Burlington / Hamilton, Ontario – Head west from Toronto on the Queen Elizabeth Hwy and if it’s late spring, in about an hour you can enjoy strolling through the world’s largest collection of lilacs. The Royal Botanical Gardens features more than 800 varieties of this fabulously fragrant flower. The
best time to plan to visit this National Historic Site for the lilacs is late May, during the Lilac Celebration, when the scent and color of the lilacs are peaking and you can enjoy special tours
and demonstrations. Expect lilacs to be blooming in the gardens till June 1, in 2012. Check RBG.ca for specific events. Most lilacs are shrubs, except Japanese tree lilacs and Peking lilacs, which can grow as high as 18.5 metres/60 feet. Here, in the Lilac Dell and along the RBG’s introductory Lilac Walk, the bushes are kept to 1.8-2.8 (6-9 feet), so they can be fully enjoyed when you wander among them.
Where: The gardens are located at 680 Plains Road West on the border between Burlington (@BurlingtonTour) and Hamilton, halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls. The RBG Centre (open year round with a restaurant and gift shop) is the hub. The Lilac Dell is at the Arboretum which is services by free double-decker shuttle bus on the grounds. While in the area you can enjoy the beautiful waterfront in downtown Burlington, which has just gone through a $17.4 million dollar renewal. There’s lovely a waterfront walking path, children’s play area, and lakeside dining. Tourism Burlington and the Joseph Brant Museum are nearby. And, also consider also including a visit to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, which has one of the finest collections in Canada. In the region you’ll also find Dundurn Castle – a National Historic Site that was once owned by ancestors of Camilla Parker Bowels, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. At the Hamilton International Airport you can find the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, which has the only operational Lancaster in North America. In the News: In late June and early July the Gardens’ two acres of roses will be in bloom. The RBG has five gardens areas, four nature sanctuaries and 30 km of walking trails.
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Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd W Burlington, Ontario (also near Hamilton)