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Montreal, Quebec’s Jardin Botanique

Le Jardin botanique de Montréal has extensive collections and facilities, making it one of the more important botanical gardens worldwide. In 2008, it was named one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. Situated across from Olympic Stadium, its 75 hectares feature multiple themed outdoor gardens, and greenhouses that are open year-round. 

Outdoor gardens include: The Ming Dynasty-style Chinese Gardens, The Japanese Garden and koi pond, The First Nations Garden, The Alpine Garden, the Poisonous Plants Garden, the Flowery Brook, and an arboretum. Ducks and squirrels abound; turtles and herons sometimes show themselves. 

The Lion de la Feuillée is a massive lion sculpture guarding at the Rose Garden, donated by the city of Lyon, France. The Botanical Garden, Biodome, Insectarium and Planetarium comprise the city’s four nature-focused sites in the  Espace pour la vie (Space for Life) museum district. 

Space for Life has worked to ensure the enjoyment of any guests with special needs. Collaborating with non-profit organization Kéroul, the city implemented an accessibility policy to adapt their infrastructures and services.

The Biodôme is accessible to people with reduced mobility, wheelchairs  or strollers. Borrow wheelchairs and strollers at no charge. Planetarium and its theatres are wheelchair-accessible, with designated areas for wheelchairs.

The Jardin botanique has itineraries for people with limited physical abilities or a visual disability. Guide dogs can sniff along in the Gardens, the Biosphère, Insectarium and Planétarium. In the summer, a free shuttle takes people on a half hour five-stop tour of the gardens; however only manual wheelchairs are accepted—not motorized wheelchairs or strollers. 

Vancouver, B.C’s Van Dusen Gardens  

Located in the tony Shaughnessy area of Vancouver, VanDusen Botanical Garden boasts 55 acres with over 7,500 plant species, and an Elizabethan hedge maze. Local wildlife appearances are often made by hummingbirds, hawks and eagles, Canada Geese, herons, ducks, and turtles. The garden is open every day, except Christmas. The holiday season features a beautiful Festival of Lights.

Roy Forster was awarded the Order of Canada for his design of the gardens and curation of its plants. Enjoy flora from around the world, water features, totem poles, a Japanese Garden, a Korean Pavilion, the Stone Garden, Sculpture Gardens, and a Scottish shelter in the Heather Garden. A collection of 1,000 varieties of Rhododendrons means that some of these spectacular blooms can be seen all year. 

The Platinum status LEED-certified Visitor Centre is famed for winning many awards, including Most Sustainable Building of the Year 2014. A hangout for environmentalists and architecture students, the building boasts advanced technology, a green roof, and an orchid-inspired design.

Accessibility: Visitors’ Centre, Administration Building, Floral Hall, Shaughnessy Restaurant, and most paved garden paths are fully accessible to wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers, but require care on some uneven patches. Visitor Centre has accessible washrooms. Guided cart tours are available from April to October for visitors with mobility issues; advanced booking is recommended. Service dogs can sniff alongside you in the gardens. 

We also recommend you round out your day at nearby Bloedel Conservatory, which is fully accessible to wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers.