Located on 1.6 hectares of land west of Don Mills, this collection of seventeen themed gardens was established as the Civic Garden Centre in 1958, founded by the Garden Club of Toronto. The first building opened in 1964, with architectural additions in 1976 and a major expansion in 2005 to include a library, offices, and a green roof. PMA Landscape Architects, Thomas Sparling, and horticulturalist Paul Ehnes redesigned the site in 2006.
In the Entry Garden Walk, Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf created a meadow of perennials and grasses arranged in free-flowing waves. Oudolf collaborated with Toronto-based landscape architect Martin Wade on the Arrival Courtyard, where, evocative of the form of the building just beyond, sculptural hedges are shaped by metal cages, lit from within at night. Re-circulating water features, sculptures, themed carpet beds, and a glass-walled courtyard surrounded by espaliered conifers and crabapples accent the space. At the three-meter-high Spiral Mound (built upon construction debris), a winding ascent through a variety of grasses and willow leads to a platform that affords 360-degree views of the property, including terraced gardens reminiscent of planting in the Mediterranean region, a culturally-themed kitchen garden with seasonal fruits and vegetables, and a knot garden, where a combination of evergreen, broadleaf, and deciduous hedges form abstract patterns. Nearby, a contoured path leads west past greenhouses and into the adjacent, city-owned Edwards Gardens, an eleven-hectare parcel, which includes a paved trail that runs along Wilket Creek and connects to Toronto’s system of ravines.