When you think of a labyrinth, does it conjure up thoughts of darkness, confinement and a Minotaur? We hope not! If you haven’t experienced walking the paths of a labyrinth, it’s time to visit Burlington’s own Central Park labyrinth. We are blessed with some wonderful public gardens in Oakville and Burlington, and what better time to enjoy them than now, as the weather gets warmer and the spring blossom is at its best?
Burlington has 27 major parks located throughout the city, from the lakeshore right up to Kilbride. Many feature flowering, fragrant gardens and here are a few for you to choose from.
Royal Botanical Gardens
A renowned Burlington landmark, the RBG showcases the world’s largest lilac collection, a stunning iris garden, 3,000 rose bushes, 100,000 spring bulbs, 32 kilometres of trails, as well as Cootes Paradise, which is a wetland area at the westernmost point of Lake Ontario.
Hidden Valley Park
Definitely true to its name, once you discover this secretive gem it will become one of your favourites. Located in Aldershot, this secluded park has picnic areas, a playground and nature trails to explore.
Paletta Lakefront Park
Situated on 6.4 hectares, the Paletta Mansion (circa 1930) and estate features picturesque trails and perennial gardens and has been referred to as the “jewel in the crown” of Burlington’s waterfront. The park grounds are divided into two units: the formal and landscaped estate lands and the valley walls and flood plain area of Shoreacres creek. This area remains in its natural state.
Central Park & Labyrinth
Located in the heart of Burlington, the labyrinth is one of the first of its kind in a public space and is also one of the first wheelchair accessible labyrinths in Canada. A labyrinth is not a maze but an ancient, circular pattern with one single path to the centre and out again. It’s said to promote unity and wholeness and when explored, uses the creative and intuitive parts of the brain that promote calmness and balance. Central Park also has a beautiful rose and perennial garden in front of the band shell as well as community garden plots.
Oakville’s public parks are located throughout the town, from Bronte to Glen Abbey, and many of them feature beautiful gardens and landscaping. Here are a few to explore.
The Erchless Estate gardens were originally built for Emelda Beeler Chisholm in the 1920’s. Along the picturesque lakeside, stroll through the grounds and view the many points of historical interest.
Gairloch Gardens, consisting of a park and gallery in an old homestead, is located south of Lakeshore Road near Morrison Road. There are extensive rose gardens and 15,000 annuals that bloom between June and September.
The park has a playground and four perennial flowerbeds, which bloom from April to October, including an ornamental grass collection and 7,500 annuals.
Shell Park features more than 500 blooming roses and 10,000 annuals, and you can enjoy them any time from May to September. Other amenities include: a playground, off-leash dog park and community garden plots.
South Shell Waterfront Park
South Shell Waterfront Park is a definite hotspot for local birders who come here to see migrant birds when they make a stopover in the greater Hamilton area. It also features a fabulous playground and waterfront spaces for relaxation.
Time spent outdoors in general has many obvious health benefits, and children never pass up an opportunity to play at the park. The natural beauty that surrounds you in these parks will ensure a pleasant day for everyone.
Remember your camera!
By: Becky Dumais