Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory Receives National Award

April 30, 2020

Niagara Parks

  • Prix du XXe Siècle Award of Excellence recognizes and celebrates Canada’s landmark buildings of the 20th century
  • Since opening in 1996, the year-round attraction has welcomed close to eight million guests through the facility

Niagara Falls, ON – The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory has been selected by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the National Trust for Canada Prix du XXe Siècle jury to receive the 2020 Prix du XXe Siècle Award of Excellence.

Designed by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc. and nominated by Barry Sampson of Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc., the Prix du XXe Siècle Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding and lasting contributions to Canadian architecture. The prize celebrates design quality, as well as enduring excellence, recognizing buildings that continue to be used as designs or that have successfully accommodated new uses without being altered in ways that detract from the original intent.

Completed in 1996, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory remains the largest and most northerly facility of its kind in North America. It quickly became a “must-see” attraction and has since welcomed millions of guests to explore and learn about the delicate beauty and fascinating lifecycles of butterflies in a tropical paradise environment. The glass-enclosed conservatory houses over 2,000 free-flying butterflies, many of which are imported from tropical regions, with the remainder being raised in-house.

Located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, the facility includes the 11,000 square foot conservatory, video theatres and interactive displays, teaching facilities for the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, as well as laboratories and specialized greenhouses for the rearing of butterflies and plants. Energy efficiency was an important consideration and goal of the architecture and engineering team, as well as the incorporation of the building into the natural landscape and the use of natural and durable materials, such as limestone sourced from the nearby Niagara Escarpment.

The facility is known for standing the test of time and in 2018, Niagara Parks completed renovations to the front exhibit area, creating a multi-purpose auditorium space used to house special exhibits and events. The renovation incorporated natural materials and reflected the original design plan for the building, creating one cohesive space.

In addition to the Prix du XXe Siècle Award of Excellence, the Butterfly Conservatory has also received the OAA Award of Excellence in 2001, the OALA Award of Excellence in 2000, the Steel Institute Award in 1997, the GALV Institute North American Award in 1996 and 2007 & 2008 AccessibleNiagara.com’s “Breaking the Barrier” Award for full accessibility.


For full media release from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIT), see here.

For digital assets, see Dropbox here.

About the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada

The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) is a not-for-profit, national organization that has represented architects and architecture for over 100 years, in existence since 1907. The RAIC is the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada, demonstrating how design enhances the quality of life, while addressing important issues of society through responsible architecture. The RAIC’s mission is to promote excellence in the built environment and to advocate for responsible architecture. The organization national office is based in Ottawa with a growing federated chapter model. Current chapters and networks are based in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

About the National Trust for Canada

The National Trust for Canada is a national charity that inspires and leads action to save historic places and promotes the care and wise use of our historic environment.

Niagara Parks

Niagara Parks

The Niagara Parks Commission is committed to a vision of Ontario’s Niagara Parks as one that Preserves a rich heritage, Conserves natural wonders, and Inspires people world-wide. Founded in 1885, The Niagara Parks Commission is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mission is to protect the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.