Manicured green shrubs in a garden

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens | Niagara Falls Tourism

Botanical gardens and arboretums in Ontario

Manicured green shrubs in a garden

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens | Niagara Falls Tourism

Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy a stroll or photography inspirations, here are some scenic gardens in Ontario you should explore.

For gardens in Scarborough, North York Toronto and Etobicoke, read Beautiful gardens in the Greater Toronto Area


Southwestern Ontario

Dieppe Gardens

From the flowering annuals and water feature to the military monuments and cityscape, there are year-round photo-worthy views from this outdoor, riverside garden, named in honour of the Essex Scottish Regiment of Windsor who fought in World War II in Dieppe, France.

Location: 78 Riverside Drive West, at the foot of Ouellette Avenue, Windsor

Plan your visit: Public and free, metered street parking is available.

Whistling Gardens

Located in Norfolk County, Whistling Gardens is a nine hectare horticultural attraction that features many accessible walking paths. It is also the home of North America’s largest public peony collection. Tour the gardens to admire the conifer garden with many rare specimens, an alpine garden and a formal floral display inspired by a Palace of Versailles design. Workshops, events and guided tours are offered, and garden photography is encouraged with prescheduled photo club group tours available.  

Location: 698 Concession 3 Townsend, Wilsonville 

Plan your visit: Opens May 4, 2024 to Thanksgiving Monday in October 2024.

Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington

Guelph Arboretum

Adjacent to the University of Guelph, over 160 hectares of gardens, trails, woodlands, wetlands and meadows serve as a living laboratory for students, the perfect habitat for a variety of birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. Members of the general public can enroll in various horticulture workshops. Home gardeners can find ideas for pollinating plants in the Gosling Wildlife Gardens. The Italian Garden offers a perfect atmosphere to sit and relax. The formal English garden boasts many elements that revolutionized modern gardening designs. The popular Japanese garden promotes Zen and simplicity with calming water, artfully designed landscapes and ornamental plants.

Location: 200 Arboretum Road, Guelph

Plan your visit: Admission to the Arboretum is free. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk all year round. Free parking is available.

Niagara Region

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

With meticulously maintained gardens that include a formal parterre design, close to 2,500 roses, dramatic treelined footpaths and meandering pathways around the Butterfly Conservatory to ponds and fields, it’s hard not to take a winning photo here. Opened in 1936, the site is also home to an arboretum of ornamental trees and the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Check the Bloom Chart for what’s flowering, and don’t miss the Floral Showcase and Floral Clock, also operated by Niagara Parks.

Location: 2565 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls

Plan your visit: Open year-round, free admission, paid parking is available.

Hamilton, Halton and Brant

Royal Botanical Gardens

The largest botanical garden in Canada, RBG has been assigned as a National Historic Site for its rich natural and cultural value. Headquarters are located in Burlington, while the over 1000 hectares of protected land, formal gardens, 27 kilometres of nature trails and forest stretch to Hamilton along the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment. Each season delivers different scenery, special events and of course, flowering flora. See what’s in bloom.

Location: 680 Plains Road West, Burlington for RBG Centre and Hendrie Park. Arboretum, Nature Interpretive Centre and Rock Garden are located in Hamilton.

Plan your visit: There are both free and ticketed sections of RBG, which are open year-round.

Gairloch Gardens

Gairloch Gardens was once the home of businessman, James Gairdner. The property was gifted to the town of Oakville as a gallery and public park after he died in 1971. This lakeside property features stunning views of Lake Ontario. Gairloch Gardens also boasts a cozy storybook charm with its lush manicured lawn, colourful flowerbeds and well-tended rose gardens,

Location: 1306 Lakeshore Boulevard between Morrison and Cairncroft Roads, Oakville

Plan your visit: Free admission, open year-round, onsite parking available.

York, Durham and Headwaters

McMichael’s Canadian Collection Gardens

Combine your love of nature photography with art appreciation at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Beyond the gallery collection of Group of Seven, Indigenous, Métis, Inuit and contemporary works of art, the property extends across 40 hectares (100 acres) of forested maple, oak and pine woodland. A network of paths and hiking trails lead to the ridgetop wilderness garden, the traditional Anishinaabe Minokamik Garden, the Ivan Eyre Sculpture Garden, the Tom Thomson shack and the McMichael Cemetery, the resting place of six of the Group of Seven members.

Location: 10365 Islington Avenue, Vaughan

Plan your visit: Paid parking is available.

Peony Garden in Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens

Since the donation of 100 plants in 2001 the collection of Peonies in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens has grown to the largest contemporary collection in North America.

Location: 155 Arena Street, Oshawa

Plan your visit: Over 300 varieties of Peonies bloom annually in late May through June. The Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens is open all year round.

Southeastern Ontario

Corby Park Rose Garden

Everything’s coming up roses at this ornamental garden in Belleville’s old east village. Dedicated to the city back in 1905, the park is now surrounded by heritage homes and the formal rows of roses around a centre rose-petal-designed water fountain suits the ambiance of the neighbourhood.

Location: 210 Ann Street, Belleville

Plan your visit: Free admission to Corby Park, summer is the best season to capture the blooming roses.

Ottawa and countryside

Dominion Arboretum & Experimental Farm

There’s no shortage of photo-inspiring outdoor parks and glorious gardens in Canada’s capital, a city that prides itself on maintaining natural attractions and green spaces. This is the home of the world’s largest annual tulip festival after all. But for a wide variety of plant diversity, garden design and postcard perfect city views, head to the Central Experimental Farm, an operational agricultural and research facility established in 1889. The site includes a tropical greenhouse, wildlife garden and ornamental garden, as well as the Dominion Arboretum section which covers over 25 hectares with over 2000 varieties of trees and shrubs.

Location: 960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa

Plan your visit: Garden attractions are free, open daily from dawn to dusk, except the greenhouse, which is open Monday to Friday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., free parking is available or access via OC Transpo public transportation.

Know before you go

  • Check ahead to find out what flowers are in bloom before you visit.
  • Review garden etiquette and rules.
  • Dress according to the weather and wear comfortable footwear.
  • Certified service animals are allowed in many gardens. Make sure to check in advance if your leashed pet is allowed in the gardens you are visiting.
  • Help protect the gardens by staying on designated walking paths and do not pick, prune, eat plants, or remove plant material.
  • Photos for personal use are accepted. Please respect the privacy of other visitors.
  • Advanced booking and special permits are required for commercial or professional photo sessions, as well as drone photography or video.

Last updated: May 14, 2024

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.