Carleton University Gardens

Situated on unceded Algonquin territory beside the historic Rideau Canal, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, Carleton University was founded by the community in 1942 to meet the needs of veterans returning from the Second World War.

There are three gardens you can visit:

1. Nesbitt Greenhouses
Carleton University has one of the best university greenhouse complexes in Canada. This facility is used for research, teaching and display to the general public. The greenhouses hold comprehensive plant collection of several thousand specimens ranging from popular crop species such as corn, soybean, papaya, banana and sugarcane to some quite unusual desert specimens. Welwitschia, usually found only in the Namib desert regions of South West Africa, resides in our own desert room.

Climate controlled display houses simulating tropical and temperate environments, 18 houses containing teaching and research material and a number of controlled environment chambers and rooms all make up approximately 10,000 square feet of a unique research, teaching and learning environment.

The Biology Department greenhouses were built in the late 1960s, and were designed with the help of Dr. John Webb, Dr. George Setterfield, Dr. Frank Wightman, and Hank Datema, who was curator of the greenhouses until his retirement in the fall of 1995. Originally, the facilities consisted of three display houses and 18 houses dedicated to teaching and research. When the Environmental Laboratories Biology Annex (ELBA) building was expanded, one of the display houses was removed.

The greenhouses provide its users with all the growing facilities and plant material required for research and teaching year-round. Undergraduate students are introduced to the greenhouses at the first year level and can continue to use the facilities in more advanced studies of plant morphology, biochemistry, biotechnology, physiology and plant/animal interactions, just to name a few.

The display houses are open to the public for self-guided tours (Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Garden plot facilities are also available and in use by various institutions

2. Kitiganensag Community Garden
The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) runs this garden, located just north of Leeds House, beside Parking Lot P6.

The GSA also worked with the Aboriginal community – calling the garden Kitigànensag, meaning “Little Gardens.” The GSA is trying to work as allies with the Aboriginal community on campus. The campus falls on Algonquin territory.

Duncan Watt, vice-president (Finance and Administration) at Carleton, says the garden fits with the university’s desire to become a more sustainable organization.

“It’s a wonderful addition to the Carleton community,” said Watt. “In particular, I want to thank the GSA for their perseverance and for making this happen.”

MacNeil said the garden is open to all on campus, and students, faculty and staff can each grow and harvest their own plot. “We’d love to see more food growing on campus and promote (the garden) as a place for everyone.’’

3. Richcraft Hall Vertical Garden
The living wall is located in the three-story atrium of Richcraft Hall (formerly the River building), overlooking the scenic Rideau River. The building has achieved a five out of five Green Globes rating for sustainable design. The wall can treat 5,725 cfm of air while beautifying the indoor space.
Area: Central


1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6




Parking $

Partially Wheelchair Accessible