Toronto looks pretty blah during the winter months. Greys and browns dominate the landscape.
On the plus side, we have been having a very mild winter this year. Yesterday, on the third of February, the temperature reached PLUS EIGHT ! Unheard of! Usually I would be running up my front steps to the door as fast as possible after work wearing my winter boots, a down-stuffed parka with the hood up, mittens, and a scarf to protect myself from the bitter cold.
Instead, I strolled up my front stairway at a leisurely pace and, instead of running into the house to bask in the artificial heat of our old, overworked furnace, I continued to the backyard where I sat IN THE WARM SUNSHINE on a LAWN CHAIR while wearing a T-shirt and running shoes. No parka! No hat! No mittens! No scarf! Wooooo ! ! !
While it’s been very warm (comparatively speaking), we could all still use a reprieve from the dead of winter’s grey and brown palette.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Allan Gardens Conservatory.
The site of Allan Gardens, at Gerrard Street East and Jarvis Street, was bought by George Allan in 1858 and made into a park.
“In 1864, the City of Toronto purchased the surrounding lands from Mr. Allan, which it then re-leased to the Horticultural Society on the condition that the grounds be publicly accessible and free of charge.
In tribute to the accomplishments and memory of George Allan, it was renamed Allan Gardens shortly after his death in 1901.
A disastrous fire on June 6,1902 destroyed the Horticultural Pavilion and parts of the conservatory. City architect Robert McCallum designed its replacement, the classically proportioned domed Palm House which opened in 1910 and stands on the site today.
The 1920’s saw two new display greenhouses added to the north and south ends of the Palm House.
The City rejuvenated the park from 1956 to 1963.
With new lands acquired along Jarvis and Carlton, the total site grew to almost 13 acres.
In 1957, it constructed additional greenhouse wings to expand conservatory display space and reconstructed the adjacent garden areas.
Today, Allan Gardens Conservatory greenhouses comprise over 16,000 square feet. It boasts an extensive permanent collection that is supplemented by colourful seasonal plants and flower shows.”
Allan Gardens remains free of charge and is open to the public from 10am to 5pm, 365 days a year.
Here is the Palm House as it is seen today.
Until winter ends…..
Source: City of Toronto – Allan Gardens website: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=8d31dada600f0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD