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The 10 Best Botanical Gardens in Ontario

The 10 Best Botanical Gardens in Ontario

Once the snow melts, we know it’s time for flowers to bloom. With some of the best gardens in Canada, Ontario never fails to surround us with beautiful blossoms.

Looking for a tranquil escape from the city? Visit our favourite botanical gardens in Ontario. The best part? Some of them won’t even cost you a loonie! Read on!

Royal Botanical Gardens

Website: https://www.rbg.ca/ 

Address: 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4, Canada

Contact Details: 

  • 905-527-1158
  • 1-800-694-4769 (toll-free)

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, garden access is season dependent

Admission Rates:

  • Full Garden Admission
    • $17.26 – Adult 
    • $14.60 – Senior (age 65+)
    • $14.60 – Student
    • $10.18 – Child (ages 3 to 12)
    • $0.00 – Infant/Toddler (ages 0 to 2)

Located just on the western side of Lake Ontario, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a massive enclave of various flower species. It’s a National Historic Site and is Canada’s largest botanical garden, stretching from Hamilton to Burlington with 2,400 acres.

There are four gardens you can visit: RBG Centre, Hendrie Park, Rock Garden, and Laking Garden. In Hendrie Park, you’ll find the Rose Garden, where various roses of different species and colours bloom at the start of June.

Meanwhile, the Laking Garden, which opens during spring, showcases diverse types of peony and iris flowers. Don’t forget to visit the Barbara Laking Memorial Heritage Garden and find cultivars that were commonly available way back in the 1880s.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Website: https://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/ 

Address: 777 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M3C 1P2, Canada

Contact Details: 

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 24 hours

Admission Rates: Free

Toronto Botanical Garden is an award-winning flower sanctuary designed to be an energy-efficient building, earning a LEED Silver certification. This gorgeous place has award-winning gardens that are definitely IG-worthy (Instagrammable places in Canada)!

Attracting over 1 million visitors each year, it has 35 acres of land with 17 themed gardens. While every garden is a must-visit, the Pollinator Garden highlights native plants and the pollination cycle of butterflies, bees, moths, beetle ants, and wasps.

Open daily, there are plenty of flowers to see every season, like aster, Goldsturm, nodding onion, and Chinese witch hazel. There are family and kids learning opportunities as well to educate visitors about flowers and plants.

Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens

Website: https://www.oshawa.ca/en/ 

Address: 155 Arena St, Oshawa, ON L1J 4E8, Canada

Contact Details: 

Operating Hours:

  • April 1 – October 31: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • November 1 – March 31: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission Rates: Free

Wedding and Photography Rates:

  • $65/hour – Photography in all city parks
  • $131/hour – Wedding ceremonies and photography
  • $36 (flat rate) – Hydro at Lakeview Park

On Arena Street is the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, which has a Peony Garden with over 300 varieties. It has North America’s largest modern peony collection, blooming from late May to late June and also hosts the annual Peony Festival!

Another worth visiting is the Memory Garden, which has walkways lined with lush trees. The gorgeous garden is available to rent for events and celebrations, like weddings and prenuptial photoshoots.

The Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens is not as massive as other botanical gardens in Ontario, but it still seems to go on forever. It’s a perfect place for scenic walks (best scenic place to walk in canada) for families, couples, or even solo goers!

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Website: https://www.niagaraparks.com/ 

Address: 2565 Niagara River Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2S7, Canada

Contact Details: 1-877-642-7275

Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM (may vary by date/season)

Admission Rates: Free

  • Guided Garden Tours:
    • $8 – Adults and children
    • Free – Children under 2
  • Butterfly Conservatory:
    • $17 – Adult
    • $11.50 – Children (ages 3 to 12)
    • Free – Infant/Toddler (ages 2 and under)

With different flowers blooming every season, the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden is a must-visit in Ontario. It has 99 acres of land full of various landscaping designs and gardens.

Located inside the botanical garden is the Butterfly Conservatory, which houses over 2,000 beautiful butterflies. A highlight is the Emergence Window, which lets you look at the pupae hanging while waiting for their time to bloom.

The Seasonal Display Beds is a pathway perfect for walks, which showcases flowers, herbs, and vegetable display beds. It does get crowded at peak seasons, considering Niagara is a popular tourist destination. 

Ornamental Gardens

Website: https://friendsofthefarm.ca/ 

Address: 75 National Capital Commission Scenic Driveway, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Z2, Canada

Contact Details:

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Admission Rates: Free

A quiet sanctuary in the city of Ottawa is the Ornamental Gardens, which you can find at the Central Experimental Farm. There’s free admission and parking in the area, and most places are accessible for individuals with physical disabilities.

At the Explorer Rose Garden, you’ll find hardy roses that Dr. Felicitas Svejda cultivated in Canada over 25 years ago. This impressive and stunning collection is a success story as it can withstand the country’s climate, which is freezing cold winters.

You’ll also find vibrant perennials, such as irises, daylilies, lilacs, and peonies. If you’re seeking shelter from the sun, the arboretum has many unique and decades-old trees that managed to grow in Ottawa despite not being native species.

Humber Arboretum

Website: https://humber.ca/arboretum/ 

Address: 205 Humber College Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 5L7, Canada

Contact Details: 

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: Daylight hours

Admission Rates: Free

  • Centre for Urban Ecology – Closed weekends and evenings, weekday drop-in visits depending on activity.

With roughly 250 acres of land, the arboretum has botanical gardens free for the public to visit. It’s quite known for its gorgeous landscape designs, with pathways leading to ponds, bridges, and stunning stone structures.

The All-America Selections (AAS) Display is where you’ll find various new plant and flower varieties, and while not all thrive in Canadian weather, you’ll see the hardy ones. Those ones outperformed other flower varieties and were declared winners by the AAS.

Explore the Pollinator Garden in Etobicoke, planted in 2009 by West Humber Collegiate and North Albion Collegiate students. As a continuously developing area, you’ll find new flower varieties and designs here every year or season you visit.

Whistling Gardens

Website: https://whistlinggardens.ca/ 

Address: 698 Concession 3 Townsend, Wilsonville, ON N0E 1Z0, Canada

Contact Details: 

Operating Hours: May to October, season-dependent dates

Admission Rates: 

  • $13.50 – Adult (18+)
  • $6.50 – Youth (age 5 – 17)
  • Free – Children (age 4 and under)
  • Wednesday, Seniors Day – $2 off on regular admission

A sanctuary in Wilsonville, Whistling Gardens, is open from May to October. There are food vendors sometimes on weekends and selected activity dates.

There are roughly 8,000 perennials in the gardens, each showcasing different flowers in bloom throughout the seasons. Fall is when most flowers, such as echinacea and black-eyed Susan, are in full bloom due to the changing of the season. 

Meanwhile, peonies and irises are at their peak from May to June. During the summer, over a thousand flowers are on display, showcasing vibrant colours, including red hot pokers, daylilies, and fox tail lilies.

University of Guelph Arboretum

Website: https://arboretum.uoguelph.ca/ 

Address: 200 Arboretum Rd, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada

Contact Details: [email protected] 

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Admission Rates: Free

This arboretum in the University of Guelph opened in 1970 and now has various perennials, wildflowers, trees, insects, birds, mammals, and even reptiles! It also has over 12.5 km of trails for you to venture out.

The Gosling Wildlife Gardens is a must-visit for those wanting to see gorgeous garden designs that offer food and shelter to wildlife. It will give you an idea of how to integrate your garden to be more friendly to animals you normally find in your backyard.

While exploring and admiring the flowers, join in on geocaching! There are various geocaches in the arboretum, which you can find by inputting its postal code at the geocaching website.

Keppel Croft Gardens

Photo from https://www.keppelcroft.com/ 

Website: https://www.keppelcroft.com/ 

Address: 504156, Grey Rd 1, Georgian Bluffs, ON N0H 2T0, Canada

Contact Details: 

Operating Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Holiday Mondays: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, May to October

Admission Rates: Suggested donation of $5

This 77-acre farm is privately owned by Bill and Dawn Loney and is managed with the help of Green Thumbers volunteers. Their passion has made this place a treat for Ontario residents and tourists due to the activities and many places to explore!

The gardens occupy 4 acres of land, complete with whimsical, well-managed areas. Plenty of blooms and lush trees adorn the farm, which is an ideal place for bird-watching, too!

You’ll encounter vibrant perennial flowers like grey-headed coneflowers, foxglove, lanceleaf coreopsis, and bee balms during your walk. You can also support the farm by purchasing seedlings and plants for your own garden!

Allan Gardens

Website: https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/41/index.html 

Address: 160 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M5A 2E5, Canada

Contact Details: 416-392-7288

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday – Friday & Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Admission Rates: Free

Nestled in the busy city of Toronto is an indoor botanical garden. Complete with five greenhouses, Allan Gardens offers visitors a peek at flowers and plants that were cultivated from all over the globe.

You’ll find permanent plant collections any time you visit, but the garden can still surprise you with seasonal plants. There are gorgeous displays of orchids, begonias, camellias, chrysanthemums and collections of cacti and succulents.

Since this is also a park (parks in toronto), it’s an ideal place to visit for families. There’s a fenced off-leash area for dogs, a dog fountain, a drinking fountain, and a playground for young kiddos.

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