Casa Loma Gardens
by Mark Watmough
Life in a big city can be very stressful sometimes, and everybody who leads a busy life in a noisy concrete jungle needs to take a break from time to time. Fortunately, Toronto hides plenty of beautiful oases within its concrete walls. You can enjoy the peace and natural beauty of wonderful gardens without leaving the city. Let’s explore together the green and blooming side of Toronto.
by Diego Torres Silvestre
Allan Gardens (map), named after provincial Senator and one-time mayor of Toronto George William Allan, is one of the oldest parks in Toronto. This park includes six greenhouses, a playground, and two off-leash areas for dogs. All greenhouses are located in a magnificent Victorian plant conservatory from 1910 called the Palm House. It has a beautiful exposition of flowering and tropical plants such as orchids, various hibiscuses, bromeliads, and cacti. Furthermore, the Palm House has the largest collection of pandanus (Madagascar tropical pine) and the best display of caladiums and amaryllis in Toronto. The garden is very popular among wedding couples who wish to take photographs of their wedding parties in this beautiful setting.
Guild Inn Gardens
Guild Inn Gardens by Loozrboy
Guildwood Park (map) encompasses 90 acres of land that once comprised the former Guildwood Inn, a historic hotel situated high above Lake Ontario on the rugged Scarborough Bluffs. This is probably the most mysterious place in east Toronto, shrouded in history and legend. The Guild Inn Gardens are filled with lovely trees and offer a stunning view of Lake Ontario and the ruins of old Toronto buildings. This place conceals an unexpected though very impressive collection of architecture, including a six-animal bas-relief panel from the Bank of Montreal building, columns from the Banker’s Bond Building, a sculpture by Sorel Etrog, and a stone mantelpiece from the Frederick Banting House.
The Gardens of Osgoode Hall
Osgoode Hall by Padraic
Osgoode Hall (map) is a heritage landmark building in downtown Toronto surrounded by beautiful landscaping. This historic site, named after the province’s first chief justice, William Osgoode, is the centre of legal activity in Toronto. Osgoode Hall is home to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court of the Superior Justice, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Osgoode Hall is surrounded by astonishingly beautiful gardens with well-pruned shrubs, flawlessly tended, lush lawns, and mature trees. Visitors have the opportunity to admire beautiful, sweeping gardens with a fascinating array of annuals and perennials. Each spring, the garden blooms bountifully, providing a colourful sanctuary from Toronto’s daily grind.
Spadina House and Gardens
by Christine Urias
The history of Spadina and its majestic gardens (map) dates back to 1866, when James Austin, a Toronto businessman and financier, purchased 80 acres of farm land and built a two-storey Victorian house. The sophisticated historic gardens surrounding Spadina feature more than 300 varieties of flowers and vegetables in a historic setting that has been voted the “best outdoor venue“ in Toronto Special Events Magazine. Visitors can still admire a huge number of the original plants such as the lilacs, peonies, day lilies, irises, and the magnificent white oaks that are even older than the Victorian house. The gardens also include an orchard that contains a variety of apples not commonly available today. This place is a favourite location for lovely wedding photos, corporate events, and other special occasions.
Rosetta McClain Gardens
Rosetta McClain Gardens
by Karina Perez
Rosetta McClain Gardens (map), lying at the height of the Scarborough Bluffer’s Park, were opened on June 1, 1991. Soon it became one of the most popular places for flower enthusiasts, bird and butterfly watchers, and wedding photographs. Rosetta McClain Gardens is a unique romantic and peaceful place with a spectacular view of Lake Ontario. The pathways are flanged with bright red calla lilies and lead through various types of gardens: a perennial garden, a rose garden, and an herb and scented garden. This is a great place to find inspiration for your garden design.
Toronto Music Garden
Music Garden by Steve Allen
The waterfront Music Garden (map), designed by Julie Moir Messervy and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, is an incredible reflection of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. The garden is designed in a special pattern so that each dance move within Bach’s Suite No.1 for Unaccompanied Cello is represented by a different section of the Toronto Music Garden. This garden, saturated with the spirit of music and dance, is the perfect place for relaxation and contemplation, enjoyed by young and old alike.
Casa Loma Gardens
The famous Gothic Revival landmark in midtown Toronto (map) is surrounded by a huge variety of unique garden areas in an original and harmonious setting. Each garden area takes into consideration individual site conditions and is designed to retain as much historical significance as possible. The gardens perfectly combine the formality and elegance of of the perennial borders with the energetic display of spring wildflowers. Visitors can admire the aesthetic array of brightly coloured annuals and the creative display of numerous flowering shrubs and trees.