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Major renovation projects at Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough

Major upgrades to the railway, serval enclosure and playground are underway at the Riverview Park and Zoo.

Over the next several months, there will be a lot of construction activity at the Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough.

There are three major renovation projects on the go:

  • Upgrading the railway.
  • Expanding the serval pen.
  • Making the playground more accessible.

The train ride at the zoo, which was installed in the 1970s, features two kilometres of track. Besides routine maintenance, the railway upgrade project is the first major renovation for the popular attraction.

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“We had about 66,000 riders on the train this past summer. That translates, at $2 a head, to $132,000 of revenue,” said Jim Moloney, zoo manager and curator. “That’s important for us. That extra cash helps us make improvements here.”

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The train ride is closed for the winter and is expected to open for the Victoria Day weekend in May.

There are approximately 165 animals at the zoo, including the serval. The enclosure for the serval is growing exponentially.

“We have an ongoing plan to improve the animal exhibits here,” added Moloney. “We will be adding 25 per cent to the area the animals have available to them.  We are also replacing the front fencing with a black welded mesh fence that’s a lot easier to see through. We are adding large viewing windows in the corners to give visitors an unobstructed view.”

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Phase 1 of an $800,000 project to make the playground more accessible is now underway.

“We’ve removed some play equipment and low retaining walls. We’re removing the sand media, which isn’t great for accessibility, and replacing it with engineering wood fibre and some new play structures,” said Moloney.

The zoo will remain open during construction. It’s now operating on its winter hours. It opens daily from 8:30 a.m. until dusk.

Admission is free.