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Edmonton Valley Zoo, Nature's Wild Backyard

Edmonton, Alberta

Project Description

To align with the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s capital improvement plan aimed at establishing it as a leader in conservation, environmental stewardship, and education, the original 1959 Storyland Zoo was in need of revitalization.

The Nature's Wild Backyard development was born, creating an engaging and immersive experience designed specifically for children. The project encompassed the demolition of existing structures, extensive utility work, and the provision of services to support both current and future project phases. 

In addition, two new exhibits, the Red Panda exhibit and the Urban Farm were constructed to enhance the visitor experience.

The Red Panda Exhibit offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe one of the zoo's most beloved attractions up close. This exhibit also highlights the Edmonton Valley Zoo's leading role in the global Red Panda breeding program. Combining entertainment and education, the Urban Farm, features both indoor and outdoor spaces dedicated to farm animals and includes a green roof that serves as a habitat for the zoo's goats.

Given the project's location within the same confined footprint of the original 1959 Zoo, extensive site investigations were necessary due to the lack of available as-built drawings. To ensure smooth progress, the project team established key milestone dates early on and adopted the Last Planner® System approach, facilitating collaborative alignment among all subcontractors involved.

Refurbishing the site posed significant coordination challenges, involving the removal of 60-year-old infrastructure and large rocks, followed by the installation of new site services and civil infrastructure—all while the zoo remained in operation. 

Due to the team’s coordination and heightened level of operational sensitivity, completing demanding site work within an active zoo was performed successfully. Our team took into account the welfare of the animals, meticulous planning and coordination of deliveries and the experience of the public allowing for the continuation of zoo events throughout construction and always ensuring a clean and presentable site.

  • Client

    Edmonton Valley Zoo, City of Edmonton

  • Architect

    The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc.

  • Size

    20,818 sq.ft.

  • Delivery Method

    Lump Sum


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