City of Windsor greenhouse ahead of schedule and on budget

·2 min read
The new city greenhouse operation in Jackson Park is taking shape and should be finished in January. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
The new city greenhouse operation in Jackson Park is taking shape and should be finished in January. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

Construction on the City of Windsor's new greenhouse in Jackson Park is ahead of schedule and under budget and should be complete by January instead of May.

In addition to the area where plants and vegetables will grow, there is also a multi-purpose room, and an administration area with offices, washrooms, board room and kitchen.

The new facility is 22,000 square feet, twice the size of the old greenhouse in Lanspeary Park.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

"We have doubled the size here and we have doubled the height," said Wanda Letourneau, manager of horticulture.

"So we can be able to grow larger, bigger, beautiful, more stunning plant material."

The city will also have more room to grow vegetables for the community garden to donate to food banks and there will also be some hi-tech automation to make the operation more efficient.

"Controlling things like lighting, heat, irrigation, the venting, the fans — so fully automated," said Joe Dattilo, project manager.

The multi-purpose room will hold events and classes.

"It's tied to the sponsorship application that we have set up out in the public and we'll see what the use and need is," said Dattilo

"Horticultural societies can maybe host a meeting or have a class so with the greenhouse that will be wonderful," said Letourneau.

City of Windsor
City of Windsor

Automatic shade curtains will work to keep heat in in winter and extreme sunlight out in summer. They also prevent light pollution.

It will take the city until next fall to move everything into the new facility and then demolition can begin on the old greenhouse operation. Demolition will cost $350,000 Over the winter of 2022 into 2023 the city will conduct a public consultation process to determine how to re-purpose Lanspeary Park with the 1.2 hectares of land the old greenhouse now sits on.

"We're looking forward to getting feedback from the public for the type of park amenities that they would like to see," said James Chacko, senior manager of parks.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

The city will also consult with the heritage committee to decide how much of the historic Willistead greenhouse at the old facility to save. However, Letourneau said only some of it will likely be incorporated into the new greenhouse.

"It's over 100 years old, so it's in pretty rough shape," she said. "But at some point, something's going to come here."

The city expects to finish redeveloping Lanspeary Park by the fall of 2023.

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