The Toronto Botanical Garden: An Extension of Your Backyard

TBG volunteer wearing red and white striped shirt standing in the Garden near yellow and pink flowers

“I live in the neighborhood,” says Bianca Da Costa. “Toronto Botanical Garden is an extension of my backyard.”  With a deep sense of pride, Bianca has woven herself into the fabric of the Garden, forging connections and nurturing a sense of community.

Bianca’s journey with the Garden began when her team decided to venture out of the office and get their hands dirty. Although years have passed, she smiles, recalling the fond memories of her team working together in the front garden, planting bulbs, and sowing seeds of teamwork. Amidst the hard work, they shared laughs and snapped pictures to remember their time. In the end, Bianca’s team made a generous donation, a symbol of their commitment to the Toronto Botanical Garden. “It raises awareness of Toronto’s urban green spaces, encouraging us to visit and to maintain our environment, and to learn more about horticulture,” Bianca says.

Stepping into the Garden is like Stepping into Bianca’s Backyard

This day of volunteering marked a new beginning for Bianca. She felt compelled to return, starting as a Garden Ambassador. Chatting with visitors about their sights and discoveries, Bianca found community and friendship, sharing her passion for plants and creatures. Over time, she became an integral part of life here at TBG, dedicating herself to many other volunteering opportunities including the Summer Music Series, Tafelmusik, and Through the Garden Gate.

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Beyond her volunteering commitments, Bianca often strolls through the Garden’s grounds, eager to showcase the beauty to friends who accompany her. She still marvels that such a peaceful oasis can be free. However, it is because of dedicated volunteers like Bianca that the Toronto Botanical Garden can operate and be accessible to the public. Volunteer’s commitment to our Garden enables us to create a space within the community and for the community.

Volunteers enrich experiences for visitors, imparting both knowledge and smiles. “I love showing off my knowledge of plants,” she says. Cultivating a wealth of information from plant books and experimenting in her garden at home, she’s able to share her wisdom in plenty. Among the plants and flowers, Bianca is particularly excited about the tulips, a connection that resonates deeply because of her extended family’s heritage in the Netherlands.

Wandering down to the ravine, observing ducks and birds in the water, Bianca finds a sense of purpose. With so much of nature disappearing, it’s even more important to protect the Garden. Amidst urban sprawl, “there’s not much green, only grass and glass,” she says. “People must treasure and enjoy the green spaces we have.”