Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens is an awesome 2,400-acre spot on the Hamilton/Burlington border where you can soak in all the nature just minutes away from downtown. While most folks in the city are familiar with the RBG, not everyone is aware of just all that they have to offer. Picture this: beautiful manicured and themed gardens, interactive exhibits, events for all ages, and gorgeous, wild walking trails to wander through. This is one of our city’s greatest places to explore – a living, breathing masterpiece that changes with the seasons. So, if you’re up for a laid-back day surrounded by natural beauty, this is the place to be. Below you’ll find a quick guide to some of the main offerings of the RBG, but make sure to check out the website for more info and upcoming programming.
The main building of the RBG features a Mediterranean greenhouse, cactus and succulent collection, a natural playground for kids, cafe, gift shop, exhibit and event space and a tunnel to Hendrie park.
The largest cultivated garden area with 12 themed garden areas covering everything from medicinal and medieval plants to native flora and a rose garden. You can also find the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection at Hendrie Park.
The birthplace of the gardens, originally built in 1929 and rejuvenated in 2016. Features a perennial, all-season display, historic limestone steps, and water features.
A cultivated, terraced garden featuring edible and medicinal plants as well as a peony and iris collection with spectacular blooms in June.
A landscaped park inspired by English gardens featuring one of the world’s largest lilac collections, flowering trees, and access to some of the RBGs best trails.
RBG boasts over 27km of trails across the Cootes Paradise, Hendrie Valley and Escarpment areas. There are several trails spanning marshes and woodlands, as well as canoe launch spots. You can find detailed maps here. These trails have some of the best wildlife spotting in the city, so don’t be surprised if you stumble upon deer, turtles, frogs, or even some nesting bald eagles.
All that hiking is probably going to make you hungry. RBG has three restaurants: the Greenhouse Cafe located at RBG Centre, the Tea House in Hendrie Park, and the Rock Garden Bistro.
Exhibits & Events
The gardens have year-round event programming for people of all ages. From the Winter Wonders display and holiday trains to interactive nature exhibits and birding or gardening workshops, there is always something on. They also run nature and science based March break and summer camps for the kids. Find out more here.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to explore. If you plan on frequent visits, a membership pass has great value and gives you access to advanced tickets for some of their often sold out events.