Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doors Open Toronto: Allan Gardens Conservatory

Pictures by Kayla Jonas

According to the Doors Open Website:

152 years ago, George William Allan (1822-1901) offered a 5 acre oval-shaped parcel of land to the Toronto Horticultural Society. This generous act of private sector philanthropy was a legacy for the citizens of Toronto. In 1902 a fire destroyed the original 1878 Pavillion. The new Palm House was designed by City Architect, Robert McCallum and constructed in 1910.

The design suggests a move toward Modernism at the end of the Victorian era. The steel structure guaranteed that it would last considerably longer than any of its wooden predecessors. Plants from the original Palm House were transfered into the New Palm House in 1910. It should be noted that the Palm House is perhaps the 7th oldest structure of its kind in North America. Additions to the Palm House were made by the Lord and Burnham Greenhouse Company in 1924 and 1957. In 2004, the header house of the former Univeristy of Toronto Research Greenhouse was relocated to Allan Gardens. This greenhouse has become the focus of the Children's garden programme.

For more information on Allan Gardens see the Toronto Botanical Garden Website

Stay tuned this week for pictues of other Doors Open Propeties including: the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the Coach Hosue Press.

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