"Quiet" gardens - finding solitude in the hustle and bustle of the Capital City (Ottawa)

Richmond Ontario Quiet Garden Fall Adventure Wild Here

Did you know?  Ottawa now has two official "Quiet Gardens" for locals and tourists to visit.

One in Kanata at St John's Parish of March Anglican church and the other in Richmond as part of St. John the Baptist Anglican church property.  Both are larger landscapes that include a cemetery and both have Labyrinths also.

Rural Garden and Labyrinth to Visit in Kanata Wild Here
- St John's Parish of March Anglican church garden now officially a "Quiet Garden" -

Labyrinth Visit on a Fall Morning outside Ottawa Wild Here
- St. John the Baptist Anglican Church Quiet Garden - 

Don't know what a Quiet Garden is?

This movement started in the U.K. through a Christian organization but now over 300 gardens are registered all around the world!

Quiet Gardens offers visitors "outdoor space for prayer and reflection... and create opportunities for people to experience silence, restfulness and contemplative practices."

Dappled Shade in Unitarian Garden Urban Retreat
- Shady spot in the Unitarian Meditation Garden - 

Who can visit a Quiet Garden?

"All are welcome to Quiet Gardens, whatever spiritual path they follow."  But do note that some gardens are located on private property, as part of people's homes - so check first.  Other "private" gardens may be part of a place of worship's landscape.  If it's part of a cemetery, see if there are public hours listed but you will find that most of these spaces welcome any community member to come and enjoy their space.

Wild Here Urban Nature Retreat Ottawa

While the two registered Quiet Gardens are located outside the city centre of Ottawa, they are definitely worth a visit.  Make it a day trip, both gardens have labyrinths which provide great spots for walking meditation and find some place close for a meal.  These two faith communities also offer special events, such as regular guided labyrinth walks and other events from time to time. And while you are on the outskirts, explore the neighbourhoods!

There are also a couple of other lovely urban gardens that are unofficial "Quiet" Gardens here in the city if you don't have time (or the means) to get to the two more rural spaces.  Here are a few that I really find peaceful and enjoyable green spaces:
  • First Unitarian Meditation Garden (30 Cleary Avenue off Richmond Road)
  • Mount Calvary Community Garden (933 Smythe Road)
  • Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar Street - corner of Elgin)
  • Christ Church Cathedral (414 Sparks Street) This lovely garden is actually a central courtyard and accessible only during public hours - but worth a visit!
Wild Here Community Garden Nature Retreat

"Quiet Gardens are accessible, friendly and adaptable to local needs, and aim to be places where people can find welcome, stillness and spiritual refreshment. The outdoor space and garden act as both a context and focus, in which to share the inner search for wholeness, natural beauty and silence..."

All quoted italicized text is from the Quiet Garden Movement website.

Is there a Quiet Garden in Your City if you are not from Ottawa?

Do you have a favourite spot 
to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city?

Where you can drop into some solitude and surround yourself with green?

Urban Oasis Courtyard Garden Ottawa Wild Here
- Christ Church Cathedral Garden Courtyard -

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