When I need a breath of fresh air or a quiet refuge from the city, I head to the Allan Gardens Conservatory. Located northeast of downtown by Jarvis and Gerrard, you’ll never believe you’re so close to the heart of Toronto when you step inside.
A spectacular glass dome “Palm House” is the focal point of this free public attraction that’s open year round from 10 am to 5 pm. The conservatory, which opened in 1910, stands on the Allan Gardens park grounds, founded in 1858, making it one of Toronto’s oldest parks.
Packed with exotic plants from around the world, a series of diverse greenhouses leads you through different climates, from tropical to arid. The gardens are also home to koi fish and some turtles that spend the day basking on rocks. On occasion, I’ve also seen squirrels darting under the foliage, but I’m sure their presence isn’t welcome.
So whether you’re looking for a spectacular setting for photos, want to feel a warm climate or need some inspiration for your own garden, the Allan Gardens Conservatory is waiting to welcome you.