Arboretum Ottawa: 5 Amazing Attractions of Ottawa

First of all, let’s cover the basics; what is an Arboretum (greenhouse)?

An arboretum is where you can find a collection of tree and shrub specimens, usually grown for educational and scientific study. It is mostly included in botanical gardens for the visitors to enjoy this beauty center.

Arboretums are a passport to the beautiful nature center. There are many such beautiful centers located in the Arboretum of Ottawa. This article will guide you through all the lovely attractions in Ottawa.

The capital city of Canada, Ottawa, is located in the southern portion of the province of Ontario. The city is famous for the beautiful botanical treasures found in the Central Experimental Farm, Major’s Hill Park, Rideau Hall, and other notable places.

The city is filled with the magical colours of flowers and diverse trees. There are over 140 gardens maintained by an organization called Gardens Ottawa.

The healing powers of nature are hailed all over the world. According to a study conducted by frontiers in psychology, subjects who spent 20 minutes in nature experienced decreased stress hormones.

Weekend visits to parks and gardens can improve your health and boost your energy to a reasonable level. 

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This weekend, plan a visit with your family and friends to any of the famous botanical beauties in the Arboretum in Ottawa. Ottawa is popularly known for its Canadian Tulip Festival. But there’s more about Ottawa that makes the city extra impressive. 

The city is filled with breathtaking views of its gardens, parks, and arboretums. The tourist sites are well provided with all the necessary facilities. Many of the sites also allow the entry of dogs on leashes. 

Read on to find out fascinating information on the Arboretum in Ottawa.

1. Dominion Arboretum and Central Experimental Farm

Address: Arboretum, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada

The oldest Arboretum in Canada, Dominion Arboretum, was established in 1889. This botanical garden is part of Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 

It covers over 40 hectares (99 acres) of rolling land between the mesmerizing Prince of Wales Drive, Dow’s Lake, and the historic Rideau Canal system.

The arboretum consists of 10,000 kinds of trees and shrubs. Some were cultivated to evaluate the hardiness of woody plants in the Canadian climate. 

One of the most extraordinary trees, the Bebb’s Oak, is over 100 years old. Other famous specimens include the Crab Apple Trees, a Magnolia Grove, and lots of Weeping Willows.

The visitors can experience the microclimate in the northeast corner of the arboretum. 

Source: Shutterstock

You can also discover a variety of beautiful specimens like magnolias, wisteria, rhododendrons, and others in the northeast area of Arboretum Ottawa.

The Dominion Arboretum is the most northerly arboretum on the continent because of its 45-degree latitude. Due to this, the visitors experience exceedingly hot summers and very cold winters.

This botanical garden at Arboretum Ottawa is open from early morning until late evening. Entry is free for all visitors. 

Visitors are allowed to bring their dogs on a leash. The arboretum also offers a parking lot, restrooms, and partial wheelchair accessibility.

2. Ornamental Gardens

Address: 75 National Capital Commission Scenic Driveway, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0Z2, Canada.

This 8 acres of Ornamental Garden display a wide range of famous and fresh varieties of well-established trees, flowers, and shrubs. 

The garden is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. Initially, it was cultivated to test the development of winter hardy roses, weigela, and peonies. 

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Over the years, this arboretum has grown to include a Heritage Rose garden, Explorer Rose garden, Isabella Preston Lilac series, Arthur Percy Saunders peonies, Iris collections, Macoun Sunken garden, Macoun Memorial garden, Rock garden, Perennial border, and Annual beds and Hedge collections.

Many programs on birding in the Ottawa area, conservation, education, Macoun field club for children and youth, and safe wings Ottawa are organized. 

The club also publishes newsletters, journals, resource books, and other materials on the natural heritage of Canada.

The Ornamental Gardens also presents a yearly display of the choicest annuals and perennials for the All-American Selection. 

The hedge collection of this garden in Arboretum Ottawa contains plantings dating to 1891, while the current hedge collection dates from 1965.

Wedding photographers choose the ornamental garden to shoot stunning views of the collection in the Arboretum Ottawa. This Arboretum in Ottawa is open from morning to evening. 

Visitors can enjoy this beautiful nature center at no cost. The organizers provide a parking lot, washrooms, and partial wheelchair accessibility.

Source: Shutterstock

3. Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Address: Near 865 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, ON K2C 3K1 (Prince of Wales at Cow Lane), Canada.

The oldest natural history club in Canada, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, was founded in 1863 and incorporated in 1879 to preserve and conserve Canada’s natural heritage.

With the vision of restoring and creating wildlife-friendly habitats and gardens, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club commenced this long-term project of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden

The Central Experiment Farm is also a partner in this project. The famous sites of the garden in this Arboretum Ottawa include Butterfly Meadow, Amphibian Pond, Backyard Garden, The Hedgerow, Evergreen Woods, Old Field, and Old Woodlot. 

It also has a resource center filled with rich information on wildlife, conservation, gardening with native plants, and other crucial environmental details.

Ottawa’s Field-Naturalists Club has initiated a fund to support field-based research activities to encourage investigation, publish research results in all fields of natural history, and spread the findings beyond Arboretum Ottawa as much as possible.

You can visit the arboretum Ottawa any time, from morning to evening. If you are an environment enthusiast ( and you should be), you must not miss the opportunity to volunteer at the garden. 

Volunteers benefit from closely learning about the local wildlife and gardening with native plants. Enjoy the beauty of this garden at the Arboretum Ottawa for free.

Source: Shutterstock

4. Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

Address: 901 Prince of Wales Dr, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3K1, Canada.

Explore Canada’s unique agricultural or farming heritage exclusively at Ottawa’s Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

It is a part of the Canadian Science and Technology Museums Group, Ingenium, and is situated on Ottawa’s central experimental farm.

Visitors can enrich their knowledge through public programs and exhibitions on agricultural sciences, food literacy, food preservation, and the history of agriculture in Canada. 

The demonstration farm comprises 150 animals, including horses, beef cattle, cows, alpacas, pigs, poultry, goats, sheep, and rabbits.

The museum has many tourist attractions, including a learning center, horse and cattle barn, dairy barn, sheep field, small animal barn, exhibition halls, play structure, green spaces, and picnic areas. 

The travellers are welcome to bring their snacks and beverages for picnics. However, there are restrictions on using barbecues or hibachis on site.

Entry into the museum is free from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., but visitors must reserve their time slot using the e-ticket portal

However, there are some charges for travellers visiting the museum between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. A paid parking lot is also available for visitors arriving via the Prince of Wales only.

Special arrangements are made for visitors with social needs. Toilets are also located throughout the farm for visitors. Filming and photography are also allowed in the museum with some guidelines. However, drones are strictly prohibited in this nursery in Ottawa.

Source: Shutterstock

5. Tropical Garden

Address: Maple Dr, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The elegant octagonal structure of the Tropical Greenhouse is one of the most famous attractions in Ottawa. It was initially built at Major’s Hill Park in downtown Ottawa. It is run and operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Through the years, it transformed into a farm in 1938 to be used for horticultural research. It became a tropical garden open to visitors during the 1970s.

It is a heritage building on Maple Drive, across from the Saunders Building. It is a 1,600 sq ft tropical garden filled with various heat-loving plants, cacti, tropical rainforest natives, and succulents. Many new and fresh plants have been recently added to this diverse collection of exotic tropical plants.

There are no entry fees for this tropical garden. Visit us from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden is closed on Saturdays for maintenance purposes.

Closing Thoughts

Make your family time extra special by visiting the gardens of Arboretum Ottawa. 

Experience the pleasure of walking around tall trees, discovering new flowers, and relaxing on the grass surrounded by nature.

Apart from enjoying the beauty of nature, you can also register to volunteer in the arboretum to contribute to the preservation, conservation, or promotion of our natural heritage. 

These gardens in the Arboretum Ottawa are also available for educational research and scientific purposes.

We hope this article helps you choose an appropriate arboretum in Ottawa for your visit.

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Last Updated on by Priyanshi Sharma


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