Haligonians will be treated to daily winter openings of the Halifax Public Gardens as long as the weather cooperates.
That’s good news for Edie Tulle, a frequent visitor to the Public Gardens. Living near the gardens was a top priority for Tulle when she moved to Halifax 12 years ago.
“That was one of the attractions; to be right in the centre of the city, close to the Public Gardens,” said Tulle.
Though the colourful flora of the summer will not begin to bloom until the temperatures rise next spring, visitors will be able to enter the park beginning at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., seven days a week.
Opening hours will be subject to change, according to weather conditions, said Nick Ritcey, a spokesman for the Halifax Regional Municipality.
This is the first winter in many the gardens will be open. Operating costs were a factor in the decision, but Ritcey says they will be “minimal.”
Ritcey said the park is open this winter because visitors requested it.
“We’re very pleased to be able to offer that opportunity this year,” he said.
“If it snows, we will be clearing the main paths only. A map of these paths will be posted on site and online in the coming weeks. If there’s no snow on the ground, most paths will be open to the public.”
The opening will allow access to the gardens from entrances at the four corners of the area, with access limited to the main paths. The Griffin’s Pond area will be closed for construction, which will involve a reconstruction of the pond’s filtration system.
“They’ll be backing some equipment in, cleaning the pond and reconnecting the filtration system,” said Margaret-Anne Bennett, chair of communications at the Friends of the Public Gardens, the organization that oversees proper care of the park.
“Next summer the pond will just be a beautiful, clear pond once again and should remain so,” she said.
The Horticulture Hall, which houses the cafe, Uncommon Grounds, in the summer months, and public washrooms, will not be open through the winter months.