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Laking Garden reduced hours Saturday June 15: Laking Garden will be closing at 2 p.m. for a special event. Hendrie Park / Rock Garden remain fully open until 8 p.m.

RBG Centre

Start your visit to Royal Botanical Gardens at RBG Centre, home to many special programs and events where you will find both indoor and outdoor displays, Shop at the Gardens gift shop and the Greenhouse Café, along with our administrative offices.

Key Attractions

  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Breezeway Display
  • Natural Playground
  • Access to Hendrie Park

Quick Facts

  • Showcases 1,256 types and 8,614 individual plants
  • Home to 17,000 sq. ft. of event space
  • Entryway to Hendrie Park (through a tunnel under Plains Road)

Dining & Retail

Hours vary. See links above for details.

  • Ripe orange tree in the mediterranean Garden
  • Orchids In Display Case
  • wooden bench by the koi pond inside the Mediterranean Garden
  • soft pink hellebore
  • Indoor Breezeway Floral Display Spring 2019
  • Tall birds of paradise tree in the mediterranean garden

Visiting RBG Centre

Parking

Parking is available on-site at RBG Centre

RBG Centre Hours

Hours reflect garden admission availability. Hours may differ for special events.

Today’s Hours

Seasonal Hours

  • Mon to Wed: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thurs to Sun: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (May 9 to Sep 2)
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (final entry 4 p.m.) (Sep 3 to Dec 31)

Exceptions

  • Jul 1 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Jul 18 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission 5 p.m,
  • Jul 25 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission 5 p.m,
  • Aug 1 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission 5 p.m,
  • Aug 5 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Aug 8 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission 5 p.m,
  • Aug 25 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission 5 p.m,
  • Dec 24 Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., last admission 2 p.m.
  • Dec 25 Christmas Day: Closed
  • Dec 26 Boxing Day: Closed
  • Dec 31 New Years Eve: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., last admission 2 p.m.
  • Jan 1 New Year's Day: Closed

Getting to RBG Centre

Collections & Areas of Interest

rbg centre map

Mediterranean Garden

Peak Interest: December to April

Our Mediterranean Garden brings together plants that have adapted to the world’s five Mediterranean climate zones: the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa’s Western Cape, southwestern Australia, central Chile, and southern California and Baja.

Two landscaped levels showcase cultivars of native and exotic Mediterranean plants. This indoor garden blooms through the winter, creating an ideal escape from the cold.

Cacti and Succulent Collection

Peak interest: all year

RBG’s Cactus and Succulent Collection showcases plants adapted to extremely arid environments including euphorbias from the Old World and cacti from the New World. These unusual plants have developed unique adaptations in order to survive harsh climates. Many have spines instead of leaves to reduce water loss and help defend against water-seeking animals. They often have a waxy coating to prevent water loss and many have thick water retentive tissue — in many cases assuming the optimal shape of a sphere or cylinder.

Natural Playground

Peak interest: all year

Opened in 2013 thanks to a generous donation from the Auxiliary of RBG, the Natural Playground is a place where children of any age can get outside and play. Outdoor activities build healthy minds and bodies, but research shows that today’s children spend far too little time outside. With that in mind, we have created a play space that supports gross- and fine-motor skill development, imaginative cooperative play, multi-sensory experiential learning, and good old-fashioned fun.

The Breezeway

Peak interest: all year

From January to April, the Breezeway brightens winter with various spring-flowering shrubs and trees and a wide range of common and exotic bulbs that evoke a fragrant spring day.

Our talented gardeners change the space with a variety of themes each year, culminating in a holiday season show of poinsettia, cyclamen, and winter greens.

Learn More

Royal Court

Peak interest: May to October

This secluded courtyard boasts plants chosen for rich textures and colours including Japanese maples, which thrive in its microclimate. Moving water and a variety of aquatic displays form focal points in this garden.

While Royal Court is a popular site for weddings and corporate functions, visitors are encouraged to explore the space between events.

John P. Smith and Sarah Smith Orchid Collection Display Case

Peak interest: all year

The allure of orchids is indisputable, and while this display is not large, it represents only a fraction of our full collection, which is housed in a large, staff-only greenhouse. Most of the orchid collection is not in bloom at any one time, so a large collection is required to keep the small display case filled year-round, and plants are rotated in and out throughout the year.

The Orchid Society of Royal Botanical Gardens is active in the care and development of this collection and the staging of our annual orchid show and sale.

Spicer Court

Peak interest: February to November

This sheltered, south-facing courtyard creates a microclimate where autumn lingers, and spring arrives early. We’ve stretched the year by filling this courtyard with connoisseurs’ plants—from February’s blooms of Snowdrops (Galanthus), Netted Iris (Iris reticulata) and Christmas Rose (Helleborus) to autumn crocus (Colchicum spp.) in October and Bieberstein’s Crocus (Crocus speciosus) in November.

Aldershot Escarpment Garden

The Aldershot Escarpment Garden allows visitors to experience the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment without putting on hiking boots. This sunken garden features a limestone waterfall surrounded by native trees and shrubs. A key element is a steel and glass sculpture which includes numerous organic artifacts that have left fossil-like imprints in the glass, allowing you to discover something new every time you look.

The DeLuca family, owners of Aldershot Landscape Contractors, made a lead gift to this garden in memory of Joseph DeLuca, founder of the company.

Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium

The Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium is our first LEED-certified building, and home to many of the major exhibitions and events presented at RBG. Among its many green features (from radiant floor heating, to rainwater capturing system), the space boasts two living walls — technology that uses living plant systems to improve indoor air quality. Hooked into the building’s ventilation system, the living walls remove volatile organic compounds from the air. Tropical plants such as Philodendron, Schefflera and Ficus elastica, common indoor houseplants, are stripped of their soil and planted in the hydroponic wall. The building’s green features are all interpreted on-site.

The Living Walls were designed and installed by NEDLAW Living Walls of Breslau, Ontario.

The atrium is a popular venue for weddings, corporate events, and private functions.

Garden Shop

Offering a beautiful selection of merchandise as diverse as our gardens, the Garden Shop features an ever-changing selection of unique items for that special gift.  Many of our products showcase the talents of local artisans.

Learn More

Greenhouse Café

RBG’s Greenhouse Café offers a new fast-casual menu featuring a full complement of wine and beer, coffee and tea, ready made sandwiches and salads, homemade soups, and our signature Tea House Scones. Enjoy a quick and nutritious bite to take away or sit down and enjoy your meal!

Learn More

Urban Street Tree Display

This city can be a hard place for a tree. Here in the RBG Centre parking lot, we have planted many different species touted to be tolerant of our harsh urban environments. This includes native trees, non-native trees, species, and cultivars. Most of these are offered as street tree options in our local municipalities. Look for Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum), Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata), or Chinese Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides) to see how they are faring in their concrete paradise.

What’s in Bloom & Plants of Interest at RBG Centre

  • Spring Iris Blooming
  • Pink And Purple Tulips
  • Striped Tulip Display In Front Of RBG Centre
  • Purple Crocus Blooming On Lawn
  • Redbud Blooms On Tree Against Blue Sky

March

  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

April

  • Spring Ephemerals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case
  • Flowering Cherries*

May

  • Spring Ephemerals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case
  • Flowering Cherries*
  • Magnolia*

Bloom time is often influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As these can vary from year to year bloom times are influenced by these factors. Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

*These plants have short bloom times and are very weather dependent. Check our social media feeds closer to bloom time for updates.

  • Unripe Pomegranate On Tree Mediterranean Garden
  • White And Purple Orchid
  • Blue And White Giant Bird Of Paradise Bloom Mediterranean Garden
  • Pink And White Lily In Breezeway Display
  • Agave In Cacti Collection

June

  • Annuals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

July

  • Annuals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

August

  • Annuals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

Bloom time is often influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As these can vary from year to year, bloom times are influenced by these factors. Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

  • Bright Orange Leaves In Fall Royal Court
  • Cacti And Succulent Collection
  • Fall Mum And Cabbage Display Breezeway
  • Bright Red Autumn Leaves Royal Court
  • Orchids In Display Case

September

  • Annuals
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

October

  • Fall Colours
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

November

  • Fall Colours
  • Holiday Botanical Displays
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

Bloom times can vary from year to year as they are influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

  • Horticultural Collections - Bird Of Paradise Bloom
  • Yellow Bunches Of Blooms On European Fan Palm
  • Red Bottlebrush Blooms In Greenhouse
  • Pink And Red Poinsettia Display
  • Spiky Orange Bloom On Cacti

December

  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case
  • Holiday Botanical Displays

January

  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

February

  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Cacti and Succulent Collection
  • Breezeway Display
  • Orchid Display Case

Upcoming Events, Activities & Tours at RBG Centre

Some events may require pre-registration, and may not be covered by your garden admission. For a full listing of events across all RBG’s gardens, visit the Events Calendar.

  • Fall Mum And Cabbage Display Breezeway
  • Red Bottlebrush Blooms In Greenhouse
  • White Gardenia Thunbergia Flower
  • Yellow Bunches Of Blooms On European Fan Palm
  • Indoor Breezeway Floral Display Spring 2019

Garden FAQ

Directions / Parking

RBG Centre is located at 680 Plains Road W. Parking is available on-site, and parking charges do not apply at this location.

A covered bike rack is available just outside of the main doors, with a second bike rack available south of the building. This location is also accessible via Burlington Transit, with bus stops within easy walking distance.

Learn more about getting to RBG at rbg.ca/directions

Admission

Access to Hendrie Park during regular operating hours is included in your General Admission (payable when you arrive at RBG Centre) or with your Membership.

General Admission also includes access to all the cultivated garden areas for the day, including: Hendrie Park, RBG Centre, Laking Garden, and the Rock Garden.

Special events or exhibits at this location may require separate tickets.

How Far is RBG Centre from RBG’s Other Garden Areas?

  • RBG Centre / Hendrie Park to Laking Garden: 1 km / 0.6 miles
  • RBG Centre / Hendrie Park to Rock Garden: 1.6 km / 1 mile
  • RBG Centre / Hendrie Park to the Arboretum: 3.3 km / 2 miles (walking not recommended. Old Guelph Road does not include sidewalks)

Walking from garden to garden is possible, but please be aware that our property is spread out over 1,100 hectares of gardens and nature sanctuaries. Please consider driving or biking between locations.

Are there Washroom Facilities Available?

Washrooms are available on the lowest level of the Atrium, by the Greenhouse Café, and in the lower level of the Mediterranean Garden.

Are there water fountains / water bottle filling stations available?

Water Fountains and bottle filling stations are available at all RBG garden areas.

A water fountain is available near the Auditorium, water bottle stations available just outside the main doors, and indoors by the Greenhouse Café. Combination fountain and water filling station is available outside the washrooms beneath the Mediterranean Garden (sometimes inaccessible to the public due to ongoing programming or camps).

Forget your bottle at home? Shop at the Gardens (open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at RBG Centre) has bottles available for purchase!

Food and Drink / Picnics

The Greenhouse Café located inside RBG Centre offers a grab n’ go menu to take away or sit down and enjoy your meal.

The Tea House in Hendrie Park is open for lunch, afternoon tea, and sweet treats. Reservations recommended.

Outside food is not permitted at RBG Centre, Hendrie Park, or Rock Garden. Outside food is only permitted at Laking Garden and the Arboretum (excluding special events). Please pack-out or properly dispose of any waste. Outdoor cooking is not permitted in any of RBG’s garden areas.

Accessibility

RBG Centre is fully accessible.

Accessible parking spaces are available outside RBG Centre. Visitors access the garden through RBG Centre, descending through the Atrium via stairs or an elevator. 

If you have any further questions about accessibility at this event please contact us by phone (905-527-1158) or info@rbg.ca.

Can I Bring My Dog?

Although dogs are not permitted in RBG Centre (except for working animals), dogs are permitted to enter RBG Centre for the purpose of entering Hendrie Park.