The Allan Gardens Conservatory, situated on the quaintly named Horticultural Avenue (at Carlton between Jarvis and Sherbourne), is a surprising oasis in the middle of a desert of asphalt and high-rises. Until January 1st, the Conservatory is host to the Christmas Flower Show 2006, where visitors can stroll through a sea of poinsettias and check out a Rudolph fashioned out of plants. A Christmas soundtrack is piped throughout the connected greenhouses, and if you go during the special evening hours between 5 and 7pm from now until the 23rd, and the 26th to the 30th, you get the added bonus of browsing by candlelight.
The Centennial Park Conservatory, at 151 Elmcrest Road in Etobicoke, is also hosting the Christmas Flower Show until January 14th, and has evening hours on the same dates as Allan Gardens.
With holiday preparations in full swing, the show is a perfect respite from all the frenzy. Admission is free.
Photo by Carly Beath.