Located in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Botanical Museum aims to educate and inspire visitors about gardening and nature conservation. Visitors will experience four acres of picturesque gardens and breathtaking nature.
The land that houses the Toronto Botanical Museum, the Edwards Gardens, was originally owned by the Milne family from Scotland. The Milne family owned the property for more than 100 years until the upkeep became too much and the land was overgrown with weeds and remained that way for quite some time.
However, in 1944, Rupert Edwards, a local businessman, decided to purchase to the property to fulfill his dream of living in the beautiful spacious countryside. He spent years transforming the property into a fabulous garden filled with rare flowers, wildlife, and even a 9-hole golf course.
Eventually the ever-expanding city of Toronto began to encroach on his land, making the property spacious and private no longer, he decided it was time to sell. The Metro Council obtained the property and made it a public park known as Edwards Gardens in 1956.
During the years that followed, the local garden and horticultural club began pursuing their dream of turning the gardens into an educational destination. In 2006, that dream was realized when they could expand their services and programs into the park, allowing them to educate visitors of all ages about the wonders of nature in the perfect location.
There are 23 specially themed gardens at the Toronto Botanical Museum, some of the highlights include the following:
Entry Garden Walk: This garden was designed by Piet Oudolf, a Dutch landscape and garden designer. Oudolf was inspired by his own New Wave style of painting in his first Canadian garden design project. He emphasizes bold sections of perennials and grasses and adds small punctuations of shrubs and trees. Everything in the garden is planted in a naturalistic style and was chosen specifically because of its architectural form, texture, and color.
Containers in the Garden: There are a variety of containers throughout the garden which feature various plants, flowers, and shrubs which are all intricately and beautifully designed.
Kitchen and Herb Garden: This garden has yearly themes which are sure to delight and educate visitors about edible and tasty herbs and plants they can grow in their own gardens. Everything from smoothies, teas, garnishes, and vegetable medleys can be created in this garden.
Westview Terrace: This area connects the outdoor gardens to the interior ones with elegance and beauty. There are refreshing waterfalls and aromatic flowers all around and visitors will hardly be able to notice the transition from inside to out.
Teaching Garden: This garden is specially designed for children to enjoy a hands-on educational gardening experience. They can interact with nature, watch gardening demonstrations, and explore the dinosaur garden or sensory garden.
Beryl Ivey Knot Garden: This garden demonstrates the formal techniques of shaping and defining plants, trees, and shrubs. This style is famous in English, Italian, and French gardens from the sixteenth century and the Toronto Botanical Museum adds a special contemporary twist to this classical style.
Nature’s Garden: This garden features two natural habitats from Toronto – the western area is representative of the Carolinian Forest, and the eastern area is representative the southern border of the St. Lawrence Forest and the Great Lakes.
Woodland Walk and Bird Habitat: This garden features a trail of natural wood chips surrounded by fragrant flowers and shady trees filled with singing birds that happily welcome visitors.
President’s Choice Show Garden: There are two sections in this garden – the North show and the south show – each area contains special plantings year-round. The North show features small beds dedicated to flower and plant trials, while the South show is filled with evergreens, small trees, and colorful berries.
Green Roof: This 2400 square-foot roof acts as a planter for grasses with shallow roots to help retain rainwater and pollutants. The roof is not only a beautiful bright green, it also acts as an insulator and water management system.
There is something at the garden for visitors of all ages to enjoy daily! Whether its yoga in the garden, the organic farmers market, floral design courses, art courses, gardening classes, or story time for the children – visitors are sure to enjoy the gardens year-round! Visit the Toronto Botanical Garden’s calendar for more information on daily activities.
Toronto Botanical Museum, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, Canada, Phone: 416-397-1340
Back to: Things to do in Toronto, Canada