Take a tour of the Hole family's new state-of-the-art-facility in St. Albert
By Caroline Barlott | July 1, 2011
The Enjoy Centre is not just a new location for the original Hole’s Greenhouses and Gardens — it’s a reimagining. From the outside, the 242,000-square-foot centre looks like it was sent back from the future, with huge sections of glass and large circular outcrops.
“It’s so much more than just a greenhouse,” says Jim Hole.
Features such as a green roof, and a rainwater collection system bring sustainability to the forefront — and in the future the centre would like to use a grey water system, allowing water from its spa to be reused in the greenhouse, provided future legislation allows for it.
The Prairie Bistro: Overlooking Lois Hole Centennial Park, this glass-enclosed restaurant is focused on serving healthy, locally-sourced foods, including lettuce and other herbs grown on its roof. “You can’t get much more local than that,” says Marina Michaelides, the centre’s marketing consultant. The restaurant also has partnerships with several local suppliers for items including meats, honey and vegetables.Sandy View Farms, a delicatessen on the lower floor will provide organic meats and cheeses. “There’s even a demonstration area downstairs where we’ll hold classes,” she says. The centre promotes local producers through a Meet the Farmer night once a month.
The Water Garden: This spa follows a trend in the industry, shifting from pampering to general well-being. The spa also borrows relaxation techniques from various cultures, including Turkish hamams and Japanese wooden hinoki ofuro bathtubs. The centre will host yoga classes in the garden, as well as alternative therapies, like water-based treatments for back problems and sleep dysfunction. On-staff nutritionists and acupuncturists work on a one-to-one basis to determine the best course of action for each individual.
The Greenhouse: Sustainability was Jim Hole’s main goal when the greenhouse was being built. Most of the metal posts holding up the roof are hollow and collect rainwater, which travels into a 500,000-litre storage tank in the warehouse area. As needed the greenhouse floor, which is covered with pots of plants, is flooded for 10 minutes until the vegetation soaks up enough water. Excess water is drained back into the tank to be recycled. Customers and staff need not wander the massive facility to find what they’re looking for; a ceiling conveyor track transplants flora from one area to the other.