Royal Botanical Gardens

For over 80 years Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has been an ecological jewel at the western tip of Lake Ontario. Conceived and founded through the tireless efforts of early conservationist Thomas Baker McQuesten, RBG lands were set aside to create the region’s first botanical garden. Patterned after Kew Gardens in England, RBG was created to serve as both a regional botanical tourism site and an environmental agency.

At 2,700 acres (1100 hectares), Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest botanical garden in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Within its 60 documented collections approximately 40,000 plants are displayed in five major garden exhibition areas; the Arboretum, Hendrie Park, Laking Garden, RBG Centre and the Rock Garden.

RBG’s Arboretum is more like an English landscape park than a garden. As its name implies, this is the place where you can see a wide variety of trees and other woody plants up close. It is especially beautiful in spring and fall. Two Arboretum landmarks are Rasberry House, named for the family that operated a market garden and dairy farm on this site for nearly 100 years, and its adjacent silo. The handsome old house, which sits up on the hill to the north, now serves as headquarters for the Bruce Trail Association. The Arboretum is large, and with exception of the lilac walk and the shrub collection areas, has few formal paths. It is also a great place for watching and experiencing other animal plant interactions.

Hendrie Park has something for everyone. Meandering through its collections, displays and interesting landscape features, the visitor can smell a rose or be challenged by the thought provoking stories in the medicinal garden. This garden truly illustrates the diversity of both plants and garden design. Discover native plants in a cultivated setting, a new look at vegetable gardening and the see the sky reflected on dark water.

Set on a fertile terraced plain, formerly a market garden, Laking Garden is home to RBG’s herbaceous perennial collections. The belvedere at the end of the path offers a panoramic view over the entire garden. This garden, overlooked by a small cottage offers the visitor an insight into the depth and breadth of perennial plants. Visitors in June should watch their step, as turtles will likely be nesting in the fertile soil of the lower terrace.

The year round focal point of Royal Botanical Gardens is RBG Centre. Here you will find both indoor and outdoor displays along with the administrative offices of the institution. Orient yourself to the property in Stedman Exploration Hall, stop by the Mediterranean Garden and explore a living wall in the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium. Access Hendrie Park through an underground tunnel to continue your exploration of the plant world.

Built in 1930-31 on the site of an abandoned gravel pit, the 2.43-hectare (6-acre) Rock Garden was RBG’s first major display garden. Before its transformation, the surrounding area was littered with billboards and old shacks. As part of a make-work beautification project during the Depression, tons of weathered limestone rocks were brought in from nearby quarries to create the garden’s structure and its charming, irregular network of staircases, linked ponds, bridges, and waterfalls. Decades later, the rocks look as though they’ve been in place forever. This garden amphitheatre is a magical place, exuding an atmosphere of both tranquility and mystery.

The RBG now has The International Sculpture Collection, which is a permanent collection located in Hendrie Park. The collection was created by founding donor Dan Lawrie with RBG. It is an addition of new works over 10 years.

RBG Centre, the Arboretum and Hendrie Park remain open during the winter season (outdoor gardens are open – weather permitting.)

 

Visit Website

Festivals & Events View All >>

August 15

RBG After Dark: Summer Salsa

Royal Botanical Gardens

1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Date and Time: Aug 15th, 6:00pm to 10:00pm Ticket Price: Adults - $20, Students -...

Now thru August 25

Music in the Garden

Royal Botanical Gardens

Hendrie Park, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4

Dates: Jul 3rd, Jul 10th, Jul 18th, Jul 25th, Aug 1st, Aug 8th, Aug 14th,...

September 5

RBG After Dark: So Long Summer

Royal Botanical Gardens

1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Date and Time: Sept 5th, 6:00pm - 10:00pm Ticket Price: Adults - $20, Students -...

September 19

Under the Harvest Moon with Feist

Royal Botanical Gardens

Hendrie Park, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4

Date: Sept 19th Early access to garden for Premium ticketholders: 5:30pm Doors open for general...

November 21 - January 5, 2024

Archived: Winter Wonders

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Date & Times: Nov 21st to Jan 5th, 5:00pm to 9:00pm (30-min time slots) Ticket...

Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru August 24

Yoga at the Gardens: Summer

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON, Canada

Dates and Times: Saturdays, Jul 6th to Aug 24th, 10:00am (1 to 2 hours) Registration...

Now thru August 28

Lets go Birding! (for Beginners)

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Dates and Time: Jul 10th, Jul 21st, Aug 1st, Aug 24th, Aug 28th - 9:00am...

Now thru August 28

The Joy of Birding (Intermediate)

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Dates and Time: Jun 28th, Jul 8th, Jul 16th, Jul 20th, Jul 25th, Jul 30th,...

Now thru August 29

Paddling in Paradise: Summer Canoe Tours

Royal Botanical Gardens

16 Old Guelph Road, Waterdown, ON, Canada

Dates and Times: Jul 4th - 6pm, Jul 13th - 9am, Jul 18th - 6pm,...

September 7 - October 5

Yoga at the Gardens: Fall

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON, Canada

Dates and Times: Saturdays, Sept 7th to Oct 5th, 10:00am (1 to 2 hours) Registration...

Travel Deals View All >>

Trip Ideas View All >>

Multi-Day Excursions
Daytripping
Daytripping
Daytripping
Multi-Day Excursions
Multi-Day Excursions
Daytripping
Daytripping
Daytripping
Daytripping
Daytripping
Daytripping

Plan Your Trip

Accommodations

Attractions

Museums & Heritage Sites

Nature Areas & Trails

Shopping

Entertainment

Food & Drink

Tour Companies & Outfitters

Cities & Towns

Campgrounds

Visitor Services

Golf Courses

Farms & Agriculture

Arts & Galleries

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and
Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.