Visiting Safely During COVID-19
As we welcome our community and visitors back to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG), we are making every effort to help ensure your visit is enjoyable, entertaining and, above all, safe. Following the advice of public health authorities, there are a number of ways that our dedicated staff are safeguarding all indoor and outdoor spaces for our guests.
Here is what RBG is doing to keep you safe:
- All staff wear masks or face coverings.
- All high touch point surfaces are sanitized regularly.
- Signage is posted to help visitors find their way around our gardens safely so they can physically distance from other guests.
- Washrooms are accessible from the outdoors, at the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium (RBG Centre) and the Rock Garden Visitor Centre.
- Implementing timed ticketing for special events to prevent overcrowding.
- Distancing of tables at all restaurant facilities to ensure safe dining.
- Reduced class sizes for RBG Courses & Workshops.
Here is what you can do to make your visit safe:
- Wear a mask or other face covering when you cannot physically distance from others
- Follow the directional signage and one-way paths on trails and in the gardens. 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.
Let’s work together to keep Royal Botanical Gardens safe for everyone to enjoy!
We understand that some people might not yet feel comfortable visiting RBG, so 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!
- Outdoor Garden Areas (Hendrie Park, Rock Garden, Laking Garden)
- NOTE: select spaces / paths where social distancing is difficult remain closed
- Rock Garden Café (for patio, take-away and limited indoor seating. See hours.)
- Turner Pavilion Teahouse (for patio and take-away and limited indoor seating. See hours.)
- Shop @ the Gardens (temporarily available in the Atrium)
- Washroom facilities (limited capacity)
- Membership Desk (at RBG Centre)
- Trails (follow on-site signage indicating 1-way loops)
- Reduced the number of visitors in the gift shop to provide more space to browse in comfort
- Hand sanitizing station and distance markers at entry so visitors can safely form a cue
- RBG Centre (except to access Hendrie Park)
- Natural Playground
- Select outdoor spaces and pathways (Medicinal Garden, Woodland Garden, Imagination Grove, stairways and paths at Rock Garden)
- Greenhouse Café
- Gardening Information (contact them online)
- RBG Shuttle
- Select special events (see calendar)
- Most Discovery Programming
- Guided Tours (see self-guided option)
- Back to Nature Hikes
- Discovery Packs
As part of a phased re-opening, Royal Botanical Gardens has opened all outdoor garden areas to the public. These areas include Hendrie Park, David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, Laking Garden and the Arboretum. RBG Centre and the Rock Garden Visitor Centre will be open only to provide access to garden areas. Building amenities and areas such as the Mediterranean Garden remain closed to the public.
Regular 2020 admission rates apply and include access to all outdoor garden areas and parking. Admission is provided on a first come, first serve basis. Visitors are asked to follow guidance of RBG staff and all directional and parking signs in order to alleviate lineups and crowding and maintain proper social distancing.
Outdoor garden areas open to the public with the following restrictions:
- Admission at entry is limited to debit and credit transactions. General admission tickets are available online at rbg.ca but no priority access will be given to a pre-purchased ticket (express lines for members will be available at RBG Centre and Rock Garden entrances)
- In accordance with Hamilton and Halton bylaws, masks are required to enter Hendrie Park and Rock Garden as accessing these gardens requires passing through indoor spaces. Masks are also required for accessing washroom facilities and our on-site restaurants. Wearing masks outdoors in the gardens is recommended, though not required.
- Parking available with directional signs to prevent crowding.
- Last admission to each outdoor garden area will be 1 hour before closing (see garden hours)
- For everyone’s safety, please follow the guidance of all directional and social distancing signage, and instructions for washroom safety, while making your way through each garden area.
- Some areas within each garden will remain closed to foot traffic in order to prevent crowding.
RBG staff and volunteers will be following safety protocols and wearing PPE and recommend that our visitors do the same. For health and safety of our visitors, hand washing and sanitizing stations and washroom facilities accessible from the outdoors will be available on site.
On the Trails
- 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.
RBG is a popular destination for hikers, especially in the summer months. As with all public spaces, it is up to the individual to respect others and abide by the above guidelines. Let’s work together to keep the trails safe for everyone!
What is the address / directions for each garden area?
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: 680 Plains Road W. Burlington. Directions
- Laking Garden: 1260 Spring Gardens Rd. Burlington. Directions
- Rock Garden: 1185 York Blvd. Hamilton. Directions
- Arboretum: 18 Old Guelph Road. Directions
Learn more at rbg.ca/directions
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: Parking is limited and available in the upper parking lot (off Plains Road W., West of RBG Centre) or Lower Parking Lot (along Spring Gardens Road)
- 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 18 Old Guelph Road.
How can I access each garden area?
In order to best facilitate social distancing and safe capacities, garden access and exit practices are outlined below:
- Hendrie Park: Entry available through the Hendrie Park tunnel, accessible via the main doors at RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W.). Exit is also available through RBG Centre via Hinton Court (follow directional signage).
- Laking Garden: Enter through the main kiosk gate (1260 Spring Gardens Rd. Burlington)
- Rock Garden: Access to the Rock Garden Visitor Centre is restricted to one-way access to the Rock Garden (1185 York Blvd.). Visitor Centre amenities and spaces remain closed to the public. Visitors must exit the Rock Garden through the Dalglish Family Courtyard. Follow the on-site signage.
- Arboretum: Admission is restricted to the garden’s main entrance off (16 Old Guelph Rd.)
Is there a cost to enter the gardens?
General Admission or Membership is required to access all formal garden areas. Admission is available upon arrival (limited to debit and credit transactions). General admission tickets are also available online, though priority access will not be given to a pre-purchased ticket.
General admission includes access to all 4 outdoor garden areas for the day, as well as parking in available RBG lots.
Will washrooms be available?
- Hendrie Park: Public washrooms are available at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse (RBG Centre washrooms will not be available)
- Laking Garden: Public Washrooms are available at the garden’s main entrance
- Rock Garden: Public washrooms are available within the Rock Garden lower bowl located at the base of the Garden House, and the Visitor Centre
- Arboretum: Portable washrooms will 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?
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.
Can I purchase / renew my membership on site?
Membership representatives will be available to assist you at the entrance of RBG Centre during our altered hours of operation (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Will the RBG shuttle be available?
RBG’s shuttle bus will not be available for the 2020 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!