Locals have been flocking to The Leaf, Assiniboine Park’s new astounding horticultural attraction that celebrates humanity’s interconnectivity with plants, since it opened in December 2022.
This jaw-dropping 6,000 square-metre attraction beckons visitors with its all-glass, conical design that is surrounded by 30 acres of beautiful, thematic gardens (aptly named The Gardens at The Leaf).
Within, you’ll find the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome–containing towering palms and Canada’s tallest indoor waterfall (the balmy air and sounds of the cascading water alone in winter makes it worth a visit); a Mediterranean Biome with ample seating for relaxing and contemplation; the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden and canopy walkway overlooking the Tropical Biome at the building’s apex; the city’s busiest new restaurant– Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar, with its handsome dining room and large outdoor patio; and of course, so many event spaces!
Indoor and outdoor venues
As a venue, there’s simply nothing like The Leaf, as you get access to all these areas, while the main Event Hall and pre-function space both provide views into the biomes, along with panoramas of the surrounding park via floor-to-ceiling windows.
The 4,500 square-foot Event Hall can hold a seated event for 300, or 450 for a standing reception. Catering here comes from the Assiniboine Park catering team, and includes a range of canapés, à la carte options, and even food stations (with options like taco bars, carving stations, sushi stations, and so many more) that can also be set up on the main floor or pre-function space should you be looking to rent out the whole facility.
During events, guests can enter the biomes (which are licensed), although if your event is during public hours and doesn’t involve procuring the whole facility, biome admission rates will apply to guests.
Just imagine the look on your guests’ faces as they sip sauv blanc under the shade of a Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)–aka, the Dinosaur trees that were thought extinct until only a few years ago. Or, picture them standing underneath towering palms as winter swirls outside, all while the sounds of the waterfall resonate in the background.
In summer, the Gardens at The Leaf provide even more event space opportunities.
Here, settings include a pond for ceremony within The Indigenous Peoples Garden, a built-in amphitheatre-style area for staging music or theatre in The Performance Garden, and The Kitchen Garden with its outdoor pizza oven and plenty of seating for a fun, interactive al fresco party like no other amongst all the herbs, flowers and vegetables.
Have a small gathering at Gather
Should you just be looking to visit The Leaf as part of conference activities, this attraction is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, as is The Leaf Coffee Bar—which serves a selection of drinks, along with pastries and sandwiches and cakes.
Gather serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while offering groups of up to 14 the chance to dine together.
Gather’s menu pays homage to the biomes (with Mediterranean-influenced dishes and plenty of tropical drinks) all while utilizing plenty of ingredients that are grown right outside in the Kitchen Garden (when in season), which is one of the six thematic gardens that make up The Gardens at the Leaf.
To learn more about rental at The Leaf and its gardens, click here.