Silver and Gold Magazine Spring 2015 - Page 12

OUTDOORS REJUVENATING ICONIC ROCK GARDEN Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is in the midst of the single largest project in its 80-plus year history with the rejuvenation of its famous Rock Garden. The $20 million dollar project aims to transform the Rock Garden into a year-round tourist destination and corporate facility, resulting in economic growth to the Golden Horseshoe region. Once an unsightly gravel pit adjacent to Hamilton’s major point of entry from Toronto, the Rock Garden was a centrepiece of an ambitious Depression-era project to beautify the entrance to Hamilton. Construction started in 1929, and was carried out by relief workers. The rock-work was quarried out of Red Hill Valley and brought to the site, rock by rock. Other than the construction of the tea house in the 1960s, the Rock Garden has not received any significant investment since its completion in 1931. The new Rock Garden will showcase a new entrance with artistic natural features and will consolidate admissions, washrooms and visitor information into one structure. 12 New paths with gentle grades to the floor of the Rock Garden will make the garden accessible to guests who have difficulty with steps and steep grades new seating areas will provide optimal viewing experiences of new floral displays. Renovations will include extensive water features and three new garden areas along with new perennial and spring gardens and a flowering shrub collection, aimed to extend the visitor experience throughout the entire growing season. In a ][ۋ