102c-Mom with kids

Support the Hearts and Flowers Annual Campaign

Toronto Botanical Garden makes a significant difference to our community. We provide TBG’s members, volunteers, visitors and students with an opportunity to appreciate and to learn about plants – the joy they give us and the complex web of life they sustain. As the year comes to an end, we invite you to assist the 2013 “Hearts and Flowers” campaign with a donation to help TBG remain the centre of horticultural and botanical expertise that we have become.

With your support we are able to engage visitors and students of all ages to share our knowledge of the plant world and of the essential benefits it provides us. TBG connects people to an experience of nature that can be touched, treasured and appreciated for its fragility in a bustling urban setting.

Throughout 2013, the Garden has been bustling with activity, and TBG marked moments of change, important accomplishments and celebration. I started here in mid-July, picking up where my predecessor, Aldona Satterthwaite, left off. By the time the summer reached an end, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of a very special garden, the Teaching Garden, the site of the TBGKids program that has hosted thousands of children since the first child-sized shovel hit the ground.

kids girl with butterfly volunteer gardeners in the woodland walk
Future Earth Stewards
TBGKids educates thousands of children through hands on learning experiences–sowing seeds, tending to the growing plants and harvesting the fruits of their labour. TBG donates up to 1000 lbs of produce each year to the North York Harvest Food Bank, closing the cycle that starts with the experience of growing edible plants for our city kids, with a gift of healthy food to the less fortunate. The love of nature and the greater sense of environmental responsibility that are the educational aims of these programs, also include a strong message of social responsibility. This is the groundwork that will generate tomorrow’s stewards of the earth and a generation more environmentally responsible than ours has been.
Healthy Growth
This year also saw healthy growth in TBG’s newest garden addition, the Woodland Walk and Bird Habitat. Work on this area has been ongoing for the past two years, transforming this patch of land at the corner of Leslie Street and Lawrence Avenue from a tangle of invasive plants into an enticing woodland garden and path. This 23,000-square-foot project became the focus of a special section of our new audio-tours, and is developing its open-air-classroom identity with interpretive signage and lots of new planting.

tbg front
TBG is a rare example of a charitable, environmental organization that evolves with the times yet remains connected to the realities of nature within an urban setting, and this comes with challenges. As a facility that remains admission-free and does not receive significant financial support from the City of Toronto, TBG depends greatly on partnership, sponsorship and special events, and on the generosity of individual donors like you for a significant portion of its operating budget. The Hearts and Flowers Campaign, our annual end-of-year appeal, aims to raise $150,000 in support of TBG’s operations.

MarkCullen-HeadShot2010“It is my opinion that the Toronto Botanical Garden is the best kept secret in Toronto. My wife Mary and I are committed to the long term support of the TBG: we believe that it enhances life in our great city in a unique and valuable way.

The Hearts and Flowers campaign is the best time of year for all of us to come together and help build a community that benefits from all that TBG has to offer.”

Mark Cullen
Honorary Chair, 2013 Hearts and Flowers Campaign

If you believe in our good work, please  support us in achieving our goal to raise $150,000 by donating to Toronto Botanical Garden this year. Your generous assistance, through our Hearts and Flowers campaign, will preserve this gem of a botanical garden, allowing people to experience the serenity and beauty of nature, and all that we can learn from it.

Please make your gift online or by cheque made payable to Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto ON M3C 1P2.

We hope you will consider a Hearts and Flowers donation this year and we thank you for your past, present and future generosity.


Harry Jongerden
Executive Director

P.S. All gifts of $10 or more will be recognized with a charitable receipt and donors’ names will be listed on the Hearts and Flowers online recognition page. Donors contributing $500 or more to the Hearts and Flowers campaign will be acknowledged on the Hearts and Flowers Donor Wall, in the lobby of The George and Kathy Dembroski Centre for Horticulture.


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    • Claudia Zuccato Ria

      Dear K. Arliss,

      you raise an interesting point. Why should
      anyone give? And should prospective donors request financial
      information on the charity before making their decision?

      make donations to organizations- sometimes out of their own accord and
      sometimes when solicited- for a number of different reasons. The common
      thread to all these reasons is “caring”. Our donors care about
      preserving the Toronto Botanical Garden, the programs and activities we
      offer and the beauty of the TBG grounds. In other words, they care
      about keeping the TBG in their lives and the lives of Torontonians and
      they are prepared to provide their support to make this happen.
      Considering that the TBG relies on the generosity of its supporters for a
      significant portion of its annual operating funding, we are grateful
      for the dedication of those who continue to give.

      It is
      important to the TBG that everyone understands our financial structure,
      which will lead to a better understanding of the TBG”s need for donor
      The TBG is an anomaly in the world of botanical gardens. In
      North America and the world, botanical gardens rely on two or more of
      the following pillars of financial sustainibility:

      – A significant endowment

      – Admission revenue

      – Significant government support

      TBG does not possess any of the above. So, how does it survive?
      Through a combination of revenue generated by service fees – such as the
      fees paid by rental clients and educational program participants – and

      Our financial situation has been less than rosy iin the last year or so,
      primarily due to extrenal and unforeseeable factors. Last year, the TBG staff,
      board and volunteers did their best to explain the situation and donors
      rallied in response to our appeal for support. We are deeply grateful
      to all who gave and to all who cheered us onward in our attempt to
      create a stable financial base for the TBG.

      year, we issued our year-end appeal under the Hearts and Flowers
      campaign brand, with far less urgency than last year and far more
      foresight into an interesting future for the TBG. Indeed, the TBG sits
      on more solid financial footing than last year, having implemented some
      internal strategic measures and is looking forward to developing into a
      more complex and extensive botanical garden, capable of serving the
      plant knowledge and cultural aspirations of this city.

      best way to remain connected to the TBG and tapped into its reality-
      financial or programming that it may be- is to become a member. But in
      the meantime, should you wish to peruse our audited financial
      statements, keep in mind that as a registered charity, our statements
      are public and we are happy to provide them upon request. Just send me a
      message at development@torontobotanicalgarden.ca and I will send you a
      pdf copy, with pleasure.

      Happy holiday giving!

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