RBG Experiences

Let your mind grow at the Gardens! We offer over 200 courses and workshops for families, kids and adults in the areas of gardening, nature, botanical arts and wellness.

From award-winning children’s clubs to our popular children's gardening programs and special seasonal workshops, kids of all ages grow with us. Browse this season's programs by clicking through the categories below.

Master Your GardenInto the WildArts in the GardensHealth and WellnessTaste of the GardensKids and FamiliesSpeaker Series

RBG Members receive 10% off most RBG Experiences programming when using the member discount code. This code was distributed to existing members via email on Monday, February 4, and is included in the member package for new members. Enter this code in the “promotional code” field on the top right of the registration screen BEFORE selecting your programs. If you are a member but did not receive the code, please contact us.

Royal Botanical Gardens Public Education Participant Behaviour Agreement

By enrolling in and participating in RBG educational public programs participants agree to the statements outlined in Royal Botanical Gardens’ public education participant behaviour agreement found here: Download PDF


picking tomatoes

Master Your Garden

Put your green thumb to work! Learn from experts on gardening techniques, solutions, and practices to help get your garden in shape!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

gloved hands working in a garden

Home Gardening

This six-part program introduces the living art of bonsai — history, development, styling and care. The skills you learn can be applied to indoor and outdoor plants. Pot your own bonsai to take home. Some materials are supplied. Partner: Mohawk College

Fee: $240 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 28

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Our new Rose Garden looks quite different with a variety of plants incorporated as companion plants. They aesthetically complement the roses, benefit their health and help with pest control. Alex Henderson, curator of collections at RBG, reviews the companion plants and what they do to support the garden’s sustainability, and offers ideas for your own garden.

Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 27

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Often we find a variety of tomatoes that we love, then find it isn’t available the next year. Saving your own vegetable seeds assures you have your favourites from year-to-year and saves money. Linda Crago guides you through when to harvest seed, proper drying techniques, storage and viability.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 1

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Join Nancy Lee-Colibaba in RBG’s Veggie Village. Get your hands dirty and learn the fundamental skills to grow your own produce at home. It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard!

4 sessions available:

  1. GETTING STARTED Thursday, April 25. PRE-REGISTER BY APRIL 17.
  2. PLANTING THE GARDEN Thursday, May 16. PRE-REGISTER BY MAY 7.
  3. GARDEN MAINTENANCE Thursday, June 27. PRE-REGISTER BY JUNE 18.
  4. HARVESTING THE YIELD Thursday, September 12. PRE-REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 3.

Fee: $40/class or $140 for all 4 (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Choosing plants for the garden can be daunting. Every year there are new plants on the market offering to enhance your garden with beautiful flowers or fabulous foliage. Let Charlie Briggs tour you through the garden and look at what’s new and learn what these plants can do for you, your garden design and pollinators. Learn first-hand on a walk through the garden — a great opportunity to ask questions.

Fee: $25 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by June 28

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pulling out a piece of honeycomb from hive

Into the Wild

Sooth your inner adventurer! Take a paddle in paradise, or learn about local flora and fauna with experts in the RBG nature sanctuaries.

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

canoeing on cootes paradise

Canoeing Programs

Explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on the health of the marsh for its survival. We supply canoes, paddles and life jackets, you bring your camera and binoculars. Canoes have single bench seats only so bring pads to sit on for extra comfort. Water bottles and pockets snacks also recommended. Please arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to paddle rain or shine. In the event of high winds or threatening weather please call the Program Update Line

Fee: $40/person/tour (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register a minimum of 5 days in advance

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What is the bow and where is the stern? Going straight is easy but how do I turn? Join us for two half-days of canoeing as our ORCKA-certified instructors teach safety, techniques and much more. Master the quintessentially Canadian J-stroke. Spend the afternoon paddling and experiencing Cootes Paradise. Recommended to bring water bottle and packet snacks.

Fee: $80 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 22

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red-capped woodpecker

Wild Nature Experiences

As world travelling birds migrate to their breeding grounds, let’s comb the trails and see who’s turning up! Test your eyes and ears with Jackson and his squadron of special guests as we welcome the arrival of spring and these winged wonders. While this is geared to beginner and intermediate birders, all are welcome.

Fee: $25/class or $90 for all 4 classes (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 3

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Veteran beekeeping instructors and honey bee breeders, Luc Peters and Dan Douma, give you hands-on experience with managing hives and provide you with simple steps to support honeybees and other important pollinators, to keep your own bees or just learn about their care.

  • Intro to Bees and Hive Equipment: Monday March 25; 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Plan the Season and Check the Spring Hive: Sunday May 26; 2 to 4 p.m.
  • The Summer Hive Check: Sunday June 16; 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Preparation and Honey Harvest: Monday August 19; 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Put the Bees to Bed: Sunday September 15; 2 tp 4 p.m.
  • Review: Monday October 7; 7 to 9 p.m.

Fee: $50/session or $260 for all 6 (Members 10% off)

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Ridges and furrows, scales and plates, you can still identify trees on winter dates! Join Nadia Cavallin, field botanist and Sophia Muñoz, botany intern, to learn how to identify trees by their bark. Dress for an outdoor hike

Fee: $20 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 22

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Join a Back to Nature volunteer leader for a family-friendly hike through the vast ecosystems of RBG’s lands. Every 1.5 to 2 hours walk is a different adventure. Our trails are rocky and muddy and not suitable for most standard strollers, except those meant for off-sidewalk use. Dress for the weather

In the event of inclement weather or uncertain conditions (high winds, ice, extreme windchill, heavy rain, thunderstorms or hazardous driving conditions), please check our Program Update Line at 905-527-1158 ext. 404 one to two hours before the start time to see if the walk has been cancelled. Updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Guided Hike!

View Schedule
overhead view of marsh boardwalk in the fall

Nature Study - Adult Education Series

This beginner-level workshop is for trail walkers who would like to learn to identify the trees they most frequently encounter on RBG trails. Get to know the trees by name, learn about their natural history and the basics of using a botanical key so you can keep learning tree ID on your own.

Fee: $25 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by June 6

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Visit Helen M. Kippax Garden and enjoy discussions from complementary horticultural and botanical perspectives on the native plants of Ontario. Charlie Briggs, RBG gardener, shows how native plants are beneficial to your garden, points out the pollinators using them and discusses how you can connect your garden to the broader ecological landscape. Nadia Cavallin, field botanist and herbarium curator, talks about how to identify these species and about their life in the wild.

Fee: $25 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 11

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Ever wonder how trees spread themselves around? Do you know which food-bearing trees are favourites of wild creatures? Learn to identify those trees with Nadia Cavallin, herbarium curator and field botanist, and Felicia Radassao, assistant terrestrial ecologist, and discover the fascinating relationship between wildlife and the trees that depend on them.

Fee: $25 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 30

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This is the start of a full moon and if clouds cooperate, your path will be illuminated. Night time provides a very different experience and your guide points out many pertinent and fascinating points as you go along. Please bring a flashlight and proper footwear. This is a walk for adults only.

Fee: $25 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 4

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Join us for an intensive two-day, hands-on workshop with Dr. Jim Pringle and Nadia Cavallin. The unique botanical morphology and associated terminology specific to the aster and goldenrod groups are introduced and illustrated in a classroom setting and during field visits to RBG’s nature sanctuaries. Be prepared to go out in all weather conditions. Bring your lunch, hand lenses, field guides or botanical keys, and any mystery specimens.

Fee: $300; Students $225 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 9

Register Now

paintbrush with watercolour on canvas

Arts in the Gardens

Let your creativity flow with classes in painting, illustration, floral design, and more!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

watercolour flowers

Painting

If you have children who love art, let RBG’s lilac collection inspire the artist in them. Julie Donec leads participants in a fun-filled one-hour session in an outdoor setting where children can expand their creative side using the watercolour medium. Have fun experimenting with different tools and discovering simple new techniques. All materials are provided

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 23

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Celebrate lilacs in bloom — join us in a day of creative fun, watercolour painting en plein air. Julie Donec covers the highlights this outdoor painting art form, composition, creating a simple value thumbnail and choosing an effective colour scheme. Beginner and experienced artists are all welcome. A supply list is provided at registration.

Fee: $30 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 23

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Learn the fundamentals of landscape acrylic painting using RBG’s gardens as inspiration. Lynne Ryall covers composition, paint application, colour mixing and the creation of light and texture. Concepts and techniques are demonstrated and supported through step-by-step instructor guidance. Suited for beginners and experienced painters. A list of supplies is sent upon registration.

Fee: $85 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by June 23

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It’s like day camp for grown-ups! This is the experience you’ve been looking for, an artist’s holiday. Spend five full days painting outdoors, enjoying our Gardens at their peak. Shelley Prior provides plenty of demonstrations and handouts. Some previous experience in watercolour will help you get the most from this intensive program. Sign up early as this course fills quickly. Unique supply list is provided at registration.

Fee: $340 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 6

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Let RBG inspire your artistic journey in this eight-week course. Julie Donec introduces skills and techniques used in botanical and landscape watercolours and offers encouragement and lots of demonstrations. A supply list is provided at the first lesson.

Fee: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 9

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Take painting to the next level with proven techniques for creating depth and more involved painting styles to produce beautiful results. This intermediate class challenges experienced painters. Julie Donec critiques and assists everyone individually to help improve skills. A list of supplies is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 10

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Shelley Prior explains the basic watercolour painting techniques and elements to paint such as rocks, skies, trees, water and fall scenes. Learn and practice these tips during this eight-week course. Discover the beauty of fall landscape painting. Suitable for intermediate painters. A supply list is provided prior to program start date

Fee: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 8

Register Now

group practicing yoga in Royal Court

Health and Wellness

Take some time for yourself with an array of programs to help keep your body and mind healthy!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

yoga

Yoga and Movement

Yoga and Tai Chi programs take place in a variety of indoor spaces at RBG Centre. Location may vary week to week. Check posted information at RBG Centre on program day.

Lauren Anastasi, working with the philosophy of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, guides you to focus on the physical experience of walking and to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations, as well as commune with nature. This practice can help reduce stress and increase positive emotions. The class includes instruction and 45 minutes of walking at a relaxed pace. The list of walk locations is given out at the first class.

Fee: $75 or $15 per class (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 2

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Louise Vien focuses on lengthening the spine, extending and opening the body, and quieting the mind through stretching poses, breathing and grounding exercises. Suitable for all levels. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Bring a yoga mat. 10-week session.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 6

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The 24 Movement Yang Style tai chi form is the most widely practiced form of tai chi. Joh Friedrich welcomes beginners as well as practicing students.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 14

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Take a break just for yourself and come out for an hour of stretching and mindfulness. Variations to poses are offered to allow you to build your yoga practice on an individual basis to suit your body. Suitable for all levels. If weather permits, these classes will be held outside.

Fee: $75, or $15 per class (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 14

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Taught by Claudia Laurat, experience a wider range of motion through your joints and more strength and flexibility in your muscles. Deepen your body awareness and ability to consciously relax. Props are used so please bring a mat, towel/blanket, straps and blocks. If needed, these can be provided for you. 10-week session. Geared to individuals with some previous experience of yoga.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 8

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Chelsea Curran focuses on breathing and gentle poses. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. 10-week session.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 31

Register Now
yoga

Herbs and Oils

Meillyn teaches about the hidden toxins, including fragrance, in the products we use in our homes and why it’s important to reduce our toxic load. She provides easy doit-yourself essential oil based solutions to make switching to more natural products easy. Recipes are provided. Take home a custom room spray!

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 9

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Aging is a part of life and essential oils can fit into a wellness program to support health. Meillyn Kelly outlines different oils to assist mental alertness and memory function, enhance sleep and relaxation, aid digestion, assist with skin care and many other typical concerns. Each participant makes a roller of essential oils for memory and brain health.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by June 9

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Join Elizabeth Boyd, Registered Herbalist, to learn 16 new spring herbs that are effective for treating a wide range of ailments, and get experiences making herbal remedies to take home including tinctures, decoctions, medicinal vinegar, and cough syrup, poultice, infused oil, salve and guidelines to proper dosages. This workshop explores the healing properties of four medicinal spring herbs per session.

Fee: $120

Please pre-register by May 1

Register Now
yoga

Horticultural Therapy Training

This two-day training session covers special populations, writing proposals, plants, season programs and project ideas, and more. A certification of attendance is provided upon completion.

Fee: $300 (refreshments and workshop materials included)

Please pre-register by May 1

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Learn about the importance of light, proper seeding techniques, soil, containers and ways to engage your clients to achieve a meaningful program as well as successful seedlings for your summer garden.

Fee: $160 (includes handouts, materials and refreshments

Please pre-register by February 27

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Herbs are the most versatile plants in the garden. In this full-day workshop, discussions cover the 10 best herbs and how to use them in various ways. We also start herbs from seeds and make herbal activities that get you started on implementing these plants in your regular horticultural therapy programming

Fee: $160 (includes handouts, materials and refreshments

Please pre-register by March 27

Register Now

overhead view of pouring tea

Taste of the Gardens

Satisfy your tastebuds all year long, with afternoon teas, beer-tastings, cooking classes, and more!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

glass of gin with lemon and herbs

Afternoon Teas

Take the time to relax in the lovely ritual of a proper English afternoon tea with Linda Barnett, from The Travelling TeaRoom. Savour delightful finger sandwiches and delicate mini-pastries, warm scones with thick cream and homemade jams, and a selection of tea. Music sets the mood to help you unwind and experience the pleasure of this elegant event.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 15

Register Now
chef chopping onion

Cook Like a Chef

Each evening, local Chef Nicolas instructs a hands-on cooking class with full participation with registrants. While he demonstrates the evening’s recipes, participants team up to prepare a meal that is then enjoyed by all. With Chef Nicolas coaching, you create an entrée, side dish, and dessert. Please bring a knife, cutting board and towel.

Enjoy preparing a meal of chicken parmesan, homemade pasta infused with Spanish and red pepper, Italian wedding soup and strawberry cannoli.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 19

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Each evening, local Chef Nicolas instructs a hands-on cooking class with full participation with registrants. While he demonstrates the evening’s recipes, participants team up to prepare a meal that is then enjoyed by all. With Chef Nicolas coaching, you create an entrée, side dish, and dessert. Please bring a knife, cutting board and towel.

Cook a meal consisting of Oktoberfest pork chops, German sausage chowder, red cabbage and apple, and a drunken pear.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 7

Register Now

Each evening, local Chef Nicolas instructs a hands-on cooking class with full participation with registrants. While he demonstrates the evening’s recipes, participants team up to prepare a meal that is then enjoyed by all. With Chef Nicolas coaching, you create an entrée, side dish, and dessert. Please bring a knife, cutting board and towel.

Costa Rican fare is nutritionally well rounded. Pork tenderloin with a Costa Rican coffee glaze, pinto gallo, arroz con leche, and tostones with roasted garlic mayo are on the menu tonight.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 11

Register Now

Each evening, local Chef Nicolas instructs a hands-on cooking class with full participation with registrants. While he demonstrates the evening’s recipes, participants team up to prepare a meal that is then enjoyed by all. With Chef Nicolas coaching, you create an entrée, side dish, and dessert. Please bring a knife, cutting board and towel.

Cook several tasty treats consisting of Icelandic langoustine soup, Danish roasted apples and bacon with onions and thyme, chupe de centolla (Chilean crab gratin) and Austrian wiener schnitzel — recipes sure to impress family and friends this holiday season.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by December 12

Register Now

children in the veggie garden listening to an instructor

Kids and Families

Learn and grow as a family, with a wide variety of programs that are both entertaining and educational.

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

small girl petting turtle

Family Fun Days

Cootes Paradise is home to lots of reptiles and amphibians. Join RBG staff as the similarity of these two animals is pointed out as well as the challenges they face to survive. Their life cycles, specialized adaptations and a closer look at their habitat is explored. A great family program to discover.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by June 6

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The best childhood memories come from exploring nature and making discoveries while connecting with the natural world. RBG staff take you on a scavenger hunt to wander the trails and uncover exciting encounter. Enjoy this funfilled afternoon with your family. The scavenger hunt can be done as a family or as a group.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 4

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Let the fun continue and experience fairies in the twilight with this pre-registered program. Be enchanted with fairy stories, fairy folklore and a candle-lit walk. “If your eyes are quick and light is just right…you may see the fairies about to take flight.” Don’t miss the magic.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by July 26

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Join RBG for a fun adventure that lasts all night. Bring your sleeping bag, a grownup and your jammies for a sleepover in the woods. There’s pizza and salad for supper, a night hike, campfire, continental breakfast and morning games. You have all the fun and we do the work and supply the tents. Ages 5 and up. A list of supplies is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 29

Register Now
boy watering garden with watering can

Junior Nature-Lovers: Gardening Programs for Kids

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $200 (Members 10% off)

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Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques. Must attend with a parent / caregiver.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques. Must attend with a parent / caregiver.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now
children playing in a sandbox

Pre-School Programs

Outdoor Education Programs for Little Explorers. Join us throughout the year for fun and games as we explore and learn about our natural world. Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 14 to June 20

Learn More

man on stage speaking to crowd in the ballroom

RBG Speaker Series

We are excited to bring you a selection of lecture and workshop sessions with experts from across North America, speaking on topics such as gardening, wildlife, conservation, and more!

View Upcoming Lectures

Contact Program Bookings

Have questions about any of our programs? Contact us at 905-527-1158 ext. 270

Registration

Advance enrollment is required for all events with a registration fee. Participants may register online, in person or by telephone. Full payment must accompany each registration. To register by phone, please call 905-527-1158, ext. 270 (open Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Telephone registrations require payment by VISA or MasterCard. RBG reserves the right to cancel any event if the minimum number of registrants is not reached by registration deadline. Registrations may be accepted after the registration deadline provided the minimum registration number has already been reached. Non-member (public) fee applies to all after registration deadline.

Cancellation, Refunds and Receipts

Up to ten days prior to a program start date or the indicated program registration deadline, all cancellations by registrants are subject to a 25% cancellation fee if a refund for that program/course/event is applicable. Check specific program descriptions for refund-excluded programs. No refunds of any kind are made after the registration deadline. Should RBG cancel a program, registrants are notified by telephone and refunds issued. It is vital that you supply phone numbers where we can reach you both daytime and in the evening or on weekends, directly or by recorded message. We do not accept responsibility for inconvenience caused to those we cannot contact, whatever the reason.

Inclement Weather

Most of our programs are offered rain or shine. In the event of severe weather some courses, especially outdoor workshops and guided walks, may be postponed or cancelled. If you are unsure about conditions on the day of your program, please call our Program Update Line at ext. 404. A message will be posted there at least two hours before the program is due to start. It is your responsibility to verify that your program is being offered; though we try, we are not always able to reach participants.

Liability

RBG assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to property, or for personal injury or mishap; all activities are at the risk of the participant.

Green Angels

RBG is committed to giving every child, regardless of their financial situation, an opportunity to fall in love with nature. Become a Green Angel to a child in need today!

Learn More
three children playing in a sandbox

Pre-school Programs

Outdoor Education Programs for Little Explorers. Join us throughout the year for fun and games as we explore and learn about our natural world.

Learn More

class leader demonstrating repotting plants to two senior citizens

Horticultural Therapy Training

Gain the knowledge needed to practice horticultural therapy confidently and competently, and know how to use horticultural therapy programming effectively.

Learn More

groups of camp children

Discovery Camps

Discovery Camps are about fun, education and respect set in one of the most biologically diverse natural areas in Canada.

Learn More