Thunder Bay

Falling glass forces conservatory’s closure

Thunder Bay's Botanical Conservatory will be closed for at least two months, as staff investigate the building's problems

Conservatory history

The Conservatory was opened in 1967 by the Fort William Parks Board as a Centennial project that was to be left to the community.

The central and largest room in the Conservatory is the tropical house, a humid arboretum. The east wing is reserved for seasonal floral shows and the west wing contains a permanent display of plants native to arid regions.

The Conservatory is not a heritage building, but its design is unique to this region and, based on comments received from tourists and local citizens, it's evident that the Conservatory has made a significant contribution to the quality of life of the community over the years.

Source: City of Thunder Bay

Falling glass has resulted in the closure of the Conservatory in the city.

The city of Thunder Bay said the Centennial Botanical Conservatory closed at noon on Tuesday for at least two months.

Staff said glass has been falling from the facility's ceiling over time. Access had already been restricted in a section where a pane fell earlier this month.

During the two-month closure, staff will investigate the building's problems. The city's Facilities and Fleet Department has assumed the day-to-day maintenance of the Conservatory Building.  Work will also continue to maintain the plants. A report will go to council in March or April to determine the feasibility or maintaining and operating the conservatory in the future.

According to a city press release, council and administration "are looking to increase annual funding by $9.5 million through the Enhanced Infrastructure Renewal Program" by 2014.