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Cost of Canada Diversity Gardens spikes to nearly $100 million

Artist rendering of the Canada Diversity Gardens. Assiniboine Park Conservancy

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy says it needs the city to pitch in more money to help it build its Canada Diversity Gardens.

Members of the mayor’s executive policy committee are expected to vote next week on APC’s ask to have a city loan for the project increased from $17 million to $20 million and to have the deadline for repayment of that loan extended from December 2020 to December 2023.

A report to the committee says estimates on the cost of the project have jumped from the original $50 million in 2012, to $75 million in 2017, and now sit at just shy of $98 million.

“APC indicated several factors forced the project’s price to escalate, including a one-year construction delay with respect to awaiting government funding confirmations, an increase in the price of steel and an underground stream that created a need for more expensive foundations,” reads the report.

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READ MORE: Governments pour $60 million into Diversity Gardens project at Assiniboine Park

“The complex design for CDG, an indoor structure that will offer precise light, temperature and humidity levels for a variety of plants, also played a role in the increase.

“Although APC has been very successful in fundraising, the extent of the new cost estimates represents a significant change.”

Canada Diversity Gardens is the final major phase of the redevelopment of Assiniboine Park, and is meant to celebrate culture and biodiversity with three external gardens, a main building with tropical plants and a butterfly garden.

The report says the project is expected to “reach substantial completion” by mid-August 2020.

RELATED VIDEO: Diversity Gardens taking shape

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Diversity Gardens taking shape – Jun 15, 2018

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