As spring finally shows its long-overdue face, some Torontonians' thoughts are turning dirty; yes, it's only a couple of weeks to the May long weekend, generally considered the start of gardening season. If your green thumb is getting itchy, why not check out one of Toronto's independent garden centres? Curbed has put together a list of contenders; feel free to add your favourites in the comments.Read More
Dig This! 9 of Toronto's Best Indie Garden Centres
Bill's Garden Centre
Bill's has been operating in the Danforth and Pape area since 1981 and there are gardeners who travel to it from all over the region. Great selection. Prices aren't as low as some stores, but staff are really knowledgeable. Bonus: store cat.
With 9 centres around the GTA, Sheridan's almost too big to be called an indie any more. They have an incredible variety of plants, including lots of native species, and a huge selection of trees.
East End Garden Centre
A Leslieville staple for almost 35 years, East End's stock spills out onto the sidewalk in front of the shop and for half the block in either direction. Prices and selection are good, especially for perennials and herbs. The staff are gruff (even surly, some might say) but business is never slow even so. EEGC is also a great spot for Christmas trees, not that anyone wants to think about that right now.
One of the best locations to get vegetable and herb plants as well as flowers and ornamentals. Lots of trees, including native species. Not always the best place for a neophyte gardener, as the staff are often grocery-store employees who aren't necessarily up on gardening knowledge, but a solid and well-stocked centre.
East of Eliza
A flower shop/garden centre combo. East of Eliza specializes in less-common native species like trillium and hepatica. A well-curated selection and a knowledgeable owner. Worth the trip out to the Upper Beaches.
Jay's Garden Centre
Surprisingly well-stocked centre that's nestled alongside a Regent Park sushi restaurant. Aisles are cramped and service is sometimes brusque, but prices and selection are great.
Open since 1972, Etobicoke's Plant World has five acres of indoor and outdoor shopping. Lots of plants, lots of garden decor and accent pieces. Plenty of parking.
Davenport Garden Centre
Urban gardens a speciality. Along with the various perennial and annual plants, DGC has lots of herbs and vegetables, including a good selection of heirloom tomatoes. Organic soils and fertilizers, too. (Note: second location opening soon at Bayview and Davisville)
Beech Nursery is a newcomer on the Toronto garden scene, but last year's launch season proved there's always room in the market for more specialty garden stockists. Staff is helpful and savvy, and if there's a plant you're looking for they'll try to order it in.