Strangely advertised on its own website as a major Toronto landmark, Allan Gardens Conservatory continues to be a very well kept secret especially among many of its citizens. Truth be told, city parks are generally not as often advertised or as used in North America as they are in Europe, unless they are huge like New York’s Central or Toronto’s own High Park.
Opened in 1858, Allan Gardens is one of oldest parks in Ontario and one of the best mid-exploration lunches on-the-go you can have in Toronto. Bring your own or drop by the massive Loblaws grocery store and liquor store at Church and Carlton and pick some delicious snacks -enough to make it a picnic! Then walk west one block at Jarvis and Carlton, as you enter the park you will see the large glass and metal Palm House canopy and its extended wings. Covering over 16,000 square feet you will find hundreds of colorful flowers and trees from their year-round collection plus many rare tropical plants from all over the globe.
Once inside feel to free to meander, bring your camera for some great macro-photography and take a break while you relax on a bench or walking through cacti, tropical flowers, succulents and palm trees.
Definitely a place worth dropping by as you make your way to your next stop. Specially if you are looking for a moment of respite and like to be surrounded by green. Literally.
Fun fact: Oscar Wilde held a lecture here on May 27, 1882