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Gone to the Birds: The Hamilton Aviary Receives $1 Million Gift

Far from a gilded cage, The Hamilton Aviary – which provides a safe sanctuary for tropical birds – is in dire need of a new facility. The generosity of an anonymous donor has given the aviary the start it needs to find their flock a new Hamilton home.

As Canada’s oldest public aviary, The Hamilton Aviary has been providing homes and healing for tropical birds for more than 90 years. Originally staffed and managed by the City of Hamilton at Dundurn Castle, The Hamilton Aviary became a volunteer-run organization in 1992 when a group, “Friends of Dundurn Aviary”, was formed in order to keep the aviary operational after city budget cuts no longer afforded aviary staffing and management. Following renovations to the castle, the aviary was moved in 1996 to its current location in what was previously the Teaching Gardens of The Royal Botanical Gardens.

However, The Hamilton Aviary’s current home was secured as a short-term lease only and is no longer suitable due to its need for significant structural repairs. So, a new home needs to be found. “This generous gift could not have come at a more important time,” says Stephanie Brown, Interim Executive Director of The Hamilton Aviary. “This gift comes with an incredible love story. Love between people, a love of Hamilton, and a love of birds. We are thrilled to know that the Flock will have a permanent home for future generations, where our community can continue to fall in love with them. Now we will turn our focus to securing a location and kick off a campaign that allows the community to choose what they want their aviary to be.

The generous $1 Million anonymous gift was secured through the help of City of Hamilton contacts. While the $1 Million gift has been restricted primarily to fund a purpose-built aviary for the birds, as always, there is more to do. The Hamilton Aviary requires ongoing donation support to continue help the Flock on a daily basis, as well as to promote learning programs for Hamilton children, families, and community members.

This inflow of $1,000,000 is directly proportional to our outflow of value to our community. You cannot receive what you don't give. This amazing gift will transform our organization into a new community hub where people can gather to enjoy the wonders of our birds but also participate in vital conversations about environmental impact,” says Tom Priestly, President of the Board of Directors for The Hamilton Aviary.

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