If you know the City of Richmond you’re probably familiar with Fantasy Gardens, or Fantasy Garden World as some knew it. It’s a large patch of land at the southeastern gateway to Richmond with a storied history. It’s been a massive plant store, the location for numerous television episodes like the X-Files as well as a set for movies. But, it’s probably best known as the site of a botanical garden themed “amusement park” with numerous medieval styled buildings including a castle and a windmill.
For years now, it has sat unused. And, many of the buildings are in a sorry state. So, it’s exciting to announce a partnership of Townline and TA Development One (Canada) Ltd. (along with the City of Richmond) to redefine the entire site.
To begin with, the 12-acre botanical garden will become a public park operated by the City. It will be open for all to enjoy. No more admission fees like there were when it was privately operated. There will be many sections to the park with walking trails, a demonstration forest, an open green space that will allow for formal (such as outdoor wedding ceremonies) and informal gatherings.
There is talk of a community garden area, and an agricultural learning centre. It will be a welcome addition to the Garden City’s parks preserve.
The remaining lands – currently the parking lot to the south and the neglected themed buildings – will be re-developed by Townline in partnership with TA Development One (Canada) Ltd. and will be known as The Gardens.
The Gardens will be a series of mixed-use buildings with a large residential component and a range of commercial/retail that will see a grocery store, a signature restaurant and a variety of daily essential services that will make The Gardens a self-contained urban village. And, there will be pedestrianfriendly walkways, tree-lined streets, open green spaces and gardens within the residential areas to encourage a sense of community.
With the possible addition of the community garden, a person could live a very ecological life. In an age when we are being encouraged to get the things we need from within 100 kilometers of home (or 100 miles. See www.100milediet.org), a person living at the Gardens could do that within 100 metres of their home! Now, that’s living green at The Gardens!
This is a prime location with great proximity to shopping, connections to the Canada Line, a new daycare, and much more to satisfy your daily needs.
As for the form that the residences will take, it’s early days yet – far too early to say exactly what it will look like. But, suffice it to say that it will be neighbourly, attractive, modern and highly livable. It will be a positive addition to the southeast corner of Richmond, and truly mark the gateway to the Garden City.