The London Civic Gardens, operated by the “Friends of the London Civic Garden Complex”:https://friendslcgc.com/, are tucked away at the corner of Springbank Drive and Wonderland Road South, connected to the path system along the Thames River in London, Ontario. I first came across it in winter. It was about -20 Celsius outside but it was +25 Celsius inside the Manness Conservatory when I went in to warm up. The conservatory is open to the public for free from noon until 2:40 pm Monday to Friday unless there is a private function happening in the building. From April to December it’s also open on Sundays and holidays from noon to 3:30 pm. The conservatory is 1954 square feet and full of lush plants, trees and a pond for fish and turtles. There are some seats if you are looking for a quiet spot inside though it might be too warm to linger for long.
I recently made a return trip to see the gardens in summer. They were a riot of colour. The Rayner memorial Rose Garden has a bust of Ludwig von Beethoven in honour of Michael Vernon Rayner, a music teacher and church organist. I also found a children’s memorial garden in the woods. Much of the pathway along this part of the river is through mature trees so there is a lot of shade on hot days. It is only in the gardens where there is a lot of sun out in the open.
The parking lot can often be full, especially if there is a private function occurring in the hall next to the conservatory. However, you can easily park either in the lot past the Civic Centre at East Springbank Gate on Springbank Drive or in one of the lots on Wonderland Road South north of Springbank Drive (Springbank Gardens Community Centre) and walk over to the gardens along the Maurice Chapman Walkway, it isn’t far.