Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Little More Christmas

Allan Gardens is no ordinary garden. It is situated in the heart of Toronto and is more than 150 years old. The garden and the main part of the property was donated by George William Allan, a one-time Mayor of Toronto and long-time Senator.

The park, one of the city's oldest (since 1858), is bounded by Jarvis Street on the west, Sherbourne Street on the east, Carlton Street on the north and Gerrard Street East on the south in Toronto's Garden District. In the centre of the park is a Victorian conservatory known as the Palm House, built in 1909 to replace the pavilion burned in 1902. Rare tropical plants from all over the globe are nurtured inside. Admission is free. 

The trees in the park represent the northern tip of the Carolinian forest with species such as black cherry, American beech, red oak, sugar maple and sassafras. Most are over one hundred years old. The park is home to three varieties of squirrel, the gray, the black, and, unique to this park, the red tailed black squirrel. The park is also home to the city's largest flock of pigeons, a roving peregrine falcon and a statue of Robert Burns. The University of Toronto greenhouse (1931) was moved to the site.

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