Canada and Ontario's 150th at RBG

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Don’t miss this winter’s coolest exhibit!

Royal Botanical Gardens is proud to commemorate Ontario and Canada’s 150th birthday with year-long celebrations showcasing the diversity of our beautiful province and RBG’s unique landscapes. Experience a year full of music and entertainment, cuisine, art, horticultural displays and exhibitions.

January 21 to April 17

The Big Freeze

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Don’t miss this winter’s coolest exhibit!

20,000 years ago, mammoths, mastadons, camels, giant sloths, short-faced bears, scimitar cats, and lions thrived on the open grasslands of the Yukon. It was the cold peak of the last glacial phase of the ice age.

The Big Freeze brings the ice age story home to RBG, with a display of mammoth/mastodon remains that have been recovered in the local area, and artwork that provides a glimpse into the formation of the landscapes of RBG and the environment we see today.

February 19, March 5, 26, April 9

Jazz Brunches at The Rock

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM; Rock Garden Café - Learn More >>

Enjoy a delicious brunch complemented by the tranquility of our historic Rock Garden and the sweet sounds of live jazz. Afterwards, head over to RBG Centre and experience our latest winter exhibit, The Big Freeze.

 Reservations Required.

March 16, June 21, November 9;

Speaker Series

RBG Centre – Learn More

Royal Botanical Gardens is proud to offer lectures featuring outstanding individuals in their professions. The 2017 Speaker Series features informative lectures exploring Ontario’s history and connections to our natural world, as part of our celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation for Canada and Ontario.

April 16

Easter Brunch

Seatings at 10 AM and 1 PM; RBG Centre - Learn More >>

Celebrate Easter at RBG! Stroll through the Gardens and join us for a delicious spread. Reservations required.

April 29

Plant Faire

10 AM to 3 PM; Rock Garden Parking Lot and Visitor Centre - Learn More >>

RBG is proud to present its first annual Plant Faire, a great way to get a head start on the gardening season, find unique plants for your home garden, and speak to passionate gardening professionals.

April 29

Education 70th Anniversary Open House

10 AM to 3 PM; RBG Centre - Learn More >>

In 1947, our education programming started with a few hundred participants taking part in lectures, films, a tree ID workshop, and a children’s gardening program. Fast forward to this past year, and 120,000 people who participated in the vast array of programming we offer for people of all ages. Come and sample our program offering, and celebrate 70 years of bringing people, plants and nature together!

May 13

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

4 PM; Rock Garden Café, Rock Garden - Learn More >>

Show Mom how much you care and treat her to afternoon tea. Enjoy a variety of tea sandwiches, scones and mini pastries.


Reservations required. Check back soon for online registration.

May 14

Mother’s Day Brunch

Seating at 10 AM and 1 PM; RBG Centre - Learn More >>

Treat Mom to a day at the Gardens. Enjoy a delicious brunch and tour the spring blooms.


Reservations required. Check back soon for online registration.

May 20 to August 20

Nature Connects: Art with LEGO® Bricks

Hendrie Park - Learn More >>

If you love LEGO, you’ll love Nature Connects. Created with over 300,000 LEGO pieces, this exhibition features 14 sculptures by New York artist, Sean Kenney. Building with LEGO bricks is about balance and connections, much like the biodiversity of Royal Botanical Gardens.

Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection

June–December; Hendrie Park - Learn More >>

In 2013, Hamilton businessman and Burlington resident Dan Lawrie donated the first sculpture of The International Sculpture Collection to Royal Botanical Gardens. In 2017, new sculpture will be added to celebrate the Sesquicentennial.

Culinary Experiences

Year-round - Learn More >>

The RBG Culinary Journey (4-6 dinners) will showcase different Ontario regions and their cuisine, emphasizing local ingredients and traditions. Stay tuned for confirmed dates.

Garden Music Nights Concert Series

June 14 – September 6; Hendrie Park

Royal Botanical Garden’s live summer concert series returns to beautiful Hendrie Park. Tap your feet to jazz and blues music every Wednesday and enjoy country and roots music on Tuesdays. We’re celebrating Canada and Ontario’s 150th with some great homegrown talent!

A Signature Musical Performance

June 4; Hendrie Park - Learn More >>

RBG is thrilled to present a signature performance by much celebrated Canadian musical act! Stay tuned for the official announcement.

T.B. McQuesten Sculpture Competition

November; Rock Garden - Learn More >>

RBG founder Thomas Baker McQuesten B. McQuesten The T.B. McQuesten Sculpture Competition will celebrate the legacy of the community leader and set in motion the process of honouring him in perpetuity.

Canadian Citizenship Ceremony

June 29; Rock Garden - Learn More >>

Royal Botanical Gardens is proud to host our nation’s newest Canadians as they take their oath of citizenship in our historic Rock Garden.

Local Railway Heritage Display

November–December; Rock Garden 

The Local Railway Heritage Display features a unique model train display that celebrates and depicts the rich heritage of railways throughout Hamilton, Burlington, the Niagara Escarpment, and Lake Ontario shoreline.

Winter Traditions

November 18–December 31; RBG Centre, Hendrie Park, Rock Garden

We’re celebrating Canadian Winter Traditions with food, heritage and environmental programing as well as children’s musical, theatrical, and story performances. Holiday Traditions returns with the RBG Botanical Train Show and a Signature Santa Experience.

Holiday Light Show

December; Rock Garden 

This Multi-Media Light, Sound and Theatrical presentation will celebrate Ontario and Canada’s Sesquicentennial in the setting of the picturesque Rock Garden.

Biodiversity Celebration

May 22; Arboretum - Learn More >>

Explore Ontario’s natural wonders through guided hikes, animal showcases, demonstrations and many more. Biodiversity Celebration will have a variety of activities guests can enjoy and demonstrations with RBG experts.

The Canada BioBlitz

July 21–22; Arboretum - Learn More >>

The Bioblitz will encourage visitors to learn about Ontario’s biodiversity through hands-on exploration with local scientists and community organizations, and engage in a new national citizen science initiative.

20th Anniversary of the Fishway

June; Fishway - Princess Point 

Join RBG biologists and celebrate the Great Lakes' first two-way fishway and carp barrier. Since 1997, the Fishway has been keeping invasive non-native carp out of Cootes Paradise while maintaining the flow of water and populations of native aquatic species.

Children’s Mini-Gardens

May–August; Hendrie Park

Our new Mini-Gardens are helping kids grow! Engage with RBG’s Junior Gardeners Program and see how young minds create horticultural displays.

Centennial Rose Garden Refresh

June–October; Hendrie Park 

Our centennial Rose Garden is getting a facelift! Watch this exciting project as it gets underway in 2017.The refreshed Rose Garden will allow RBG to interpret and promote Ontario’s innovation in sustainable gardening practices for visitors.

Celebrating Connections - Annuals Display


Throughout our gardens you will discover unique horticultural displays that celebrate our nation’s 150th anniversary while exploring multicultural, ecological, historical and sustainable perspectives.

Indigenous People and Plants Discovery Trail

September–December; Arboretum

The Indigenous People and Plants Discovery Trail will showcase Anishinabek culture’s relationship with Ontario’s native flora. The trail will be created in partnership with Anishinabek elders and traditional teachers.