Nestled in the heart of Toronto sits one of the oldest parks in the city. What started in 1858 as a five acre gift from George Allan, a prominent local politician, to the Toronto Horticultural Society has become a place that has entrenched itself deeply into the history and lore of this great city. After a disastrous fire in 1902 leveled the original structure, this dome was built in 1910. It has since grown to six greenhouses and a sprawling 16,000 sq. feet. It houses an amazing permanent collection of exotic plants from around the world. Walking through any of the six greenhouses gives you the feeling of being somewhere else, just for a moment. From the tropics to the desert each greenhouse has it’s own unique climate and foliage mixed with a bit of whimsical creativity, all to make for a wonderful experience and a guaranteed smile. This wonderful place is open 365(366 this year) days a week and the best part is it’s free! They also offer free parking. As I left I came across this small band of good Samaritans that offered me and everyone that came by a free meal, cup of tea and perhaps an upgrade on warm clothing. All in all, truly a gem etched into the Toronto landscape and well worth the visit. So, if the greyness of a Toronto winter is giving you the blues and you need to lift your spirits celebrate winter with a visit to the Conservatory. You will be glad you did! As always enjoy Toronto.