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City Life

Gardens of Delight

Koi in the Japanese Garden, Photo by Jonathan Kaiser

One of the great things about living in an urban area are the extras that you only get once cities are of a certain size. Many of these gems are places that as a local you will tend to forget about until you have an out of town friend come to visit. This past weekend we headed to one of these extras when we visited the Botanical Gardens in Montreal. The Gardens in Montréal are comprised of a main pavilion done in a deco style, much like many of the assorted public markets in the city. The Main buildings were designed by Architect Lucien F. Kéroack in 1932, and are completed in 1937 after being stalled for four years. The four years saw the project left in disarray and some of the greenhouses were turned into Rabbit hutches. Work on the project was restarted in 1935 after Camilien Houde is elected mayor and Brother Marie-Victorin makes an impassioned plea about the cities need for a botanical garden.

“We will soon be celebrating Montréal’s three hundredth anniversary. You need to give a gift, a royal gift, to the City, our city. But Montréal is Ville-Marie, a woman…and you certainly can’t give her a storm sewer or a police station…It’s obvious what you must do! Give her a corsage for her lapel. Fill her arms to overflowing with all the roses and lilies of the field!” source.

Over the course of the next 70 years the gardens continued to develop after a wartime lull. The Gardens have an extensive collection of different plant types and species with number different themed gardens, after a trip to the insectarium we took a tour through the Japanese garden which would definitely have to be one of the most calming gardens I have been too in a while.

While I was disappointed by the number of stay off the lawn signs, that’s a discussion for later. If your city has a botanical or public garden take the time to reacquaint yourself.

Montreal Botanical Gardens


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