Niagara-on-the-Lake Gardens: Always a Cut Above

Purple lilacs with bird in flight

When it comes to a bonanza of floral displays, Niagara-on-the-lake gardens are always a cut above other Ontario towns and principalities. 

This quaint lakeside nook in Niagara draws so many to admire the emerging splendour of May and early June — a tribute to the Full Moon on May 23 fittingly known as the Flower Moon.

Visitors often marvel at the variety of flowers and plants that seem to thrive here. Why is that?

Perhaps it’s the unique micro-climate and the rich, fertile soil the area is blessed with. Maybe it’s the inspiration locals get from nature and the surrounding countryside that stirs their imagination and willingness to experiment. Tempted by a variety of eye-popping displays at local garden centres, it’s little surprise that so many residents take up horticulture as a hobby to create a dazzling array of outdoor spaces not seen anywhere else. 

Street lamp with flowers at dusk

Niagara-on-the-Lake Garden Tours
As wondrous as the town’s streetscapes, parks and front yards may be, Niagara-on-the-Lake is also known for its popular garden tours, which always sell out. These events offer avid gardeners, architects and the curious a peek into the backyard havens rarely seen from the street.

For instance, the Shaw Guild Annual Garden Tour happens on June 15. One of the properties featured on this tour is the Frank Lloyd Wright-themed home located at 158 Prideaux Street.

On July 6, join The Gardener’s Garden Tour hosted by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society. This year’s event features nine varied garden locations including Southbrook Organic Vineyards and a special Bonsai show at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.

Robert and Melissa welcome visitors to roam their amazing two-acre NEOB Lavender Flower Farm and Nursery at 933 Niagara Stone Road. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours and enchanting scents as you get your hands dirty and pick your own flowers. Drop by their on-property gift shop where an assortment of essential oils and aromatic hair and body-care products are sold. (They also have a shop on Queen Street in Old Town.)

Every season reveals new gorgeous blooms at the 40-hectare (99 -acre) Botanical Gardens Niagara located 2565 Niagara Parkway where an array of experiences awaits you. Indulge your senses in the aromatic herb garden. Relax in one of many serene sitting areas. Visit the rose garden, which boasts over 2,400 roses. The seasonal display beds, designed by students of the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, feature over 80,000 annuals plants grown in the onsite greenhouse. Guided garden tours cost only $8 CAD.

Mauve and yellow flowers

Niagara-on-the-Lake Garden Centres
Perhaps you want to bring home a living memento of your time in Niagara-on-the-Lake or add a little Niagara splendour to your backyard garden. If so, there is a plethora of garden centres just waiting to dazzle you with their displays and seemingly endless selection.

Some local favourites include the Regal Garden Centre in Virgil, the Sunshine Express Garden Centre art 18 Carlton Street just before the Welland Canal, Seaway Farms Niagara at 175 Lakeshore Road and Horbach’s Farms & Greenhouses at 808 Concession 2 Road. 

Another spot to check out is the Teaching Greenhouse at Niagara College located at 135 Taylor Road, where agricultural and landscaping students and staff are happy to share all they know. While there, drop by the onsite Benchmark Restaurant for a delectable lunch featuring menu items prepared by student chefs.

Magnolia tree in bloom with B&B sign

Where to Stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake
STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a wide selection of accommodation choices, ranging from charming bed and breakfasts and inns, where delicious, aromatic, homecooked breakfasts are included, to self-catering cottages, villas and apartments. 

As you might expect, many offer secluded outdoor havens of their own for your enjoyment. Pay them a compliment, and they may even be willing to share one or two of their gardening secrets.

More Reasons to Visit Niagara-on-the-Lake
Spring and summer are prime times for Niagara-on-the-Lake events:
May 18 to 20: Virgil Stampede
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 1 & 2: NOTL Studio Tour
June 6: 80th Anniversary of D-Day at the NOTL Legion
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 21 to 29: TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 6: The Gardener’s Garden Tour
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
September 14: Niagara Polo
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips

Lost and Found notice

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.