Beauty in The Beach

Victoria Park

If you love gardens you won’t want to miss this year’s Mark’s Choice Through the Garden Gate in Toronto’s iconic Beach neighbourhood.

Every year Toronto Botanical Garden invites people to take a glimpse at other people’s gardens, get inspiration for their own and explore different parts of the city on a lovely weekend in June. This year the TBG’s 32nd annual tour takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in this beloved area which has become home to many people in the arts including writers, musicians, artists, actors and more. Perhaps this accounts in part to the many unique, beautiful, whimsical and sometimes even quirky residential gardens on the tour this year.

The 21 gardens featured are full of takeaway lessons and ideas. As you stroll through them you will see many creative ways to use plants, seating, statuary and water features as well as lights and mirrors.

Some of these gardens are in almost full shade, planted within their own forests of maple, oak, spruce and other tall trees. Take note of how to build a shade garden by weaving together plants with interesting shapes, sizes and foliage with variegated textures and colours.

Some have historical significance. One of the sites, for example, was once home to Sir Adam Wilson, an early Toronto mayor who kept the railway from being constructed on beach land and deeded the property where the Balmy Beach Canoe Club now stands, to Toronto residents.

Many homeowners have taken advantage of the rugged hilly conditions with gardens that are either tiered or built on steep slopes. A variety of different stonework has been used to build terraces, streams and ponds to deal with the challenging topography.

You will see stunning examples of how to plant a garden that honours the environment and suits the land on which it sits. There are pollinator gardens brimming with native wildflowers providing nectar for birds, bees and butterflies. There are woodland gardens, ravine gardens, formal gardens, rose gardens, vegetable gardens, secret gardens and even a fairy garden.

The self-guided format will let you discover the gardens at your own pace following a map and garden guide containing descriptions of each featured garden. A complimentary shuttle bus service will be available for participants to “hop on and hop off” along the route.

Tour headquarters is located at Neil McNeil High School, 127 Victoria Park Ave.

All proceeds from this garden tour support the Toronto Botanical Garden.


One-Day Pass: Public $45 / TBG Members $40
Two-Day Pass: Public $65 / TBG Members $60
Students $25 (With ID, One-Day Pass only)

Tax included. For more information or to purchase tickets call 416 397-1341 or see