created for reflection, inspiration education and intercultural dialogue.”
Finishing touches on landscaping and planting will continue throughout the year and into 2019.
The garden opens on Friday and will remain open until Oct. 8.
Watch below: After almost a decade of planning and months of construction, the highly anticipated Aga Khan Garden is set to open at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in Devon on Friday.
The Aga Khan Garden: Fun facts
- Name of garden chosen by the U of A
- About 665,000 kg of granite used for the project
- About 876 steel piles — 8.1 km worth — used to support structure of garden
- Garden designed by award-winning landscape architects out of Virginia, USA
- Fruit orchards include plum, cherry, apple, pear and apricot trees
- Rose garden contains fountain inspired by Alberta’s wild rose symbol
- Garden includes 12 water features and fountains