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Master Plan

25-Year Master Planning Initiative

RBG is embarking on a ground-breaking 25-year master plan that will position the Gardens as Canada’s leading environmental centre with world-class gardens, natural areas, programs, services and facilities that powerfully influence positive change in the way people interact with our planet.

About the Project

The project is managed by Colliers Project Leaders. The Master Plan is being developed by a team of consultants led by the Primary Consultant, MT Planners. The long-term policy document will identify short-term capital projects to be addressed in the next five years as well as longer-term projects for the next 25 years. The plan is expected to be completed at the end of February 2020 and approved by RBG’s board of directors in mid-March 2020.

This bold initiative will provide the roadmap for Royal Botanical Gardens to ensure future generations will connect with plant-life in a unique environment, fostering awareness and care for a world that is under increasing ecological threat. RBG aims to instill in everyone we reach, a deeper awareness of themselves, their place on this planet and their role as protectors and stewards of the environment.

The Master Plan will be the roadmap to achieving RBG’s goals; namely to build the financial strength and independence to serve its future and to enhance infrastructure and amenities for current visitors and for new more diverse audiences from local, national and international markets.

RBG plans to achieve this by creating new revenue streams and leveraging and enhancing its existing land use plan. RBG will explore not only the living framework of the landscape, and its business and market, but the aspirations of RBG’s members and governance body. Planning will involve input from RBG stakeholders and will aim to deepen partnerships with municipalities, conservation authorities, commissions, and other provincial institutions.

At the heart of this plan is the critical need to nurture and protect ecosystems on a local, national and global scale. While the need to achieve financial sustainability is clear, RBG exists to affect real and positive change in how humanity interacts with our environment and has pledged to take full advantage of our resources, knowledge and reputation to make significant strides in this direction. To bring this Master Plan to fruition, significant fundraising efforts will be required and formalized throughout the planning process.

We look forward to involving you in this exciting initiative! Please check back for more updates as the master planning process progresses.

Frequently asked Questions

Have a question about the Master Plan initiative? Click the topics below for more information.

What is the Master Plan?

Royal Botanical Garden’s Master Plan will be a dynamic, long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development with an outlook of twenty-five years. The Plan will identify projects for the first five years to address immediate needs.

Led by MT Planners, the 25-year Master Plan will position RBG as Canada’s leading environmental centre with world class gardens, natural areas, programs, services and facilities that powerfully influence positive change in the way people interact with our planet.

Why is the Master Plan needed?

In an age of accelerating habitat loss, the rush of humans to urban centres, climate change, and threats to biodiversity, there has never been a more critical time to turn our attention to the plant kingdom. With 2,700 acres of cultivated gardens, natural lands, and an arboretum all together in a unique and ecologically sensitive location within a large urban centre, the value of RBG is significant and we are in a unique position to bring this to the world stage.

It is time for RBG to realize our full potential, to dream big and build on our successes in education, science, conservation and horticulture so we can become financially independent and leave a legacy for future generations that responds to mounting environmental threats.

What will the Master Plan ultimately achieve?

The Master Plan will be the roadmap to achieving RBG’s goals; namely to build the financial strength and independence to serve our future and to enhance our infrastructure and amenities for the people who are here today and for new more diverse audiences from local, national and international markets.

We will do this by creating new revenue streams and leveraging and enhancing our existing land use plan. We will identify the capital projects that should be undertaken over the next five years, as well as the long view of 25 years. A major capital fundraising campaign will be launched to fund these projects.

At the heart of this plan is the critical need to nurture and protect our ecosystems on a local, national and global scale. While the need to achieve financial sustainability is clear, RBG exists to affect real and positive change in how humanity interacts with our environment.

What is the time frame for the Master Plan?

The Master Plan will be completed at the end of February 2020, Board approved in mid-March 2020.

What is the framework of the Master Plan?

The plan’s framework has been developed through an extensive company-assessment and benchmarking exercise that includes case studies on trending product, programming, natural systems and infrastructure development. Key areas of aspiration have been identified to build the financial strength to serve RBG’s future, including enhanced programming, infrastructure and amenities to attract diverse audiences from local, national and international markets.

A “new” Royal Botanical Gardens would connect its diverse properties to create a unique set of destinations and new experiences that connect visitors to all our green spaces. RBG revealed very early design concepts of several potential long-term projects aimed to transform the Gardens into a world-leading tourist, conservation and environmental education destination, some of which include:

  • A reimagined Arboretum serving as the gravitational centre of RBG, connecting more people to its natural lands
  • A wellness retreat;
  • A new Hendrie Park and RBG Centre featuring world-class horticultural attractions, a conservatory, amphitheatre and special facility for senior’s programming
  • An escarpment retreat;
  • A rejuvenated Laking Garden
  • New community hub featuring such amenities as community gardens, farmer’s market, and community centre.
  • A Trail System Master Plan that includes upgrades to improve accessibility, elevated trails, canopy experiences, lookouts, and connection to the larger national trail system.
  • Comprehensive transportation plan connecting all points throughout RBG
  • Accessibility integration, property wide.

How can I learn more?

Check out the information boards outlining the master planning process displayed at RBG Centre in the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium (upper floor).