You have to be both a bit of an adventurer and a person with faith to discover the Humber Arboretum in a lush valley a few kilometres north of the airport strip.
Humber is a large college campus and the acres of parking lots, towering academic buildings, and student residences make it hard to imagine that it's home to a natural oasis. But soldier on to the Humber Arboretum, and you’ll discover something beautiful. This blend of nature and nurture is free.
The nurture part starts right away. Think limpid pools surrounded by vegetation that could grace the cover of “Better Homes and Gardens.” The little wood gazebos and small patches of formal gardens are no coincidence. They were designed by Humber landscaping students.
Keep going. Follow discovery trails into the Humber River Valley. Two thousand different kinds of trees, many labeled in a sort of real-world horticulture lesson, grace the landscape.
Now check out that modern building near the start. When it’s open, there are hands-on nature exhibits. The building itself is a bit of an architectural model—the Centre for Urban Ecology has won awards for both design and innovative programs.
But it’s all about the experience, for here is an oasis you’d never expect to find. It is a Zen sort of thing: a balance between nature and nurture.