For those who live in Quebec (and even for those who don’t) when you think of a botanical garden the first one that comes to mind is the famous Botanical Garden and Insectarium found in Montreal. Though this huge garden is spectacular and stunning, it isn’t the only one in the province worth visiting. Hidden away in the small town of Kingsey Falls about a two hour drive away from Montreal is the Parc Marie Victorin. Though much smaller in size compared to the Montreal botanical gardens it is still unique and worth the visit.
This garden opened it’s doors in 1985 and was inspired by the late Father Marie Victorin who was a well known and respected scientist in Kingsey Falls. Over the years the park has continued to expand to include more and more areas to visit and is now home to thousands of different types of plants and flowers to discover. The park is divided into six different sections and are the bird garden, wetland garden, giant’s route, trail of curiosities, health garden, and the waterfall garden. There is also a greenhouse filled with tropical plants and birds to discover.
During the high season which falls between June 21 and September 22, the entry fee for an adult is $18.25. It does get a bit cheaper if you visit earlier in the spring or in the fall but personally I thought that this was still a steep price considering the fact that you can visit the Montreal Botanical Gardens for only $15.25 (for Quebec residents) for a much larger scale garden.
After spending the day wandering through the gardens, there are still many more things to do and explore before you head home. One of these is the general store found just a top the hill facing the greenhouse. Here you will find antiques and an employee dressed in time period clothing ready to explain everything to you. You can also spend a few minutes relaxing in a shaded area surrounded by trees and plants that include hammocks and picnic tables, a great place to sit down and have a snack or enjoy your lunch.
Be sure to also pay a visit to the gift shop found in the entry building where you can shop for post cards, knick knacks, and plenty of other souvenirs. The staff that we encountered at the entry were also very helpful and friendly and took the time to explain the map of the park in depth. Another great addition to the Parc Marie Victorin is the bistro restaurant known as ‘Le Nectar’ where you can grab a bite to eat and relax after spending the day in the gardens. The bistro has a terrace which overlooks a portion of the gardens and includes menu items such as fresh salads and sandwiches as well as a variety of drinks.
Here are a few more shots that were taken during my visit to the park that will surely inspire you to make a trip out here. Be sure to visit the Parc Marie-Victorin’s website to plan your trip or for more information.