RBG Centre

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4

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

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking: Parking is available at the rear of the building at 680 Plains Road W. Some spaces for electric vehicle charging are also available.

 


Collections and Areas of Interest

indoor greenhouse garden with bird of paradise

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.

indoor greenhouse cacti collection

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 evolved a number of 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.

wooden playground class=

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.

indoor spring bloom display with bench

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.

wedding setup with garden under tent

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.

orchids in display case

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.

 

large wooden educational displays on particians

Stedman Exploration Hall

Peak interest: All Year

Stedman Exploration Hall is your RBG-at-a-glance jumping-off point. Get a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing projects through interactive displays, introduce yourself to our amazing flora and fauna, watch a video about accessioning plants, guess the number of species in our natural lands, and learn how a plant can clean the air in your home.

Interesting and unusual plants are rotated through this space, giving you an opportunity to experience the diversity of the plant kingdom.

flowering bush in spicer court

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. Several plants in Spicer Court are used as phenology specimens, helping us to track the impact of climate change on plants.

 

large tree with fall colour outside RBG centre

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.

wall sculpture above outdoor garden bed in patio

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.

 

living wall in atrium

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, 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.


  

visitors dining at the greenhouse cafe

Greenhouse Café

At the Greenhouse Café you’ll find fresh, seasonal ingredients on a new menu that incorporates local produce, meats and cheeses and features wines and craft brews exclusive to Ontario. Learn More

 

addressing a crowd in the auditorium

Host Your Event

With a selection of spaces, on-site catering, and beautiful gardens surrounding everything, our natural choice for conferences, special events, or your special day. Learn More

 

framed prints hanging outside the garden shop

Shop @ the Gardens

The shop has something for plant, animal and garden enthusiasts of all ages! Visit us at RBG Centre daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn More