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Indoor areas now open. Learn more about visiting safely during COVID-19.

Visiting Safely During COVID-19

July 15, 2021

Indoor Areas Now Open

Indoor areas are now open to the public as Ontario moves into Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen.

These areas include the Rock Garden Visitor Centre and RBG Centre and amenities, including the Children’s Natural Playground, Mediterranean Garden, Shop @ The Gardens (from its regular location) and Greenhouse Café.

The Rock Garden Café and Cacti & Succulent Collection remain temporarily closed until further notice.

All outdoor garden areas are open to the general public. These areas include David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock GardenHendrie Park, the ArboretumLaking Garden, RBG trails and trailhead parking.  

In accordance with Hamilton and Halton bylaws, masks are required to enter RBG’s indoor spaces, including washrooms, Shop @ the Gardens, and on-site restaurants. Please wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to keep your distance from others.

Garden area hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last admission at 7 p.m.), 7 days a week. 2021 admission rates apply. For everyone’s safety, we ask that all visitors are attentive to directional and social distancing signage while making their way through the Gardens. 

We will continue to follow advice from public health officials and provide further updates as they become available. 

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.
  • Ensuring physical distancing measures are in place and limiting capacity at all outdoor and general admission areas.
  • Reduced class sizes for RBG Courses & Workshops.

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 when indoors and when you cannot physically distance from others outdoors (including on the trails which can be narrow)
  • 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.

Open

Closed

Please check back regularly for the latest updates.

Regular 2021 admission rates apply and include access to outdoor garden areas and parking. 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.

Royal Botanical Gardens is open to the public with the following restrictions:

  • Debit and credit are preferred for admission at entry. General admission tickets are available online but no priority access will be given to a pre-purchased ticket.
  • In accordance with Hamilton and Halton bylaws, masks are required to enter RBG’s indoor spaces, including washrooms, Shop @ the Gardens, Mediterranean Garden, and on-site restaurants. Please wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to keep your distance from others.
  • 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

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

Pay and Display parking is in effect at:

  • Trailheads (Princess Point, Westdale, Cherry Hill Gate* and Rock Chapel)
  • Laking Garden (when kiosk is not open)
    Fees: $3/hour to a maximum of $15 at all sites.
  • Arboretum (when kiosk is not open)
    Fees: $5/hour to a maximum of $15.

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

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!

General FAQ

Do I need to wear a mask?

In accordance with Hamilton and Halton bylaws, masks are required to enter RBG’s indoor spaces, including washrooms, Shop @ the Gardens, Mediterranean Garden, and on-site restaurants. Please wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to keep your distance from others.

  • To visit Hendrie Park you must to pass through RBG Centre to access the gardens.
  • To visit Rock Garden you must pass through the visitor centre to access the gardens.

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 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 available seasonally 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 16 Old Guelph Road.

Will washrooms be available?

Will food and beverage be available?

The 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.

Light grab and go fare will be available at the Rock Garden as well as at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse in Hendrie Park.

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?

Limited tours and discovery programming is available. Check out RBG’s events calendar!