Toronto Botanical Gardens

Toronto Botanical Gardens picture
Eeshmam Munir/Flickr

Key Info

777 Lawrence Ave E.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

According to recent visitors, the Toronto Botanical Gardens is a great spot for visitors and families of all ages, as it offers free admission to the grounds and tours, nature camps, courses and a summertime farmers market. For those looking for a more in-depth look at the attraction's 17 themed gardens, guided tours run between 45 and 90 minutes (depending on the tour booked) and cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. If you want to walk around on your own, there's also an app-guided tour that'll take you around the grounds.

Recent travelers said the gardens are a great place to go to relax, walk and view gorgeous flowers, but that because the gardens are on the smaller side, you should plan on spending only an hour or two here. Recently engaged? This is also a popular spot to get photos taken.

The gardens sit about 4 miles north of the Ontario Science Centre. There's also an on-site cafe (open seasonally) and shop, where you can purchase plants, gifts, artwork and more. The gardens are accessible via public transportation (numerous bus lines stop nearby; check the website for details) and car; parking is available for free. The gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk, while the building is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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#1 Toronto Islands

When you're in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of Canada's biggest city, hop a ferry to the Toronto Islands. This collection of islands and islets offers a welcome touch of green to the city's skyscraper-speckled mainland. The three islands, Centre, Ward's and Algonquin, are all connected, so you don't have to worry about having to get on and off a boat to fully experience the area. Each main island offers something different. Centre Island lives up to its name, providing the most in terms of activities. There, visitors will find expansive picnic areas, beaches, sporting rentals and the Centreville Amusement Park, which features more than 30 rides, a petting zoo and a boating lagoon. Ward and Algonquin are more laid-back, dotted with 1920s-style cottages and English gardens. Hanlan's Point, located next to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport at the northeastern tip of the island, features the area's only clothing optional beach, as well as a lighthouse believed to be haunted. All of the islands are largely car-free, making them the perfect venue for a peaceful stroll, bike ride or picnic. And while the winter brings biting winds and lots of snow, the Toronto Islands are also a great place for cross-country skiing and ice skating.

Travelers and locals alike both take to the Toronto Islands. Recent visitors said it's a great place to take a long breather from the big city atmosphere of Toronto. Many say the incredible views of the city's skyline are reason alone to visit. However, some visitors found the area to be overrun, especially in Centre Island. Others also expressed disappointment with the inflated prices for amenities in and near the Centreville Amusement Park. Otherwise, the majority of visitors, especially those with families, thoroughly enjoyed their time on the island.

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