Winnipeg’s newest attraction opened to the masses on Saturday at Assiniboine Park.
The Leaf is a horticultural building featuring thousands of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plant life in four unique indoor biomes.
“It has been so rewarding to see the vision for The Leaf become a reality as everything came together over the last couple of months,” said Margaret Redmond, president and CEO, Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
“We are so excited to invite visitors to discover the beauty, wonder, and magic of The Leaf over the upcoming holiday season and the weeks, months and years to come.”
The Tropical Biome, the largest of The Leaf’s planted spaces, features lush plant material from tropical regions of the world and a six-storey indoor waterfall — the tallest in Canada.
The Mediterranean Biome showcases plant life from zones known for their superb fruits, fine wines, and abundant crops such as Greece, Italy, South Africa, Central Chile, Southwest Australia, and California.
A butterfly garden greets visitors with tropical butterfly species and provides access to a canopy walkway that wraps around the waterfall and overlooks the Tropical Biome.
The Display House will celebrate the art of horticulture with a rotating schedule of dynamic floral displays that will change four to five times per year, exploring seasonal and global themes.
On Monday, December 5, Assiniboine Park will open the Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar inside The Leaf. Menu items will incorporate fresh produce sourced seasonally from gardens at the park and ingredients produced locally by Manitoba growers and farmers.
The Leaf was plagued by cost overruns and a delayed construction schedule leading up to its opening. What was slated to be a project valued at just under $100 million was closer to $130 million. The Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Richardson Foundation teamed up last summer on a matched donation fundraiser to bring in an additional $3 million.
Tickets to The Leaf are $15 for adults, with reduced admission prices for seniors and children. It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.