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Sunday, March 26 - Around the Bay Race Road Closure Notice: Please be advised that York Blvd. will be closed and a segment of Plains Rd. W. will be reduced to one lane for the Around the Bay Road Race. RBG Centre remains open but the Rock Garden and Rock Garden Bistro will not open until 1:30 p.m. Increased traffic congestion is expected during the race.

Spring Blooms at the Arboretum

Featured Event

Date & Time:

May 5 to June 1; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Arboretum (16 Old Guelph Road)


Green Thumb, Outdoor Adventure


1 to 2 Hours


Pre-Registration Required, Included with Membership, Ticketed Event

Event Description

Celebrate Spring at the Arboretum!

Get outdoors and celebrate the emergence of spring as RBG’s Arboretum and surrounding nature trails come alive with inspiring plants and wildlife! From delicate and ephemeral wild plants and flowering trees to beautiful migrating birds and wildlife, every spring visit to the Arboretum brings a new adventure.

Access an abundant network of trails and explore fantastic birding hotspots — our marsh area is especially great for spotting a diverse range of migrating birds.

Timed-ticketed parking reservations are required.

Bloom times vary — see What’s in Bloom for updates on our key collections and other spring blooms to plan your visit.

Book Your Visit Today

Pre-Registration is required for visitors (including RBG Members) parking at the Arboretum May 5 to June 1.

Parking Fee: $30 per vehicle, redeemable at the Arboretum only. There is no additional admission fee to access the Arboretum.

Parking is FREE for RBG Members displaying a member parking pass, though registration is still required.

  • Parking registration applies to all Arboretum activities including access to nature trails.
  • These tickets are valid for one vehicle, regardless of number of passengers (not applicable to busses / tourism groups), and are redeemable at the Arboretum only.
  • Does not include Garden Admission to all RBG’s cultivated garden areas.
  • Arrive any time within your designated timeslot, and please keep your visit to a maximum of two hours..
  • Paid reservations are valid rain or shine, and are final sale and non-refundable; plan for weather accordingly
  • For ticketholders in the final admission timeslot, please ensure you arrive prior to 8 p.m. Please note that the gates close at 9 p.m.
  • Members, if you are no longer available to attend your selected date and time, we ask that you cancel your order with at least 24 hours notice, to allow others the opportunity to visit. Please do not book further timeslots without canceling your original order.

Bloom Watch

Check back for updates as our key collections come into bloom this spring!

light pink rosesRoses

Current status: Individual varieties will be blooming throughout the summer.

The Rose Garden at RBG begins to bloom in early June, and often re-bloom in multiple “flushes” until mid- (or sometimes even late) fall! The roses are complimented by a variety of companion plants with different bloom times, bringing colour to Hendrie Park all season long.


Current status: Finished blooming for the season.

RBG’s peony collection displays herbaceous and Itoh peonies displayed on the lower terrace of the Laking Garden.

What’s In Bloom

Plants of interest are ever-changing in RBG’s five cultivated garden areas and nature sanctuaries. Check back to learn what’s blooming now or see the blooms calendar for a rough estimation of what to expect each season.

  • pink saucer magnolia and yellow magnolia in the background
  • tight purple lilac buds with a couple light purple florets starting to pop
  • Green Cucumber Magnolia Flowers Against Sky
  • Trillium In Bloom
  • Deep pink flower buds of cercis tennessee pink
  • White Star Magnolia Blooms

RBG’s Arboretum

16 Old Guelph Road, Hamilton

The Arboretum holds the Katie Osborne Lilac Collection, one of the largest and most diverse lilac collection in the world. The lilac dell is a must-visit during peak bloom!

Arboretum F.A.Q.

Directions & Parking

The Arboretum is located at 16 Old Guelph Road, Hamilton ON.

A $30 time-ticketed parking flat rate applies when the parking lot is staffed beginning May 5, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Parking is FREE to RBG Members, though booking is still required. Outside these hours, pay and display parking is in effect at the Arboretum, available inside the traffic circle, or just inside the kiosk gates. Fees are $5/hour to a maximum of $15.

Learn more about getting to RBG at


Most of the Arboretum is grassy field, or rough trail pathways. The lilac walk at the arboretum is paved / packed gravel. Descending into the lower lilac dell includes a steep slope, not recommended for those with limited mobility.

Accessible parking spaces are available.

Washroom Facilities

Washrooms are available at the Nature Interpretive Centre at the Arboretum available during operating hours. Portable washrooms are also available at the Arboretum.

Food, Drink, & Picnics

RBG Food Trailer
Pack a picnic blanket! RBG’s food trailer will be operating on-site at the Arboretum with a selection of delicious grab-and-go fare available for purchase. Browse menu.


  • Thursday, June 2: 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, June 3: 12 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 4 & Sunday, June 5: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Outside food is permitted during regular visiting hours. Please pack-out or properly dispose of any waste. Outdoor cooking is not permitted in any of RBG’s properties.

The Arboretum has a limited number of picnic tables. Enjoy your meal on one of the many benches or bring your own blanket for a picnic!

Are bikes permitted?

Be as green as our gardens and ride your bicycle to RBG. Timed parking fees do not apply to those arriving by bicycle, only motor vehicles.

Please note: For safety, maintenance, and conservation reasons, biking is not permitted on RBG’s trail systems. A secure bike locking station is available so you can leave your bike behind and enjoy a walk in nature. On our trails, bikes pose a direct threat to plants and ground-dwelling wild life, causes erosion, root death and tree dieback. This permanently alters nature’s balance by changing microclimates and paving the way for invasive species.

Find your bike route to RBG here.

Additional Resources:

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome at the Arboretum and in the nature sanctuaries so long as they remain on-leash, on-trail, and are cleaned up after.

Keep the nature sanctuaries fun and safe for everyone, comply with local bylaws, and help with our conservation efforts by keeping your dog leashed. If you see someone with an off-leash dog on the trails or at the arboretum, call Animal Services to report the incident to the by-law enforcement branch.

  • Hamilton: 905-574-3433
  • Burlington: 905-335-3030

Trail User Code

Upon entering the nature trails you are making a pledge to respect the environment and fellow visitors. These lands are Canada’s biodiversity hotspot, set aside at the head of Lake Ontario for environmental protection, open for environmental education and passive recreation only. While walking our trails, it is important to remember that you are a visitor in someone else’s home, and that your impact will be multiplied over by 200,000 other visitors. Environmental protection bylaws are posted at each trailhead. Please follow them and play a role in protecting and restoring the area for future generations.

Trail Use Bylaw Restrictions

The properties and activities are regulated by the Royal Botanical Gardens Act and supporting bylaws.
  1. Trail running is not permitted.
  2. Pets must remain leashed at all times. Please clean up after your dogs and leave waste trailhead garbage receptacle.
  3. Bicycles are prohibited on the trails.
  4. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
  5. Horseback riding is prohibited.
  6. Picking or collecting plants or wildlife is prohibited.
  7. Feeding the wildlife/birds is not permitted.
  8. Cross-country skiing is prohibited due to the hilly topography.
  9. Ice skating is restricted to Cootes Paradise in the area adjacent to Princess Point.
  10. Use of drones is prohibited under RBG bylaw and further regulated by NavCanada.