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Temporary Closure: Indoor & Outdoor Garden Areas Learn more about visiting safely during COVID-19.

Visiting Safely During COVID-19

April 1, 2021

Temporary Closure of Indoor and Outdoor Garden Areas

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as part of Ontario’s province-wide shutdown, Royal Botanical Gardens’ David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, RBG Centre and Hendrie Park are temporarily closed to the public.

RBG trails and trailhead parking, and the Arboretum remain open.

Until Wednesday, May 12, a parking fee of $10 applies at the Arboretum between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The flat rate parking fee applies to each vehicle. Metered parking fees apply outside of the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Parking is FREE to RBG members who provide proof of membership.

Beginning Thursday, May 13 through to Saturday, June 13, time-ticketed admission will be required to visit the Arboretum during Lilacs at the Arboretum. Parking fees are included with admission.

RBG is experiencing an extremely high volume of traffic throughout its nature trails, please maintain at least 2 metres distance from others and wear a mask while on our trails to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Customer programs registrants will be notified of cancellations and re-scheduling of programs during the shutdown, and will be issued refunds accordingly.

RBGs gift shop is open for curb side pickup only.

The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is of the utmost importance to Royal Botanical Gardens. We will continue to follow advice from public health officials and provide further updates as they become available.

Royal Botanical Gardens apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this closure.

Here is what you can do to make your visit safe:

  • Keep a distance of at least 2 metres, 6 feet from others.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering when you cannot physically distance from others outdoors (including on the trails during busy days)
  • Some of our trails and trailheads are narrow and we recommend you wear a mask when you are near other people.
  • Follow the directional signage and one-way paths on trails. Please step off the trail to let others pass, avoid congregating on narrow paths, and hike in small groups.
  • Be courteous to others during your visit. For example, using benches that are being provided as rest areas and please give priority to elderly persons, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women.
  • Ensure your group size is no larger than 10 people.

Open

  • Arboretum
  • Trails (follow on-site signage indicating 1-way loops)
  • Washroom facilities (limited capacity)

Unavailable

On the Trails

RBG’s trails are open to the public. Parking charges apply. Respect the trails, wildlife and other visitors by following these guidelines:

  • Some of our trails and trailheads are narrow and we recommend you wear a mask when you are near other people.
  • To encourage social distancing, select loops have been designated “one-way.” Follow the on-site signage.
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Step off the trail to let others pass.
  • Do not congregate in narrow paths / areas where others cannot pass you while keeping a safe distance.
  • Hike with your household; do not meet up in large groups.
  • Do not feed the wildlife.
  • Pack out anything you bring in.

Parking

Parking at RBG Trailheads

  • Admission to trailheads is subject to parking fees to be paid at adjacent meters.
  • Parking lot hours are 8 a.m. to dusk.
  • Regular parking hours and rates apply and are subject to municipal by-laws.
  • Parking is free to RBG members displaying their parking pass, or online purchase / renewal confirmation.
  • Pay and Display parking is in effect at:
    • Trailheads (Princess Point, Westdale, Cherry Hill Gate* and Rock Chapel)
    • Laking Garden
      • Fees: $3/hour to a maximum of $15 at all sites.

Parking at RBG Arboretum

Until Wednesday, May 12, a parking fee of $10 applies at the Arboretum between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The flat rate parking fee applies to each vehicle. Metered parking fees apply outside of the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Parking is FREE to RBG members who provide proof of membership.

Beginning Thursday, May 13 through to Saturday, June 13, time-ticketed admission will be required to visit the Arboretum during Lilacs at the Arboretum. Parking fees are included with admission.

*NOTICE: Parking at Cherry Hill Gate (April 2021)

Parking at the entrance to Cherry Hill Gate will be reduced by 50% from April 24 throughout the duration of the current province-wide lock down.

The lot is reduced to half capacity to ensure visitor safety during construction and to address growing health and safety concerns and reduce environmental impact caused by overcapacity on the trail system.

Improvements to the parking lot will include parking and visitor access, improved guest experience, and reduction of environmental damage along the nature trail system. This includes a wildlife barrier to protect animals from crossing a dangerous area of Plains Road.

RBG at Home

For those unable to visit Royal Botanical Gardens, we continue to offer RBG at Home, our commitment to offering accessible, diverse and entertaining online learning opportunities for people of all ages.

As a not-for-profit, charitable organization, Royal Botanical Gardens is grateful for the phenomenal support we have received from you, our members, donors and community members, over these past few months. Thank you for helping to keep RBG a safe and happy place where we can all connect to the natural world. We hope to see you at the Gardens soon!

For RBG Members

If RBG is closed, is my membership being extended?

RBG’s buildings and gardens are closed but our Arboretum and most of our 27 km of nature trails are open.  All member parking passes that are current are still valid for the trail head parking lots.  For up-to-date trail information, please visit: https://www.rbg.ca/gardens-trails/by-attraction/trails/

If I purchase or renew a membership online what will I use as a parking pass?

When buying online you will receive an email confirmation of your membership purchase.  Please print this confirmation email and place it in the window of your car to get your free parking.

General FAQ

Will parking be available?

Parking is available at all garden areas, included in your general admission or membership. Please note RBG’s four formal garden areas are located within 3 km of each other. Driving between garden areas is recommended. For new visitors, please see the full property map.

  • Hendrie Park: Parking available at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road W. Burlington. Access to Hendrie Park will be available through the tunnel via RBG Centre. RBG Centre amenities and spaces including the Mediterranean Garden remain closed to the public.
  • Laking Garden: closed for the season
  • Rock Garden: Parking is available at the Rock Garden main parking lot, located across the street from the garden (1185 York Boulevard) with limited accessible parking available near the garden’s entrance.
  • Arboretum: Parking available on site, at 16 Old Guelph Road.

Will washrooms be available?

Will there be guidelines for social distancing?

For the safety of all guests, staff, and volunteers, access to each outdoor garden area will be provided through the following measures:

  • Admission to garden areas will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Should a garden reach capacity, visitors will be asked to wait.
  • Installed directional signage provide one-way paths for visitors to reduce crowding and encourage social distancing. Some areas within each garden will remain closed to foot traffic.
  • Visitors are encouraged to limit their visit to a one-hour per garden area maximum in order to give others the opportunity to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • For visitor safety, benches will be available as rest areas. Please practice courtesy and give priority to elderly persons, persons with disabilities and pregnant women. Please practice social distancing while using benches. Benches will not be regularly sanitized.

Will food and beverage be available?

The Turner Pavilion Teahouse, Greenhouse Café and Rock Garden Café currently remain closed, though sometimes take orders for special offers and dishes for take-away. See the Culinary Events & Offers page for updated information.

Is there a time-limit to my visit?

Visitors are encouraged to limit their visit to a one-hour per garden area maximum in order to give others the opportunity to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens.

Will the RBG shuttle be available?

RBG’s shuttle bus will not be available for the 2021 season. Driving or biking between garden areas is recommended. Learn more and see a property map at rbg.ca/directions.

Are dogs permitted?

Leashed dogs are permitted in the gardens for a visit during regular operating hours. Please be responsible and clean up after your dog. Dogs must remain on-leash and on-trail at all times. Any pets found disrupting the garden other guests may be asked to leave.

Will any activities / tours be available during my visit?

At this time, tours and discovery programming will not be available. Check out the on-site signage to learn more about select collections!