A colourful flowerbed in a garden with seating area for guests in the background

Toronto Botanical Garden | Destination Ontario

Best garden tours in Ontario

A colourful flowerbed in a garden with seating area for guests in the background

Toronto Botanical Garden | Destination Ontario

As Spring arrives, there is no better way to refresh your senses than surrounding yourself with Ontario’s unparalleled natural beauty. Be welcomed by the fragrance of spring as you take a memorable tour through the lush meadows in one of many botanical gardens across the province.  

Greater Toronto Area

Toronto Botanical Gardens

The Toronto Botanical Gardens opened their doors in 2006 but a garden has existed on the site since 1817. Spanning four acres, this expansive garden boasts 17 themed sections showcasing a staggering array of over 4,000 plant and flower varieties.

While the gardens are open throughout the year, spring and summer unveil a vibrant tapestry of colors that will captivate your senses. With constant updates and a rotation of seasonal plants, including both local and exotic varieties. Each visit to the garden offers a unique and ever-changing experience.

Location: 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto

Plan your visit: Book your self-guided tour

Humber Arboretum

Located behind Humber Collage, highlights in this 247-acre (100-hectare) botanical grounds and arboretum include ponds, picturesque bridges, gazebos, striking annual and perennial displays, a collection of gorgeous spring blossoming trees and shrubs, a tranquility bird garden and a native pollinator garden. Fall and winter present even more dramatic scenery.

Location: 205 Humber College Boulevard, Etobicoke

Plan your visit: Explore a host of self-guided activities

Toronto Music Gardens

The Toronto Music Garden is a stunning tribute to the harmony of music and art, inspired by cellist Yo-Yo Ma's film series 'Inspired by Bach'.

This three-acre garden is divided into six sections, each representing a movement from Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello. It provides a serene sanctuary for contemplation and appreciation of the seamless connection between nature and artistic expression.

Explore the Toronto Music Garden with the assistance of knowledgeable volunteers from the Toronto Botanical Garden, who offer free guided tours from June 7 to September 27.

These 60-minute tours, lead guests through the picturesque garden, learning about its history, meticulous design and the diverse array of plants that adorn its garden beds.

The tours commence in the Prelude section of the park and if you happen to join on a Thursday, don't miss the opportunity to stay for a delightful Summer Music in the Garden evening concert held in the Gigue section.

Location: 479 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Plan your visit: Learn all you need to about the tour

Edwards Garden

Visiting Edwards Gardens is an immersive experience that typically lasts between one to three hours, allowing ample time to explore the diverse attractions within.

Wandering through the garden, you'll encounter a delightful mix of landscapes, ranging from the upland area adorned with perennials and roses, to the valley where vibrant wildflowers, rhododendrons and eye-catching rockery await.

The upper level of the valley includes the famous arboretum and the Children's Teaching Garden, designed to engage and educate young visitors. Children can embark on a botanical adventure, exploring plants with names corresponding to each letter of the alphabet. They can also indulge their senses in the sensory garden where touching and smelling the plants is encouraged.

Location: 755 Lawrence Avenue East, North York

Plan your visit: Book your self-guided tour

Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens

A visit to the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens offers a delightful experience of natural beauty and tranquility, perfect for plant enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The gardens are meticulously designed to showcase the beauty and diversity of rhododendron species, that were donated by Dr. Brueckner. Visitors can wander through pathways adorned with vibrant blooms, ranging in colors from delicate pastels to vibrant hues.

The months of June, July and August serve as the peak blooming season for flowers in these gardens, creating breathtaking views and a memorable experience for the whole family.

Location: 660 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga

Annual Long Branch Garden Tour

You’re invited to visit a collection of unique and private gardens for free in South Etobicoke neighbourhoods including Long Branch, Alderwood, New Toronto and Mimico. The event takes place each year in the summer, with the next date on June 22, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Location: Etobicoke

York, Durham and Headwaters

Parkwood Estate and Gardens

Built by the founder of General Motors of Canada over a century ago, this mansion is now preserved for future generations to enjoy as one of the last remaining grand heritage estates of Canada.

Adorned with meticulously crafted gardens, the estate's lush landscapes take inspiration from the English arts and crafts gardening movement, offering a blend of formal and informal designs that captivate visitors with their beauty and charm.

Location: 270 Simcoe Street, Oshawa

Plan your visit: Book your self-guided tour

Kawarthas and Northumberland

Port Hope Garden Tour

Experience the breathtaking beauty of blooming flowers, lush greenery and captivating designs, all while supporting local restoration projects when you partake in the Port Hope Garden Tour.

Organized by the Port Hope Heritage Foundation, this cherished annual event not only showcases the boundless creativity of local gardeners but also serves as a meaningful endeavor to protect and maintain the architectural legacy and natural allure of Port Hope.

Location: Various gardens throughout Port Hope

Plan your visit: Book your self-guided tour

Northumberland Gardens

When in Northumberland, you have a host of self-guided tours to partake in across their numerous public gardens.

Cobourg Ecology Garden

Located beside the Waterfront Trail, this garden features pathways with plant markers, allowing visitors to learn about the various plant varieties on their path. The garden is also adjacent to a boardwalk, offering a pleasant walk to the harbor in the east or along the beach in the west.

Location: 116 Hibernia Street, Cobourg

Laveanne Lavender Fields

Nestled in the picturesque rolling hills of Campbellcroft, this location provides visitors a chance to stroll through field filled with over 80 varieties of lavender. Additionally, one can also enjoy lavender-theme food events on the weekend.

Location: 8667 Gilmour Road, Campbellcroft

Alderville Black Oak Savanna

Home to rare prairie wildflowers, and several other native plants and seeds, this is the largest intact tract of native grassland in Central Ontario. Additionally, this site plays a central role in the current and future restoration of this eco-region.

Location: 8467 Northumberland County Road 18, Roseneath

Southwestern Ontario

Whistling Garden

Whistling Gardens in Norfolk County boasts the largest collection of peonies in North America, with 1,200 species on display. Alongside this impressive collection the gardens also showcase over 8,000 vibrant perennials of various types.

One of the main attractions of Whistling Gardens is the magnificent fountain amphitheater, inspired by the Palace of Versailles, featuring stunning granite walls, expansive wings and three grand staircases.

The theatre serves as a backdrop for 90 fountains and hosts captivating fountain shows with music and choreography by Darren Heimbecker, the owner of Whistling Gardens.

Location: 698 Concession 3 Townsend, Wilsonville

Plan your visit: Book your tickets

Southeastern Ontario

Leeds Grenville Garden Trail

The Garden Trail in Leeds Grenville offers a diverse collection of private and public gardens, as well as garden centre displays. These gardens showcase a variety of plant life, including perennials, shrubs, trees and even food production.

Along the trail, you'll also encounter fascinating experiences like native butterflies, honeybees and birds as well as monarch butterfly way stations. 

Additionally, here’s a list of some of the many gardens you can visit during your time in Leeds Grenville:

This spring, explore a variety of gardens across Ontario, each offering unique landscapes and captivating experiences that will refresh your senses and create lasting memories.

Last updated: May 23, 2024

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