Thursday, October 15, 2015

Greenhouses in Ottawa (to get your plant fix this winter)

As the weather turns colder and winter starts whispering about its arrival, thoughts turn to warmer climes and tropical getaways!  If you can't get away this winter, here are a couple of places to visit to warm yourself inside and out.  The tropical floral scents alone can elevate your mood:

Tropical Greenhouse (Arboretum) - Free Admission
Maple Drive

This greenhouse "has been recently renewed and replanted with a larger, more diverse collection. The elegant octagonal structure was originally built at Major's Hill Park in downtown Ottawa and moved to the Farm in 1938 to be used for horticultural research. Now a heritage building, it became a tropical garden open to the public in the 1970s."

Open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm; Sunday 10 am to 4 pm; closed Saturday.

Carleton Greenhouses - Free Admission
Nesbitt Biology Building

This facility is used for research, teaching and display to the general public. The greenhouses hold comprehensive plant collection of several thousand specimens ranging from popular crop species such as corn, soybean, papaya, banana and sugarcane to some quite unusual desert specimens.

Open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm

Oldest plant: Ponderosa Lemon (California hybrid), 33 years old
Biggest flower: Sun and Sand Hibiscus (Australia): 22 cm wide
Tallest plant: Chorisia speciosa (floss silk tree): 7 metres

Rideau Hall Greenhouses - Free Admission (when open to the public)

The Governor General's greenhouses are occasionally open to the public during special events (not during regular tours).  They were open as part of the Savour Fall event this year (2015) and in 2013 they were open as part of a Garden Gathering event.  Perhaps they might see the benefit of offering a weekend "doors open" to the public in the dead of winter?  ;  )

I'll also be adding to the blog some great indoor atrium recommendations that are accessible to the public - stay tuned!


  1. I was looking for indoor spaces to sketch over the winter. Thanks so very much for posting this! And I am looking forward to the atrium posts as well!

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! I'm not posting here as much anymore (thus my delayed responses and posts). I hope you liked the atrium post also. I also am looking for great (refreshing) indoor spaces in the city for winter "green boosts". I hope to find more and share for next winter.


Thanks so much for your comment - it will be reviewed before it is posted!