This free landscaped park focuses on organic and sustainable growing practices and has remarkable ornamental hedges and flower displays.
Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) is more than just a display of award-winning gardens. It is also an environmental education center, with a focus on organic and sustainable gardening. Browse the 17 themed sections and learn about local plants and nature in general.
TBG covers an area of 4 acres (1.6 hectares) and aims to educate visitors. Spring and fall are the best times to visit the garden to enjoy the pleasant weather and stunning natural displays of color. During these months, you can also take a free 90-minute guided tour with a volunteer to learn more about the award-winning designs and plants.
Enter through the Arrival Courtyard and study its geometric sculptural hedge, which is enhanced by floodlights at night.
Local landscape architect Martin Wade and Dutch gardener Piet Oudolf decorated the courtyard. Oudolf also created the Entry Garden Walk with self-seeding plants.
If you are a birdwatcher, follow the Woodland Walk. It replicates the Carolinian forest, a habitat in eastern Canada and the U.S., and attracts many varieties of birds. The Beryl Ivey Knot Garden displays influences from 16th-century European gardens in England, France and Italy. Enjoy panoramic views of the gardens from the Spiral Mound lookout.
Check the website for events during your stay, including Thursday evening open-air summer concerts. In Summer Nature Day Camps for youth, children can learn about plants, fossils and animals in the Teaching Garden. An Organic Farmer’s Market runs from May to October where you’ll find locally produced bread, cheese and other food. You can also buy seasonal food at the Garden Café.
Located in Edwards Gardens, TBG is a 20-minute drive from downtown Toronto. Public buses stop at the main entrance. Alternatively, rent a bike and cycle from the city center through Sunnybrook and Wilket Creek parks.
Toronto Botanical Garden is open every day from dawn until dusk. The café has shorter opening hours and closes from November to April. The library, shop and reception keep varying hours, so check the website for the exact times. The free park is almost entirely funded by donations and member subscriptions.