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Royal Botanical Gardens receives COVID-19-related funding to increase visitor, staff safety

A variety of improvements are planned at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), through a $1.7 million federal and provincial investment. Ken Mann

The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has received some funding help, as it welcomes visitors back to its outdoor garden areas this spring.

The RBG is receiving $430,000 in provincial funding for infrastructure projects that will increase the safety of visitors and staff by reducing the spread of COVID-19.

An RBG spokesman says that will include washroom upgrades and social distancing measures throughout its properties.

Read more: Federal government invests $5.1 million in Great Lakes restoration projects

The RBG is one of six cultural and tourism businesses in the GTA that will benefit from an overall $27 million infrastructure announcement by Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, on Wednesday morning.

The government is providing financial support to the following ministry agencies and attractions:

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  • The Metro Toronto Convention Centre – up to $9.6 million in stabilization funding.
  • The Royal Ontario Museum – up to $9.5 million in stabilization funding, as well as $300,000 for capital repairs.
  • The Ontario Science Centre – up to $4.35 million in stabilization funding to support the ongoing operation of their facilities, as well as $890,000 for capital repairs.
  • The McMichael Canadian Art Collection – up to $1.2 million in stabilization funding for operating costs, as well as $50,000 for capital repairs.
  • The Art Gallery of Ontario – $705,000 to support upgrades to the building’s cooling, heating and ventilation systems and installation of touchless washroom devices.
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens – $430,000 for infrastructure projects that will increase the safety of visitors and staff by reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“Like so many of the province’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, provincial attractions have been among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – and will take the longest to recover,” said Minister MacLeod.

Read more: Ontario government pitches 2021 as ‘year of the Ontario staycation’

She adds that Wednesday’s funding announcement ensures, “once it is safe to do so, these agencies and attractions will be ready to welcome the return of guests from around the globe.”

RBG CEO Nancy Rowland said that “now more than ever, the need is critical for Ontarians to find respite in nature.

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She adds “Royal Botanical Gardens is committed to providing a safe destination for people from all walks of life to immerse themselves in diverse programming, learning experiences, and inspiring landscapes.”

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