Koi fish visible at the top of a pond

Oldest koi in Vancouver finds new home at Bloedel Conservatory

We are pleased to provide a safe home in a newly rehabilitated pond for Dragon Gate.

Camil Dumont, Chair of the Vancouver Park Board

October 8 2020 –

Things are going swimmingly for Dragon Gate at Bloedel Conservatory.

The 34-year-old koi was recently relocated to a pond in the conservatory. He joins nine other koi, and more than 150 free-flying exotic birds, and 500 exotic plants and flowers.

Dragon Gate has a long and dramatic history in Vancouver. Believed to be the oldest koi in the city, Dragon Gate arrived in Vancouver to take part in Expo ’86, residing in the Korean pavilion before finding a long-term home at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden . Dragon Gate demonstrated his tenacity when tragedy hit the Koi pond in 2018 with the arrival of a river otter, who nearly wiped out the Koi population. He was rescued from the pond and returned to its waters, only to survive a second attack by a river otter in November of 2019. 

Newly rehabilitated pond provides a safe home

“We are pleased to provide a safe home in a newly rehabilitated pond for Dragon Gate," said Camil Dumont, Chair of the Vancouver Park Board. “He has several scars on his back as a result of surviving the otter attacks at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and we couldn’t be happier to have him join the unique environment at Bloedel where he can continue to play an important role in Vancouver.” 

The pond at Bloedel was rehabilitated due to the overbreeding of goldfish, which shared the space with koi and produced much more waste. The pond has been cleaned and the koi will no longer share the space with the goldfish, who have been moved to other locations.

Koi can live up to 100 years of age and their price is evaluated from the quality of specific color marking and lineage.

"We are very thankful for the ongoing support of both the Park Board and Bloedel Conservatory, and are thrilled that Dragon Gate is settling into his new home,” said Martha Nelson, Marketing and Visitor Experience Manager at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

About Bloedel Conservatory

Bloedel Conservatory is a tropical oasis located in Queen Elizabeth Park atop the City of Vancouver’s highest point. Last December, it celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Designated as a heritage building, it is jointly operated by the Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Garden Association. Together, these partners also operate VanDusen Botanical Garden. Both attractions are now open with enhanced operational procedures to ensure the safety of the public, staff, and members.