A Visit to Canadensis at the Experimental Farm

Canadensis Ottawa
Canadensis Ottawa
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Between Hartwell’s Locks, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and Prince of Wales is a small corner of land that is being used for Canadensis, a small botanical exhibit with several art installations themed around nature. Karen and I have been cycling past it dozens of times and recently we finally decided to park our bikes to check it out. (It’s free after all). We had noticed the banner from the road, but we were always on our way to something or someone. It is a true gem.

Canadensis Ottawa art installation
Canadensis Ottawa art installation: the poles have holes for bees to hang out it. The flowers are buzzing with bees.

Access is from the Experimental Farm pathway that leads off Prince of Wales towards the Hartwell’s Locks. For orientation purposes, this is just west of the tower at Carleton U.

Canadensis –according to the website- is “a magical botanic place where visitors can enrich their lives with unique learning experiences that excite and stimulate the senses.”

The official Canadensis logo
The official Canadensis logo source: Canadensis website

In 2016, Canadensis Botanical Garden Society partnered with the Canada Council Art Bank to present outdoor works by a group of artists who created installations in response to three outdoor sculptures on loan from the Art Bank collection. “Beyond the Edge: Artists’ Gardens” is installed on part of the site designated for the future Garden of Canada.

The gigantic oak tree welcomes you
The gigantic oak tree welcomes you

On the ground it is more a typical Eastern Ontario rural landscape, but with five art installations surrounding a small cornfield. Every installation is heavily leaning on nature (obviously) and panels explain what the art is about, who has made it and what was intended.

Wooden art installation

I am not going to copy the text from the panels, for you can go yourself and explore it. It is probably about a 500 meter walk and you will discover some nice spots. It is wheelchair accessible, but after a rain fall it might be hard work. I recommend you go at the end of the day, say around 5- 5:30pm, when the light is softer and the sun emits that golden hue. Take the bike, or if you don’t have access to a bike, pick up a VeloGo bike at the Dow’s Lake station and cycle along the canal towards the Hartwell’s Locks and then follow the gravel-ish path uphill towards Prince of Wales. It is on your right hand (north side). Banners will give it away too.

Berry Bush

Bee poles at Canadensis


Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa
Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa
Unpaved road at Canadensis
It feels like the path to Blue Skies in Calendon, but it is right off Prince of Wales Drive
Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa
Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa. The Sumac behind it is turning red now. The pyramids are filled with sedum.
There is a tiny vegetable patch with zucchini, Swiss Chard and unripe tomatoes.
There is a tiny vegetable patch with Zucchini, Swiss Chard and unripe tomatoes.

Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa

Tiny Pond at Canadensis
Tiny pond
Honeysuckle at Canadensis
It looks like the logo was inspired by this honeysuckle.

Art installation at Canadensis Ottawa

Nature at Canadensis

More on the Canadensis website and more on vegetable gardens in Ottawa here.

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