Garden of the Provinces and Territories

This garden commemorates the union of Canada’s provinces and territories. Its design includes a mixture of long-flowering and strong-stemmed perennials, as well as ornamental grasses, mimicking the landscape of the prairies, the tundra, and rocky shorelines of Canada’s coasts.

The Garden of the Provinces and Territories is one of Canada’s foremost Modernist landscapes. Proposed in the Gréber Plan of 1950 and designed in 1960 by landscape architect Donald W. Graham (1930-2017), the Garden of the Provinces was created to celebrate the provinces of Confederation in anticipation of Canada’s centennial year. In 2005, it became known as the Garden of the Provinces and Territories.

Construction began in early October of 1961. The Garden was officially opened by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker on September 25, 1962.

The Garden is composed of two parts: a one-acre park of formal terraces and plantings at the corner of Sparks and Bay streets, and an adjacent 4-acre park with a picturesque landscape of lawns and plantings sloping westward.

The terraces were organized so they can be viewed, approached, and enjoyed from several different angles and vantage points. The large upper terrace was designed as a rigorous grid pattern of raised planting beds and trees, and surface patterns of concrete aggregate pavers bordered by smooth finished limestone.

On the west side of the upper terrace is a sculptural fountain entitled Great Lakes, designed by landscape architect Emil G. Vandermeulen with consulting engineers Adjeleian and Associates.

The most prominent element of the lower terrace is the stainless-steel water sculpture entitled Tree Fountain, created by Montreal sculptor Norman Slater. Spouts of water pour into a pool, flowing beneath stepping stones into a larger pool where the sculpture stands 6 metres tall as a symbol of Canada’s forests.

The individual provinces and territories are represented by bronze plaques and floral insets mounted to the inner face of the granite balustrades, and groupings of provincial, territorial and Canadian flags flying atop 40-foot bronze flag poles.

Between 2004 and 2009, the fountains and the masonry of the garden were restored and accessible ramps connecting the terraces and the street were added. The Coat of Arms was also updated, and the site became known as The Garden of the Provinces and Territories.

In 2015, the NCC added 10,000 plants to the site, representative of species found across Canada’s provinces and territories. The Garden of the Provinces and Territories lives on as one of Canada’s most important landscape designs of the modern era.
Area: Central


Wellington Street west of Bay Street, Ottawa | Bounded by Wellington Street to the north and west, Bay Street to the east, Sparks Street to the south




Street Parking

Partially Wheelchair Accessible

Child Friendly

Dog Friendly (on leash)