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Allan Gardens Park Conservatory
Address: 160 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M5A 2E5
Allan Gardens Park Conservatory is an excellent location to see exotic plants in the middle of downtown Toronto. The conservatory is named after George William Allan, the eleventh mayor of Toronto. It began with a donation of his five-acre land to the Toronto Horticultural Society, and the city later purchased five more acres. After he died, the site was named after him in his memory, and a glass horticultural pavilion and conservatory were inaugurated in 1879.
The glass dome is currently housed in a 16,000-square-foot horticultural complex with five greenhouses. Although the botanical pavilion and sections of the conservatory were destroyed by fire in 1902, the historical site remains as one of Toronto’s key landmarks after being renovated by Robert McCallum. This botanical park has six greenhouses with a great mix of exotic plants from all over the world that can be visited at any time of year and is always buzzing with activities and sights to see.
Things To Do
The primary attraction at Allan Gardens Park Conservatory is the green expanse itself. It provides an excellent opportunity to appreciate unique flora and have a nice stroll while exploring and taking in the pure air given by the plants. The garden is also a great place to go on dates for a nice change of pace. You can also sit on the benches outside the conservatory, which are perfect for people watching and strolling with their dogs.
In addition, the conservatory is a popular photo destination for many Instagram influencers and other events. Many volunteers back the garden to organize plant-based children’s activities, including pop-ups for plant shopping, which is a fantastic way to get your kids started in gardening. The garden is also refreshed throughout the year to highlight various seasons and themes like Festivals, Spring, Easter, and more. The garden is a must-see during the Christmas season when it is adorned with topiary creations and a candlelight display.
Alocasia odora (native to east and south Asia), Brazil’s white angel trumpet, heart of Jesus, moth orchids, and leopard plant (native to Japan) are among the flora featured in the two Tropical Houses. Camellias, jasmine, and plants from Australia and the Mediterranean are featured in the Cool Temperate House. The Palm House is filled with palms, bamboo, papaya, tropical vines, and seasonal flora. The Tropical Landscape House features plants such as hibiscus and a green jade vine. The Arid House is home to exotic cacti and succulents that have been artfully arranged, such as golden barrel cactus, haworthia, and mountain aloe. Local flowers such as summer lilac and black-eyed Susan can also be found, making the garden a beautiful wonderland.
There isn’t a parking lot on-site, but there are a few nearby on Jarvis and Sherbourne. You can also park on the street or a nearby side street.
- No washroom
- There is a dog off-leash area
- Playground area accessible
- Free entry
- Donations are supported
- Open all year round from 10 AM up to 4 PM all week long.
Allan Gardens is a hidden gem and natural haven amid the busy city. The garden allows visitors to explore some of the world’s most rare flora for free. The garden is an excellent place to unwind among nature, with many fruit-bearing plants, veggies, tropical plants, cactus, and succulents to see in a large room. It provides a great exploration opportunity and outdoor day for families to enjoy at any time of year.