Experimental Farm in Ottawa

The Experimental Farm in Ottawa – it is the country farm right in the City of Ottawa.

In 1886 the Canadian federal Department of Agriculture needed a central agricultural research station, the Experimental Farm was established, and ever since Ottawa, Ontario Canada is the only national capital city in the world to have a working farm right in the heart of the city.

Yes, it is only in Ottawa, Canada that you can find a scene as shown in the photo below, right near the center of the city.

The experimental farm in Ottawa is an active research facility and a National Historic Site, requiring some careful management to allow it to fulfill both roles.

Barn at the experimental farm in Ottawa

As a National Historical Site the experimental farm welcomes both the citizens of Ottawa and guests to tour the facility. Things to do include seeing the:

  • Arboretum
  • Ornamental Gardens
  • Greenhouses
  • Heritage Buildings
  • Canada Agriculture Museum

The Arboretum

The Arboretum, a lovely 26 hectares in size nestled between the Experimental Farm and the Rideau Canal, offers drive or walk through convenience to see a variety of well established trees, some planted in the experimental farm in 1889. Or, you can park at one of the spots to wander the grounds, perhaps have a picnic, or just relax among the beautiful trees.

Experimental Farm Arboretum Lookout

Experimental Farm Arboretum Lookout

The Arboretum is open to the visiting public from sunup to sundown year round, and there is no charge to visit and enjoy the grounds.

When you visit The Arboretum, and if you are a Hosta fan, try not to miss the walking tour of the Hosta Garden located on the Arboretum grounds. Though it was spring when I was last there, and though none of the Hostas were in bloom, I think these pictures will show that it is still a beautiful spot to visit.

experimental farm hosta garden in Ottawa

Ottawa Experimental Farm hosta gardens

Ornamental Gardens

Depending on the time of the year, the Ornamental Gardens are just glorious, a small glimpse which you can see from the picture below.

Ornamental gardens at Ottawa Experimental Farm

It was a gorgeous late spring day when I last visited the Ornamental Gardens at the Experimental Farm. Lilacs of all colors and kinds were in rich, fragrant bloom, their bouquet infusing the warm, humid air with indescribable fragrance. A late May visit to the Ornamental Gardens will let you, too, experience this.

Lilacs at Experimental Farms in Ottawa

Lilacs at Experimental Farms in Ottawa

There is much more to see and do at the Experimental Farm than I have shown here. Best visit to see for yourself.

Getting there:

It is just over 6 kilometres (4 miles) to the Central Experimental Farm from Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings. As noted earlier, it is located right in the heart of Ottawa.

Contact details:

E-mail: cef-fec@agr.gc.ca
Mailing address:
CEF Information
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
K.W. Neatby Building – Room 1103
960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C6

Telephone: 613-759-1837
Website: www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1170701489551


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