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The top 10 garden centres in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / April 22, 2012

Garden Centres TorontoGarden centres in Toronto are a gardener's best friend. Every great urban gardener will tell you that sourcing your plants and gardening supplies from a quality garden centre is key to your planting success. So what makes a good garden centre? A few key ingredients are imperative; a large selection of plants and/or other gardening essentials, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and a well-organized store, so even novice gardeners can find what they're looking for. With these criteria in mind, I scored the city in search of the best spots to get your garden on.

Check out my list of the top 10 garden centres in Toronto (in no particular order).

Bill's Garden Centre
903 Pape Avenue, 416.466.8283
Bill's Garden Centre has been a Danforth area staple since 1981. Don't be deceived by the smallish exterior. Once inside, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the large space and selection. The store carries plants, accessories, tools and raw materials like soils, fertilizers and plant care products. Bill's also offers a range of organic products and other nifty items like bird baths, trellises, benches and bird houses. Although a bit on the pricier side, the quality at Bill's is unbeatable.

East End Garden Centre
1395 Queen Street East, 416.469.4925
East End Garden Centre is a full service garden centre that literally bursts onto the sidewalk with an array of seasonal plants and accessories. In addition to annuals, perennials, plants, trees, shrubs and every type of gardening gear you could possibly think of, East End Garden Centre also carries hardware, electrical and plumbing supplies and offers landscaping services. Ask to visit the back lot for a seemingly endless supply of soil, mulch, wood chips and gravel. While parking may be a bit of an issue, staff will happily help you load your car, while you flip on your four-ways and hope not to be caught by the parking ticket vultures.

East of Eliza
1960 Gerrard Street East, 416.691.8038
A traditional florist shop with a hidden secret garden centre, East of Eliza is perfect for finding that pretty little something for a special event or a permanent fixture in your garden oasis. Owner Reed Russell is known for her earthy and whimsical approach to planter boxes and floral arrangements. She also offers landscaping services, and has been a Beaches (or the Beach) area favourite since 1988.

Fiesta Farms
200 Christie Street, 416.537.1244
Fiesta Farms offers grocery shopping and gardening all in one place. What could be better? Although most known as a great independent grocery store, that carries a variety of local and cultural foods from around the world, Fiesta Farms also boasts an awesome garden centre, which is open seasonally from April 1st to June 30th. A large selection of organic herbs can be purchased in the garden center to compliment whatever yummy delicacies suit your fancy in the grocery section.

Plant World
4000 Eglinton Avenue West, 416.241.9174
If you live in the west end and are in need of a gardening fix, Plant World is the place to be. With 5 acres of retail space, and year round greenhouses, this store truly has everything your green thumb is itching for. Plant World's location has remained a hub for the gardening crowd since its inception way back in 1889. The name was changed to Plant World in 1972 and has stuck since. The staff members at Plant World are knowledgeable and happy to offer free gardening tips to everyone, regardless of the colour of your thumbs.

Islington Nurseries
1000 Islington Aveneue, 416.503.3339
Islington Nurseries offers a well-rounded selection of seasonal plants and gardening accessories. The store includes 2500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, and online shopping is also available through their web-site. They are well-known for carrying a range of mature trees at reasonable prices. Or, if you want to literally "rock" your garden, head to Islington Nurseries' stone yard at 270 Evans Avenue for a large selection of landscaping materials and supplies.

Lee Valley Tools
590 King Street West, 416.366.5959 and two other locations
What good gardener is complete without a high-quality set of tools? Lee Valley Tools has three locations around the city that provide every possible gardening tool imaginable. From axes, hoes and rakes to trowels, mowers and shears; you name it, they have it. Lee Valley Tools has been family owned and operated since 1978. They have their own manufacturing division which makes the Veritas Tools line of merchandise for their store. They also carry 5000 different tools from other world-wide brands. Lee Valley also specializes in wood working tools and offers workshops for both wood working and gardening, like "Fundamentals of the Table Saw" and "Prune your Shrubs, Vines and Perennials". In-store seminars are hugely popular and sell-out quickly. Seminars are updated on their web-site, so if you are keen to attend, register early.

Veranda Home and Garden
2493 Yonge Street, 416.481.9998
Every great garden paradise needs appropriate furnishings to feel complete. Veranda Home and Garden, in the Young/Eglinton area, is a sweet little shop that boasts a wide variety of garden furniture and accessories. Veranda has turned the interior designer outdoors and gone wild. There's a variety of items to spice up an outdoor space, like fountains, outdoor rugs, and hand carved plaques. Garden décor consultations are also available and Veranda carries a range of unique and antique items. Indoor gifts, furnishings and accessories can also be found at the store.

Woodhill Garden Centre
320 Steeles Avenue East, 905.889.2917
In operation since 1976, Woodhill Garden Centre provides a variety of garden needs and services. The prices at Woodhill are generally a little cheaper than the average garden store and there is a wide selection of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines available. Woodhill also carries specialty products, tools and accessories. If your thumb is feeling a little less than green, they offer landscaping design and consulting services, or will make floral and planter arrangements for you.

Urban Harvest
1604 Queen Street West, 416.504.1653
For sustainable urban gardening that gives a nod to our "roots", Urban Harvest can't be beat. This seasonal store operates online when it's not gardening season. They carry a variety of heirloom, organic and non-genetically modified seeds and plants that you won't find in most other garden centers. Owner, Colette Murphy is committed to introducing people to the forgotten flavours of fruits, vegetables and herbs that have fallen out of favour with larger companies because they don't fit their narrow criteria. Urban Harvest takes the responsibility of urban gardening for food very seriously. Check out their website to read the "safe-seed pledge" which commits to not knowingly buying or selling genetically engineered seeds of plants. Urban Harvest products can also been found at farmer's markets around the city including, Dufferin Grove and Wynchwood Barns.

BONUS GARDEN CENTRE!

Grow It All Inc.
165 Geary Ave, 416.588.9595
For something a little different in the gardening sphere how about some hydroponics? Hydroponics is more than just the stuff your stoner cousin grew in his basement when you were a teenager (and if he's at all like mine, likely still does). Using nutrient rich solutions to replace soil allows plants to be grown in a variety of inert mediums, like gravel or stone-indoors or out. And Grow it All Inc. are the local experts in this process. As their name suggests, they will help you "grow it all" using hydroponic methods. They carry a wide range of starter kits and can help you grow tomatoes, peppers, herbs, flowers and mushrooms in a variety of unique and visually interesting arrangements. Visit their showroom to browse the large selection of seeds, plants, lights, grow systems and fans. While there, speak to the friendly staff, who will be happy to help you begin your hydroponic journey.

Writing by Julie Palmer

Discussion

47 Comments

Ron / April 22, 2012 at 09:17 am
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I love gardening! Great places all around.
chives / April 22, 2012 at 11:27 am
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No love for Sheridan Nurseries? :(
W. K. Lis / April 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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If you can't find something, head out to Humber Nurseries at 8386 Hwy. 50 in Brampton.
Kate / April 22, 2012 at 01:01 pm
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Evergreen Garden Market should be on the list- everything there has a native plants/ sustainable/ local/ recycled thing going on. And it's a social enterprise so everything you spend goes to support the community programming.

And it's real pretty!
Matt / April 22, 2012 at 09:42 pm
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I second going to Humber Nurseries if you have the means.
Damien / April 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm
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Don't go to Humber. I worked for the, they are horrible humans!

Or go, you shop at Walmart anyways.
me / April 23, 2012 at 12:04 am
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1604 Queen Street West threw me off as it's home to Coriander Girl (great florist), but upon checking the website it appears that they are sharing the space.
Steve / April 23, 2012 at 10:48 am
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Great write up, can't want to get planing this year.
Julie / May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am
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Just a note that the number you've listed for Bill's Garden Centre is incorrect. It's actually 416-466-8283. Thanks very much for this list!
janet / May 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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Do any of these centres do delivery? I am currently carless and not sure how a taxi will take to carrying bags of manure potting soil and plants around. Or any other centres that deliver?

Janet

Aldo Tumino / May 26, 2012 at 04:01 am
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How about me? or Summerhill ?

Tumino's Garden Centre
271 Scarlett Road
Toronto, ON M6N 4L1
TEL.(416) 762-9644
FAX.(416) 762-1988
Sandora / July 10, 2012 at 12:23 am
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I live nearby and don't find most folks that work there are friendly or helpful. I'm a walk in customer ie, I don't have a 4 WHEEL VEHICLE. I get the feeling that they will cater to those with cars.
I know they're up in arms about the current construction affecting they're business, so I made it a point of shopping there for that reason. I do like to support local independant retailers... I hate Walmart etc...
I just want to grow some food and beutify my neighbourhood with flowers! I'm want to support this local busineess, BUT!
sandora / July 10, 2012 at 12:36 am
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Ooops, sorry about the above comment.
This in regards to East End Garden centre.
BTW, if they could provide thoughtful bunches of fresh cut flowers, then I wouldn't need to resort to Loblaws!!
John / August 24, 2012 at 08:31 pm
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In Mississauga, I head to Toemar's Garden Supplies (http://www.toemar.ca). Although not a traditional garden centre where flowers are sold, these guys sell everything else to make your garden or flowers grow well. I always go to them for my organic veggie topsoil. The quality of soil is reflected in the growth of my flowers and vegetables. I also can't complain about the price as it is quite competitive and sometimes quite a bit better than your local home depot or canadian tire.
grace / November 14, 2012 at 08:08 pm
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Jay's Garden is a downtown legend that attracts celebrities and regular people alike. They are extremely friendly and their plants are of excellent quality. The prices are some of the lowest you will get in the city.
Ignacio / December 26, 2012 at 12:02 am
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Thanks for your article. One other thing is the fact individual states have their own personal laws that affect householders, which makes
it quite difficult for the the legislature to come up with a fresh set of recommendations concerning property foreclosures on people.
The problem is that every state offers own laws which may have impact
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Jeanette Janzen / May 26, 2013 at 04:41 pm
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I checked out East End last year when I lived down the street. Although it is really great for variety, the service I experienced was pretty abysmal. I was alone in the back lot and needed to ask a question. Apparently, if they're watering the plants you shouldn't disturb them. I said excuse me to a woman while she watered the hanging baskets so I could ask her if she could point me in the direction of the petunias and she actually said, "What?" with an exasperated tone. So I told her never mind and that she was obviously too busy to make a sale, put down all of the plants I had chosen and left.

Sorry, East End - I like to support local businesses but not if they're going to treat me like crap.
Bianca Mercuri / May 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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Tumino's in Etobicoke has the best assortment of veggies I've ever seen! Good prices too.
Rita / May 31, 2013 at 12:52 am
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Humber Nurseries is my version of Disneyland! I could easily spend a whole weekend there. My only problem is how can a GTA downtowner without a car get there? I've tried researching some public transport routes without any luck. If anyone has any tips on this, please leave a comment. (I was also really sad to read the negative review by the ex-Humber employee above, but hopefully they've changed?)

I also wanted to give a shout out to Sheridan Nurseries! Several of their locations are easily accessible by subway/bus and they also carry a large variety of indoor houseplants (I just picked up some great looking air plants today). The staff at Yonge/Lawrence location is incredibly knowledgable and very helpful. One of my favourite midtown destinations.
frank agostino / June 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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All Great Thank You . Dont forget all those little variety stores that sell veggies and flowers during the summer . you will find the same plants that the guys above have but for way less .. there are a few great ones along oakwood ave. between rogers and vaughn . go get your hands dirty .
Alex replying to a comment from Jeanette Janzen / June 29, 2013 at 02:20 pm
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Had a similar experience. I wonder if it was the same lady? She couldn't be bothered to exchange simple pleasantries and our basil ended up being crap :(
Shay replying to a comment from Aldo Tumino / July 7, 2013 at 10:26 am
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We have gone to Tumino's for years, they are lovely knowledgeable people and Silvana's very creative with containers and planters. Small shop but very helpful and friendly.
Shay replying to a comment from Aldo Tumino / July 7, 2013 at 10:34 am
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It is also worth it for everyone to take drives (and invite friends who don't have cars or vehicles but love plants and car rides) and drive a little outside of our/your city, not long 30 - 45 minutes and you will run into great independent and family run nurseries and plant farms all along county roads and highways, and smaller 2 lane highways (115/35 Freskiws, on highway 7 in Madoc the Madoc garden centre but along 7 there have got to be a dozen family/independent vendors) and you will be amazed at the unique, quality and reasonable priced products you can find.

After passing the Madoc garden centre on my work trips back and forth to Ottawa from Toronto, I finally stopped after 4 years....so glad I did....I got a beautiful Cherokee Chief Dogwood that was in bloom and was so beautiful, I snatched it up on the spot and talk about reasonable priced....that made me realized how much I was missing by not stopping and taking a few minutes to smell the "roses" rather than being worried about the drive time. Now I take different routes all the time in hopes of visiting or stopping at a new place. Just never know what you will find. Fern Peonies, Cherokee Chief Dogwoods...the list goes on..lol.
mery / July 12, 2013 at 06:25 pm
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ill try to find a cherry tree in special give me some tips please thanks
dc / October 11, 2013 at 03:20 pm
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The guy at 165 geary street was nothing short of awesome, went to get supplies, he was very helpful, lots of info and patience for a somewhat newbie green thumb, and even makes his own nutrients! Thats dedication, and the prices were super good.
Leen / October 16, 2013 at 09:23 am
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Hi I am looking for a potted white orchids, where can we get a cheap one? Somewhere in Scarborough perhaps? We need about 20. Thanks guy:)
Safe.mn / October 25, 2013 at 07:58 am
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The Atlantic Coast Anglers Count Derby will determine winners
based on self-reported documentation of the bass - can be done either in salt water, fishing rod building youtube fresh water
or in whatever aquatic form. The nnew issue of Northwest Fly Fishing may be of interest.
alasbarricadas.org / October 25, 2013 at 09:46 am
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Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious
if you knew of any community forums that cover the
same topics discussed in this article? I'd really like to be
a part of group where I can get advice from other knowledgeable
people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please
let me know. Appreciate it!
kleinburg nursery / December 18, 2013 at 07:37 am
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3 acre Garden centre at 27 & Rutherford... One stop shop for
everything , They deliver everthing and anything they sell.
Large selection of b&b trees , perennials, shrubs , speciman type plants . They have a aggregiate yard which sells all yard building base material from screening to 3/4 clear , mulches , 500 bushcords of firewood available at the lowest cost in the city .... the staff is very freindly and knowledgeable ... Kleinburg Nursery also installs everything they sell, no landscaping job to big or to small...check them out
Mina / December 23, 2013 at 10:41 am
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What garden centers among these have the best selection of roses? I want something within the vicinity of Toronto.
Alex / January 6, 2014 at 02:38 am
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I found a Gem! A new garden center which opened this year and it is WONDERFUL! it is on Carlaw I think the exact address is 4 Carlaw ave. It is called BEECH NURSERY. The staff is so helpful, the prices are fair and they have a very large variety of plants and even mature trees, they also delivered everything to my house (so convenient as I don't drive) I have a dog and they are pet friendly and allowed my dog to join me. Susan and Michael were a great help and gave me great advice. I cant wait until this spring. Thank you BEECH NURSERY for coming to the BEACHES!
Daniel / February 12, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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I am doing a free ticket giveaway to the Home and Garden show if anyone wants!
http://www.tophousesforsaleintoronto.com/#!Toronto-Home-and-Garden-Show-Free-Tickets-Give-Away/cllt/3AD2E33B-FECB-4ABB-A886-D02225230033
Trudy / February 16, 2014 at 05:27 am
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Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as
yours lol
ioa replying to a comment from kleinburg nursery / February 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm
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Hello, Do you know their phone number? It's impossible to find them online...
Thanks!
ioa
diy crafts with duck tape / March 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm
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I am genuinely thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this great
post at at this time.
joyce jones / April 9, 2014 at 05:11 pm
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Does anyone know where I can find plastic tulips. They used to be made in Concord Ontario. Thanks
Lon Hope replying to a comment from Alex / April 11, 2014 at 02:57 pm
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Hi, I looked at their website, I am looking for herb and berrie plants. I couldn't tell if they carried them on their site.
Do you know if they do?
tutu / May 10, 2014 at 09:25 pm
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Hi, I am looking for Royal Star Magnolias tree to plant into my garden this year, but cannot find it anywhere :( Dose anyone know where I may find one? I greatly appreciate your help!
dw / May 15, 2014 at 08:36 pm
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Down 2 Earth at Parklawn south of Queensway in Etobicoke (JUST barely in Etobicoke) has a pretty good selection of annuals and perennials for city folk. http://www.down2earthgardencentre.com/
Laura / May 20, 2014 at 09:22 am
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Would be great to have this list updated! The Fiesta Farms garden centre number is incorrect as it turns out, it's 416-537-1244
derek / May 23, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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Where can I find flowerbox holders that clamp over balcony railings? Could anyone help me:-)
Alli VB replying to a comment from Alex / May 23, 2014 at 03:00 pm
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Just went to East End today...must have had the same lady! Now, I profess to knowing nothing about gardening, and I was upfront about that, but there's nothing quite like feeling like an idiot in front of other people in line.

I ended up buying compost at Home Depot. Damn it.
joe bob / May 30, 2014 at 02:04 pm
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I think the sunvalley ay birchmount and danforth rd is fantastic especially for the various veggies and great prices
amanda vanhart / June 1, 2014 at 05:45 pm
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Don't forget to support local farmers from Ontario this season at one of Toronto's many Farmers' Markets!
VanHarts All Organic attends City Place, Bloor & Borden, as well as Liberty Village! All of our produce is hand picked and brought to you only a couple hours before market!
NW / June 2, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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Down 2 Earth is great! and they are open all year round, great quality plants and garden needs it's family run with awesome customer service - I go to them for all my gardening needs and I own two garden balcony's they pay attention to the height/sun exposure etc. even grabbed a great water feature that fits perfectly! http://www.down2earthgardencentre.com/
Lee replying to a comment from sandora / June 9, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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Wow, you have a hate on for corporate stores by the looks of your postings. "I hate Walmart". "Then I wouldn't have to buy my flowers at Loblaws"....
Same here / June 24, 2014 at 03:49 pm
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Just wanted to chime in on the East End Garden Centre - their service is really awful. I called to ask a simple question and the person on the phone was SO rude.

Considered calling back and asking for a manager, but judging by the other comments here... I just won't give them my money.

Two major thumbs down for the East End Garden Centre at 1395 Queen Street E.

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