Vancouver's aquarium opens after expansion

VANCOUVER, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The well-known Vancouver Aquarium will greet visitors next week with the first phase of its expansion completed.

A grand opening with a massive new entry plaza and a high-tech gallery with wrap-around screens will be unveiled on June 13. New exhibit spaces, a new cafe and gift shop will also be open to the public.

The new sections, costing around 45 million Canadian dollars (41 million U.S. dollars), have enlarged the aquarium to a total of 29,733 square meters.

New energy-saving measures such as less light at night and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system will be introduced later, estimated to reduce natural gas use by 25 percent.

Opened in 1956, The aquarium sits in the heart of downtown Vancouver's Stanley Park, attracting one million visitors every year.

The current project is the first phase of a 100-million-Canadian dollar project (91 million U.S. dollars) expected to be finished by 2017.