This Saturday in December was the most fun. Last minute, my fiancé and I drove to Toronto for the day. We haven’t had much time to take off just the two of us this season like we usually do, so this low-key adventure was just what we needed.
We started with breakfast treats at St. Lawrence market, then wandered over to the Eaton Centre, then on to people watching in Nathan Phillips Square. In the afternoon, we visited the Allan Gardens Conservatory for the first time, which was a pretty neat way to warm up. And of course, the Christmas Market was the main event as the sky darkened and the lights turned on. Pretzels, cider, and pastries—yes, please!
I thought I’d share a little photo tour of the gardens with you. If you have the time, you need to visit in person! For now, I hope these photos offer a bit of nature therapy in winter’s cold.
Nate captured all these images (I’m amazed at how good he is at this now!) and I edited them.
Nature therapy is the idea that nature can heal modern ailments. Different areas of science study their own applications, but the high-level theory suggests regular exposure to nature can improve our mental health, gut health, immune health, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard something along those lines before? I wrote in detail on the subject for a client’s blog (not yet published, but I will link here when it is) and I found it interesting because it makes so much sense!
The Allan Gardens are amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never visited this place before. After just a few minutes inside the gray day slipped away to be replaced with repetitive “I’m having so much fun!” squeals from me and grins from Nate. We walked through all five greenhouses—there is a significant difference in the climates between each ranging from tropical humidity for the to desert dry. Each new room is full of different types of plants: succulents, orchids, bamboo, bananas—if you can dream it, it’s there.
The best part? It’s all free. I can’t wait to visit again when the outdoor gardens are in bloom!
Walking around on a Saturday is one of our favourite activities—right up there with hiking and hanging out with our pup.
There’s something so calming about intentionally wandering with only half a plan. Even when the streets are busy, our world feels quiet. Just me and him soaking it in. We’ve both had a full few months and are looking forward to a bit of down time over the holidays, and I think this day was just what we needed.
This last photo was a team effort: my idea to play with the frame of leaves in the Allan Gardens Conservatory, my fiancé’s eye caught me at the exact right moment, then my preset in Lightroom. I’m a word girl first and he’s a musician, but I think we’re getting the hang of this photo thing.
Have you been to the gardens? Share your favourite greenhouse below!
As always, I hope you’re well.
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