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VanDusen Visitor Centre marks one-year anniversary

October 22 2012 Centre enjoys increased attendance, membership and revenue

“It’s great to see how the new Visitor Centre has enhanced the garden’s profile. The building has become a city landmark and we’re seeing younger and more diverse guests enjoying the expanded programming” - Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Blyth.


The award-winning VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, which has become a must-see attraction for both residents and visitors to Vancouver, celebrates its first anniversary on 23 October.

The garden has experienced a 25 per cent increase in visitors and revenue since the new gateway facility opened a year ago. Garden membership is also up significantly.

Last year’s Festival of Lights, an annual holiday tradition at VanDusen, broke previous attendance records, while the new Truffles Fine Foods Café has also proven extremely popular.

And, since the summer, VanDusen’s library catalogue has been available online. VanDusen offers the largest horticultural library in Western Canada. More than 5,000 books, periodicals and other materials such as seed catalogues are available for research and general information.

An energy- and carbon-neutral design

The stunning $21.9-million Visitor Centre features advanced technologies, a green roof and a beautiful orchid-inspired design.

In addition to transforming the garden's entrance, the 1,765-sq.-m. (19,000-sq.-ft.) facility provides increased space for interpretive exhibits and education programs. The centre, jointly operated by the Vancouver Park Board and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, is enhancing the visitor experience, while supporting VanDusen's mission “to inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants to all life through the excellence of our botanical collections, programs and practices.”

The City of Vancouver invested $8.3 million into the project, the Government of Canada invested $6.9 million, VanDusen Botanical Garden Association invested $4.7 million, and the Province of British Columbia invested $2 million.

The Visitor Centre is designed to be self-sufficient and produce as much energy as it uses, making it both energy and carbon neutral. It is targeting LEED Platinum certification, currently the industry’s most recognized certification for green buildings. It has also been built to the more advanced standards of the ‘Living Building Challenge’ issued by the Cascadia chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

An award-winning project

To date, the Visitor Centre has received a number of awards, including:

  • The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia
  • Five Vancouver Regional Construction Association awards for contractors and trades
  • A Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture, merit level, by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
  • First place in the inaugural World Architecture News Engineering Awards, based out of London, England.

The design team of architect Perkins + Will and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander developed the master plan for the facility.

Leader in greening

Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

More about the Park Board

Visit VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Our 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world.

Get more information

For more information contact Daria Wojnarski, Communications Coordinator.

Office 604-257-8440
Cell 604-561-6925