Royal Botanical Gardens

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Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) enjoys a worldwide reputation based on its first-class horticultural collection and natural lands. It is Canada’s largest botanical garden and one of the country’s premier cultural, education and scientific institutions. It has extensive educational programs and serves as an outdoor laboratory for scientific research.

RBG was established as an independent entity in 1941 by an act of the provincial government, but the project traces its origins to the late 1920s when the City of Hamilton began acquiring land for the beautification of the city’s northwest entrance. In the 1920s, under the chairmanship of Thomas Baker McQuesten, the Hamilton Board of Parks Management recognized the need for a counterpart in southwestern Ontario to Canada’s two botanical gardens--the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, and the University of British Columbia Gardens in Vancouver. McQuesten was a student of plant cultivation and garden design and he convinced the Board of Parks Management to include a botanical garden in the redevelopment plan for the city’s northwest entrance.

The Cootes Paradise Sanctuary is the Gardens’ natural treasure. Ecosystems within the 250-hectare (620-acre) marsh, at the westernmost tip of Lake Ontario, have been devastated by invasive fish and plant species, as well as human intervention.


The largest fresh-water marsh restoration project of its kind in North America is helping to bring Cootes Paradise back to its former glory. The operation of a innovative fish barrier has reduced dramatically the population of harmful carp, and has promoted the return of beneficial species to the marsh.


The Nature Interpretive Centre, at the Arboretum, introduces the general public to the geology, history, wildlife and restoration of the natural area and Cootes Paradise. RBG runs public and school interpretive programs from the Centre to illustrate the diversity of life in the Hendrie Valley and that section of the Niagara Escarpment known as the Rock Chapel Sanctuary.


Royal Botanical Gardens is the only Canadian botanical garden to have maintained consistent growth and development. Moreover, it is the result of the joint effort of talented landscape architects, botanists and plan curators, thereby reflecting a historical and aesthetic character that is distinct in Canada.

Contact the Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens
680 Plains Road West
Burlington ON L7T 4H4 Canada

Map

Telephone: 905-527-1158

Toll free: 1-800-694-4769


http://www.rbg.ca

References

Royal Botanical Gardens. 3 May 2009. <http://www.rbg.ca/pages/more_about_history.html>