Construction Projects Will Transform Edmonton Valley Zoo

Edmonton Valley Zoo

June 10, 2010

A new $16.7 million Arctic habitat now under construction at the Edmonton Valley Zoo is one of several projects that will transform the 51 year-old attraction. 

“The Edmonton Valley Zoo is breaking ground not just on a new exhibit, but on a whole new zoo,” said Councillor Jane Batty, “Our zoo is a place where learning is an accessible, enjoyable and memorable experience. With the enhancements that are on the way, visitors will have more opportunities to get closer to animals, connect with nature, and learn how to conserve our planet for future generations.”

Opening in fall 2011, Polar Extremes Phase I: Arctic Shores is being built in an open area west of the zoo’s entrance. It will recreate an Arctic shoreline, incorporate Arctic landscapes, such as the pingo, and include a new aquatic home for the seals and sea lion currently living at the zoo.

“This new habitat reflects the changes coming to the Edmonton Valley Zoo. We continue to transition from the original Storyland Zoo to a place for learning, research and conservation,” said Community Services General Manager Linda Cochrane.

The Government of Alberta contributed $7 million to Arctic Shores through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.

“Strong communities are a priority for the Government of Alberta. That is why I am so pleased our government can support an expansion project that will bring the community together through one of Edmonton’s favourite family facilities,” said Hector Goudreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Throughout the province, Municipal Sustainable Initiative funding is having a real impact, by enabling Councils, like Edmonton, to make decisions that meet the needs of their citizens.”

The next phase of construction is scheduled to start in 2011 and will include a new otter habitat, a new education centre and entry plaza, and a central trail system called The Wander that will showcase the ecosystems created by the North Saskatchewan River as it winds its way through Alberta. The City of Edmonton has committed $35 million to this project.

In the longer term, plans are being developed for a new family area to replace the current Storyland section of the zoo. The Valley Zoo Development Society will be embarking on a campaign to partially fund Nature’s Wild Backyard. Still at the concept stage, the area will focus on learning through play, allowing youngsters to make believe they are a vet or zookeeper and get closer to animals such as turtles and frogs.

Updates about Edmonton Valley Zoo construction projects are available online at

For more information:

Mary Lou Reeleder

Title Communications, Community Services

780-619-6791 (cell)

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