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Temporary Closure: Indoor & Outdoor Garden Areas Learn more about visiting safely during COVID-19.

Temporary Closure: Rock Garden

March 28, 2021

Temporary Closure: David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as Hamilton enters the Grey Zone – Lockdown, Royal Botanical Gardens’ David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden will be temporarily closed to the public, effective March 29, 2021.

Hendrie Park (entrance through RBG Centre), RBG trails and trailhead parking, and the Arboretum remain open. RBG will continue to take guidance from our public health officials regarding the duration of this closure.

Some customer programs offerings currently scheduled at the Arboretum and the Rock Garden may be moved to Hendrie Park. All registrants will be notified of program location changes or cancellations.

Royal Botanical Gardens apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this closure.

Here is what RBG is doing to keep you safe:

  • All staff wear masks or face coverings.
  • All high touch point surfaces are sanitized regularly.
  • Signage is posted to help visitors find their way around our gardens safely so they can physically distance from other guests.
  • Limiting visitor capacity in our restaurants, meeting and private event spaces to ensure a safe experience.
  • Ensuring physical distancing measures are in place and limiting capacity at all outdoor and general admission areas.
  • Implementing timed ticketing for select special events to prevent overcrowding.
  • Distancing of tables at all restaurant facilities to ensure safe dining.
  • Reduced class sizes for RBG Courses & Workshops.

Here is what you can do to make your visit safe:

  • Keep a distance of at least 2 metres, 6 feet from others.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering when indoors, or when you cannot physically distance from others outdoors (including on the trails during busy days)
  • Some of our trails and trailheads are narrow and we recommend you wear a mask when you are near other people.
  • Follow the directional signage and one-way paths on trails and in the gardens. Please step off the trail to let others pass, avoid congregating on narrow paths, and hike in small groups.
  • Be courteous to others during your visit. For example, using benches that are being provided as rest areas and please give priority to elderly persons, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women.
  • Ensure your group size is no larger than 10 people.

Open

  • Hendrie Park (Rock Garden closed, and Laking Garden closed for the season)
    • NOTE: select spaces / paths where social distancing is difficult remain closed
  • Shop @ The Gardens will be operating out of the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium’s lower level, with access limited to 10 patrons at a time.
  • Turner Pavilion Teahouse open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (light “grab and go” type menu)
  • Washroom facilities (limited capacity)
  • Trails (follow on-site signage indicating 1-way loops)
  • Hand sanitizing station and distance markers at entry so visitors can safely form a cue

Unavailable

  • RBG Centre amenities and spaces including The Greenhouse Café and Mediterranean Garden
  • Rock Garden Visitor Centre amenities and spaces
  • Natural Playground
  • Select outdoor spaces and pathways
  • Gardening Information (contact them online)
  • RBG Shuttle
  • Select special events (see calendar)

Regular 2021 admission rates apply and include access to outdoor garden areas and parking. Visitors are asked to follow guidance of RBG staff and all directional and parking signs in order to alleviate lineups and crowding and maintain proper social distancing.

Royal Botanical Gardens is open to the public with the following restrictions:

  • Debit and credit are preferred for admission at entry. General admission tickets are available online at rbg.ca but no priority access will be given to a pre-purchased ticket.
  • In accordance with Hamilton and Halton bylaws, masks are required to enter RBG’s indoor spaces, including washrooms, Shop @ the Gardens, Mediterranean Garden, and on-site restaurants. Wearing masks outdoors in the gardens is recommended, though not required.
  • Parking available with directional signs to prevent crowding.
  • Last admission to each outdoor garden area will be 1 hour before closing (see garden hours)
  • For everyone’s safety, please follow the guidance of all directional and social distancing signage, and instructions for washroom safety, while making your way through each garden area.
  • Some areas within each garden will remain closed to foot traffic in order to prevent crowding.

RBG staff and volunteers will be following safety protocols and wearing PPE and recommend that our visitors do the same. For health and safety of our visitors, hand washing and sanitizing stations and washroom facilities accessible from the outdoors will be available on site.

On the Trails

RBG’s trails are open to the public. Parking charges apply. Respect the trails, wildlife and other visitors by following these guidelines:

  • Some of our trails and trailheads are narrow and we recommend you wear a mask when you are near other people.
  • To encourage social distancing, select loops have been designated “one-way.” Follow the on-site signage.
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Step off the trail to let others pass.
  • Do not congregate in narrow paths / areas where others cannot pass you while keeping a safe distance.
  • Hike with your household; do not meet up in large groups.
  • Do not feed the wildlife.
  • Pack out anything you bring in.

Parking at RBG Trailheads

  • Admission to the Arboretum and trailheads is subject to parking fees to be paid at adjacent meters.
  • Parking lot hours are 8 a.m. to dusk.
  • Regular parking hours and rates apply and are subject to municipal by-laws. The cost to park at all RBG parking lots is $3/hr. to a maximum of $15.
  • Parking is free to RBG members displaying their parking pass, or online purchase / renewal confirmation.
  • Princess Point parking facilities will be staffed by Royal Botanical Gardens representatives through March 1. Staff will control parking lot access, monitor capacity and close the lot when it has reached capacity.

RBG at Home

For those unable to visit Royal Botanical Gardens, we continue to offer RBG at Home, our commitment to offering accessible, diverse and entertaining online learning opportunities for people of all ages.

As a not-for-profit, charitable organization, Royal Botanical Gardens is grateful for the phenomenal support we have received from you, our members, donors and community members, over these past few months. Thank you for helping to keep RBG a safe and happy place where we can all connect to the natural world. We hope to see you at the Gardens soon!

For RBG Members

Entrance to all outdoor garden areas is included in your RBG membership. Should your membership have expired during this time, please use your current card for access to garden areas and RBG trailhead parking lots. Member services will be available at the RBG Centre entrances between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Private Rentals

During this reopening phase, wedding and private rental clients can book appointments to see the gardens. There will be a restricted group number permitted during this appointment. For more information, submit an inquiry using the forms available at the links below.

Re-Opening FAQ

What is the address / directions for each garden area?

Please note RBG’s four formal garden areas are located within 3 km of each other. Driving between garden areas is recommended. For new visitors, please see the full property map.

  • Hendrie Park: 680 Plains Road W. Burlington. Directions
  • Laking Garden: closed for the season
  • Rock Garden: 1185 York Blvd. Hamilton. Directions
  • Arboretum: 18 Old Guelph Road. Directions

Learn more at rbg.ca/directions

Will Parking Be Available?

Parking is available at all garden areas, included in your general admission or membership. Please note RBG’s four formal garden areas are located within 3 km of each other. Driving between garden areas is recommended. For new visitors, please see the full property map.

  • Hendrie Park: Parking available at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road W. Burlington. Access to Hendrie Park will be available through the tunnel via RBG Centre. RBG Centre amenities and spaces including the Mediterranean Garden remain closed to the public.
  • Laking Garden: closed for the season
  • Rock Garden: Parking is available at the Rock Garden main parking lot, located across the street from the garden (1185 York Boulevard) with limited accessible parking available near the garden’s entrance.
  • Arboretum: Parking available on site, at 18 Old Guelph Road.

How can I access each garden area?

In order to best facilitate social distancing and safe capacities, garden access and exit practices are outlined below:

  • Hendrie Park: Entry available through the Hendrie Park tunnel, accessible via the main doors at RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W.). Exit is also available through RBG Centre via Hinton Court (follow directional signage).
  • Laking Garden: closed for the season
  • Rock Garden: Access to the Rock Garden Visitor Centre is restricted to one-way access to the Rock Garden (1185 York Blvd.). Visitor Centre amenities and spaces remain closed to the public. Follow the on-site signage.
  • Arboretum: Admission is restricted to the garden’s main entrance off (16 Old Guelph Rd.)

Is there a cost to enter the gardens?

General Admission or Membership is required to access all formal garden areas. Admission is available upon arrival (limited to debit and credit transactions). General admission tickets are also available online, though priority access will not be given to a pre-purchased ticket.

General admission includes access to all open outdoor garden areas for the day, as well as parking in available RBG lots.

Will washrooms be available?

  • Hendrie Park: Public washrooms are available in the lower Atrium at RBG Centre. Washrooms in the Turner Pavilion Teahouse are closed for the season.
  • Rock Garden: Public washrooms are available in the Rock Garden Visitor Centre. Washrooms in the lower bowl of the gardens are closed for the season.
  • ArboretumPortable washrooms available.
  • Laking Garden: garden closed for the season.

Will there be guidelines for social distancing?

For the safety of all guests, staff, and volunteers, access to each outdoor garden area will be provided through the following measures:

  • Admission to garden areas will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Should a garden reach capacity, visitors will be asked to wait.
  • Installed directional signage provide one-way paths for visitors to reduce crowding and encourage social distancing. Some areas within each garden will remain closed to foot traffic.
  • Visitors are encouraged to limit their visit to a one-hour per garden area maximum in order to give others the opportunity to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • For visitor safety, benches will be available as rest areas. Please practice courtesy and give priority to elderly persons, persons with disabilities and pregnant women. Please practice social distancing while using benches. Benches will not be regularly sanitized.

Will food and beverage be available?

RBG will be offering a light “grab and go” type menu at Turner Pavilion Teahouse in Hendrie Park. Hours of operation for food and beverage is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week.

The Greenhouse Café and Rock Garden Café currently remain closed, though sometimes take orders for special offers and dishes for take-away. See the Culinary Events & Offers page for updated information.

Is there a time-limit to my visit?

Visitors are encouraged to limit their visit to a one-hour per garden area maximum in order to give others the opportunity to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens.

Can I purchase / renew my membership on site?

Membership representatives will be available to assist you at the entrance of RBG Centre during our altered hours of operation (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Will the RBG shuttle be available?

RBG’s shuttle bus will not be available for the 2020 season. Driving or biking between garden areas is recommended. Learn more and see a property map at rbg.ca/directions.

Are dogs permitted?

Leashed dogs are permitted in the gardens for a visit during regular operating hours. Please be responsible and clean up after your dog. Dogs must remain on-leash and on-trail at all times. Any pets found disrupting the garden other guests may be asked to leave.

Will any activities / tours be available during my visit?

At this time, tours and discovery programming will not be available. Check out the on-site signage to learn more about select collections!