Cloud Gardens Conservatory
14 Temperance Street (Richmond St. W.)
Land given to the City in the 1980s, Conservatory re-opened 2015: .6 acres
Known for: Best garden in the middle of the financial district skyscrapers!
The Cloud Gardens Conservatory evokes a tropical cloud forest. Situated over a parking garage entrance, it is a unique urban oasis amidst office towers in Toronto's busy downtown core. Wheelchair accessible, this indoor garden is truly a tranquil escape. It includes a monument, multiple storeys of bridges, a conservatory, perennial trees and garden beds and a waterfall.
Recognized with a Governor General's Architectural Award, it features an award-winning design and a monument to Toronto's construction workers.
The Cloud Gardens Conservatory sits on land given to the city in the 1980?s when the Bay Adelaide Centre was constructed. There were major renovations in 2014 to address the newly built office towns in the area. The Conservatory was provided with a new climate control system and grow lights because of the shading. Improvements also include a better misting system and a new monorail to help maintain the mechanics and vertical wall gardens. Soil amendments and new plantings further help to simulate a Cloud Forest habitat.
This small urban park contains several theme areas, which are explained on the plaques along the central path. The plant collection includes tree ferns, palms and other exotic plants, which provide colour and interest year round. The sloped floor, ramped walkways, and catwalk inside the Conservatory, extend the opportunities for viewing and reinforce the sense that everything leads upwards in the park, like going up into the cloud.
The park features a monument to the construction workers who have built the city over the years. Created by artist Margaret Priest, each trade union is represented by a panel in the monument that is representative of their specific materials and expertise.