Gage Park greenhouse to get $4.2M renovation
New design will make conservatory a unique ‘destination’: architect
Birds and palm trees alike will soon be able to soar in Hamilton’s popular Gage Park greenhouse.
A long-planned renovation of the subtropical greenhouse is finally set to begin this summer with a $4.2-million budget beefed up with a $350,000 donation from the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation.
Drawings released by architecture firm McCallum Sather show the venerable old public portion of the tropical greenhouse will be replaced with a taller, more visitorfriendly 14,000-square-foot structure that also adds accessible bathrooms to the site.
“It’s really designed to promote community space,” said architect Drew Hauser. “It’s going to be an amazing environment for plants and unique in Hamilton as a destination.”
The greenhouse’s palm trees should love the new lofty ceilings that will allow the subtropical plants — now occasionally cut down to fit the space — to stretch up to 10 metres in height.
Regular visitors will see an updated look for popular waterfalls, fish and turtles ponds. Visitors will also see a free-flying take on pest control in the form of a proposed colony of finches. Glued, laminated timber supports will be used in a nod to 19th century greenhouses once constructed out of teak.
“It’s going to be beautiful and interactive,” said Hauser, who credited Coun. Matthew Green for keeping planners focused on making the facility functional but also a “community gathering place.”
Green earlier offered up extra ward infrastructure cash to increase the initial bare-bones budget for the rehabilitation, arguing residents deserved more than a “new utility shed.”
The greenhouse will have gathering areas inside and out that can be used for educational or event spaces, Hauser said.
A new, expanded greenhouse has been called for since at least 2010 in the Gage Park master plan.
Shovels should be in the ground in a few weeks.
Renderings from architecture firm McCallum Sather of the Gage Park greenhouse renovation project.