How to Enjoy the Outdoors…Indoors

Written by Amy Theriault on June 28, 2017

If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past few weeks, is that good weather is not always promised, even if its summer. But, a rainy day shouldn’t stop one from having a great day. A great way to spend a rainy day is still surrounded by greenery and an outdoor feel…without actually being outside.

If you’re obsessed with greenery and gardens like I am, then you’ll love a greenhouse. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a lush environment, be one with nature, and yes…get that perfect picture for Instagram.

Below are 3 of my personal favourites that should check out this summer.

Allan Gardens Conservatory

The Allan Gardens Conservatory is a major landmark and tourist attraction in downtown Toronto. Its beautiful exterior features a historic, cast-iron and glass domed “Palm House” which was built in 1910. Its permanent collection features TWO Tropical Houses with a wide variety of lush plants blooming all year round; a Cool Temperate House for plants in need of a cool, but frost-free environment; The Palm House which is home to brilliantly coloured seasonal plants like varied palms, bananas and tropical vines; The Tropical Landscape House which offers a colour mixture of lush exotics like gingers, hibiscus, and a green jade vine; and lastly The Arid House which is home to a large display of cacti and succulents. The Allan Gardens is most definitely a gem in the heart of the city, and can be enjoyed in rain or shine.

Hours of operation: 10 am – 5 pm, 365 days/year
Free admission, Wheel chair accessible

Cloud Gardens Conservatory

The Cloud Gardens Conservatory is like a tropical cloud forest nestled between the office towers of Toronto’s busy downtown core. It sits on land given to the city in the 1980’s when the Bay Adelaide Centre was constructed. On top of the outdoor park, the Cloud Gardens features a small greenhouse mimicking a rainforests’ climate, planted with tree ferns, palms and other exotic plants. A walkway from the lower-level entrance to an upper-level exit by the waterfall reinforces the feeling of going up into the clouds. This unique little park is a true urban oasis and a must-see this summer.

Hours of operation: 10 am – 2:30 pm, Monday to Friday (except holidays)
Free admission, Wheel chair accessible.

Centennial Park Conservatory

The Centennial Park Conservatory has an area of over 12,000 square feet. With a tropical house, an arid house and a show house it offers a variety of interesting plant collections and exciting seasonal displays. Entering the conservatory is like stepping into a tropical garden. The main house contains over 200 different varieties of tropical plants that bloom year–round including palms, crotons, gingers, hibiscus, orchids and bromeliads. Economically important plants including fruit trees such as banana, sour sop and papaya are also featured.

The south wing is an arid (dry) house. It is home to a large display of unusual cacti and succulents including collections of agave, opuntia, and aloe.

The north wing is a display house that contains a collection of local trees and shrubs as well as displays that change with the seasons. The conservatory is also home to several types of animal life including goldfish, turtles and birds. Seasonal flower shows are held each year in spring, Easter, summer, fall and Christmas.

This tropical paradise is a great place to relax and refresh your spirit.

Hours of operation: 10 am – 5 pm, 365 days/year
Free admission, Wheel chair accessible

If you’re looking for a relaxing day immersed in nature, make sure to check out one of these beautiful conservatories…in rain or shine!

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