Some of the most beautiful gems can be found in the most unlikely places. Humber Arboretum is the flower of the ravine system and parkland of the Humber River, tended to perfection by the horticulture experts of Humber College. In this botanical garden, everywhere you look you will find amazing variety of beautiful landscaping – flowers and greenery, stone and natural wood, pond with fish and water lilies, running water and mini waterfalls, gazebos and bridges, arches and benches, and a majestic hilltop towering over the land. A true photography paradise.
Ceremonies. The Arboretum also offers its grounds for wedding ceremonies of up to 100 guests. There are a few spaces that are particularly suited to a ceremony: stone archway space (up to 100 guests), wooden deck overlooking the pond (up to 50 guests), and a stone site inside the forest (up to 50 guests). You may find others that will suit your group, and the Arboretum will work with you to make it possible. In case of inclement weather, there is backup space inside the Centre for Urban Ecology with its panoramic views of the woodland around.
Indoors. The Centre for Urban Ecology itself is LEED Gold certified (which means that it exhibits leadership in energy and environmental design), and features some cool ways to conserve water (roof collects rainwater for subsequent use) and control internal climate (roof’s awning has slits positioned at the right angle so as to offer shade from the summer sun, but let in the light and the warmth of the winter sun).
Entertainment. The Arboretum conducts tours of the area’s forests and meadows, and teaches the environmental principles employed in the construction of the Centre. It also offers ecological team building activities (such as an egg drop challenge which requires team to design and build, out of natural materials found on hand, a case that would protect an egg during a fall; or a raft race, which challenges teams to design and build rafts for a competition on Humber river).
Suitability. The Arboretum is a little-known garden that offers engaged couples great beauty at a great value. The venue only schedules one wedding ceremony per day, although multiple couples come for photography (permit required). It is easily accessible by highways (427, 401, 407 or highway 7) and has ample parking (all of it free on the weekends). The ceremony can be scheduled any time before sunset (ie, before 6pm). The venue allows ceremonies to include live music or a DJ (with the volume to be kept reasonable). The only downside is the proximity to Pearson International Airport, which may mean some sound interference during certain airplane take-offs and landings, the frequency of which will depend on the day and the weather.
Cost – as of August 2018. A ceremony for less than 50 guests will cost $565 (plus HST), and a ceremony for up to a 100 guests will cost $1,300 (plus HST). Chairs will be provided. Photography permit cost will be included in your ceremony fee. If you are not doing a ceremony at the venue, photography permit would cost you $250 (plus HST) (with a discount between October and May).