While Canada might be renowned for its spectacular mountains, numerous natural wonders, sweet delights (maple syrup, yum!), and friendly people, the large country also boasts a wide variety of public gardens which are suitable for people of many ages to explore.
All around the nation, you will find large gardens worth a long wander. Read on for some beautifully green destinations across Canada you should add to your itinerary on your next trip to this North American nation.
VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver
If, like many people, you enter Canada by way of the bustling city of Vancouver, make sure you pay a visit to the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Located in the heart of the city, this tranquil spot boasts 22 hectares of landscapes and showcases a wide variety of plant species representing diverse ecosystems from across the world.
While you’re at VanDusen, you can explore an evergreen maze; check out topiaries which have been cut into numerous animal shapes; get your kids engaged in nature within the specific children’s garden, filled with all sorts of uncommon plants; and take a look at the garden’s interesting sculpture collection.
If you’re searching for educational information, head to the free on-site Visitor Center. It’s found within one of the most iconic buildings in Vancouver, which has an orchid-inspired designed. It features multiple educational exhibits, plus a gift shop, café, and library. In addition, you might want to sign up for a guided walking tour throughout the garden, or take a class in garden, plant identification, and/or photography. Note, too, that the attraction is operated under sustainable principles, with a focus on things like natural ventilation and using renewable sources to achieve net-zero energy.
The Butchart Gardens in Victoria
Not far off the coast of Vancouver is pretty, and popular, Vancouver Island, another destination worth visiting. Once you’ve traveled by ferry from the mainland, head around 14 miles north of the main city of Victoria, to enter one of the most famous, and most visited, gardens in all of Canada. The Butchart Gardens were designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004, and first created back in 1904.
The gardens were designed by Jenny Butchart, a local lady keen to rid her family’s abandoned quarry property of the pits that had been left behind by the limestone mining company her husband built. Today, the gardens are still owned by the same family, but a later generation, and are made up of multiple different spaces covering 22 hectares. The Butchart Gardens get over a million visitors each year, and during the peak season employ 550 staff members.
Open to the public all year, the gardens are just as beautiful at night as they are during the day, which you’ll discover if you’re there one Saturday evening in summer, when fireworks displays and concerts are added to the mix. No matter when you visit though, some of the most popular areas within the massive property are the Japanese Garden (the oldest); the stunning rose garden, filled with over 300 different species of the fragrant flower; the Italian Garden; and the Sunken Garden, which is also home to a spring-fed natural lake.
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens Near Niagara Falls
Millions of tourists head to Niagara Falls each year to see the famous waterfalls which began to form more than 12,000 years ago, at the end of the Ice Age. However, if you’re also looking for a memorable green space to spend time in while you’re in the region, book handy accommodation, like the Marriott Gateway, and then head to the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.
Situated around a 10-minute drive away from the center of town, the gardens cover a whopping 40 hectares and were first created last century, in 1936. One of the fun things about exploring this site is that, if you visit during the warmer months (typically May until mid-October), you can take a peaceful horse and carriage tour to see the whole area and to save your legs from getting too weary. This transportation is also helpful for the elderly or infirm who can’t get about so easily or cover such big distances.
Within the well-maintained Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens you will find a wide variety of plants, including more than 2,400 roses in the eye-catching rose garden. There are also herbs and vegetables; rhododendrons, azaleas, and perennials; a formal parterre garden; and the ever-popular Butterfly Conservatory, which is home to over 2,000 butterflies from 45 different species.