Longing for an optimistic reminder of the spring to come, Mack and I headed to the evergreen pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory over the weekend. We took advantage of a 2-for-1 offer I had received (after signing up for the City’s new Find Your Fun attractions and recreation newsletter), so we only had to pay $10.50 admission for the both of us.
We were eager to see what changes the popular tourist destination had undergone, as it reopened in June 2009 after over a year of being closed for renovations. In addition to a new outdoor courtyard, a revamped cafe and gift shop, and additional classroom spaces, a water feature and new plant material had been introduced to the pyramids.
Though I have to admit my hazy memory from my previous visit years ago didn’t serve me well enough to recognize the facility enhancements upon first glance, I am happy to say the pyramids themselves were everything I remembered them to be – a natural oasis encouraging reflection and pause. The ample benches were welcome, and of course, being able to transition from temperate to tropical to desert landscapes by crossing the hall felt just as remarkable as when I was a child. Here are a few photos we snapped that day:
I remember the desert biome was always my least favourite pyramid as a child. Though there are bursts of unexpected colour and beauty in adaptation, the landscape in the pyramid always just seemed barren next to its tropical and temperate neighbours.
Pretty and prickly
Mack’s favourite cacti
I loved the new water feature in this exhibit. Between the soothing sound of water echoing throughout the pavilion and the lush surroundings, I really felt like I had temporarily escaped from the bustle of the city.
Gorgeous water feature
I felt like we should have left an offering at the base of the coffee tree
With a wedding shoot underway, we didn’t fully explore the pathway in this pyramid, but surrounded by green, the dappled sunlight through the glass and leafy canopies made for a tranquil setting.
Into the forest
Under the canopy
In honour of Gaia (I have to admit seeing a porcelain face looking up at me was a bit disturbing at first glance)
With a slight chill in the air, the feature pyramid was spring imagined, the perfect kind of winter awakening ripe with colour and life. I’d never really appreciated tulips before this, having only really seen them cut and bound into bunches. Here, grown in shade blocks, they were a beautiful sight, and exactly what I needed to see that day before stepping out into biting gale-force winds.
Signs of spring
If you’re needing a refreshing break in the city – a visit to the Muttart Conservatory can do wonders for your spirit.
9626 96A Street
3 thoughts on “Evergreen Pyramids: Muttart Conservatory”
I can’t believe they are just across the river from me (a 2-minute drive!), I see them all the time, and I’ve never visited them! (When I first arrived in Edmonton and didn’t know the city well, I often took the wrong turn when going back home from the university and ended up in front of the pyramids a number of times!) I’ll definitely try to go there in the next few weeks.
I haven’t been to the Muttart since the renovations, but your post makes me look forward to going!
Dr. Caso – sign up for the newsletter I linked to above for a 2-for-1 coupon! I think it is good until September 30.
Debra – makes for a nice afternoon, especially if paired with a walk through the river valley.