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Ten pick-your-own-flower destinations within driving distance of Toronto

The best farms for sustainable bouquets, Instagram-worthy sunflower fields and more

The sunflowers at Campbell’s Cross Farm
Courtesy of Campbell’s Cross Farm Courtesy of Campbell’s Cross Farm

The dream of growing a little garden behind your post-war bungalow has inched out of reach for the majority of Torontonians. It seems that most of us are destined to squeeze into condos, and those condos (and their balconies) are shrinking by the day: new builds are 35 per cent smaller than they were 25 years ago, with the average Toronto apartment spanning 647 square feet. That means a lot of would-be gardeners are suffering from a dearth of earth. Fortunately, there are a number of flower farms inviting guests with green thumbs to get lost in their fields for a day. These 10 escapes within driving distance of the city offer pick-your-own-bouquet experiences. 


A perfect pose at Campbell’s Cross Farm
Courtesy of Campbell’s Cross Farm
Campbell’s Cross Farm

Want to feel like you’re living in a Van Gogh painting? Head to Campbell’s. Their 30-acre field of nearly 700,000 eight-foot-tall sunflowers makes for an incredible backdrop, and props are scattered throughout the field—including a vintage bathtub, a ’40s pickup truck and an elegant golden couch—inviting visitors to pose for the ’gram. General admission is $13.25, followed by two pick-your-own price options: $10 for three stems or $15 for five stems. Before you leave, pop into the Sunflower Shoppe to purchase honey produced at their apiary, which is open to the public for self-guided tours. The farm also hosts floral workshops, sunset yoga and sunflower picnics. Sunflower season wraps in early September, but other programming runs year-round.

Drive time from Toronto: About 40 minutes Region: Caledon Contact: 416-294-7642, 3634 King St. (Inglewood), campbellscrossfarm.com, @campbellscrossfarms

Owner Cara Des Granges picking flowers at Seedy Farm
Photo by Lauren Bull
Seedy Farm

Cara Des Granges is fighting climate change one bouquet at a time. “I created Seedy Farm to increase the number of sustainably grown local flowers and combat issues in the floriculture industry,” she says. After a year in business, Des Granges has a fruit orchard and an acre of flowers, many of which are native, pollinator-friendly plants like purple blazing stars. She refuses to use herbicides, pesticides or peat moss and abhors plastic packaging—or any packaging, really. To cut back on waste, she puts her arrangements in vintage vases. Adult admission, which includes a vase, costs $40. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult can opt for a smaller vase for $20. Picking starts in April and runs until early fall, when the zinnias and dahlias create a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours. Reservations required.

Drive time from Toronto: About 55 minutes Region: Durham Contact: 647-331-1867, 1513 Concession Rd. 7 (Hampton), seedyfarm.ca, @seedyfarm

A field of flowers at Robintide Farms
Courtesy of Robintide Farms
Robintide Farms

This working farm has been run by the Alexander family since 1967. Past generations raised Boer goats and bred quarter horses on the property before ditching animal husbandry to focus on crops. The 160-acre farm now specializes in strawberries and veggies, including potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes and zucchini. In 2021, they added flowers to the mix. Stroll through the three-acre sunflower meadow before heading over to the flower patch, where 33 annuals and perennials bloom all summer long. The best bouquets blend showy blossoms like bold orange coneflowers or magenta spires of celosia with fragrant filler like basil, Queen Anne’s lace and baby’s breath. There are two pick-your-own options: $14.50 for a small Mason jar or $19.50 for a large, plus $10 for admission.

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Drive time from Toronto: About 50 minutes Region: York Contact: 647-988-2720, 2720 King Vaughan Rd. (King City), robintidefarms.com, @robintidefarms

Toronto-raised sisters, Leslie and Jackie Brunton, opened Three Birds farm in Muskoka.
Photo by Sarah Stevenson
Three Birds Flower Farm

Toronto-raised sisters Leslie and Jackie Brunton spent their summers splashing around Lake Rosseau and falling in love with Muskoka’s rugged landscape. But Three Birds isn’t a tale of city mice naïvely thinking they can hack it in the country; the duo spent the past 15 years running a Port Carling landscaping company before deciding to buy two acres of northern Ontario dirt. They know how to coax the most out of land in this region while keeping it sustainable. Their two-year-old microfarm may be small in scale, but thanks in part to their collaboration with Brooklands Farm, they’re able to grow one of the most diverse selections of blooms of any farm on this list, with more than 100 different flowers. Wedding and design work is the Brunton sisters’ main focus, but they offer pick-your-own experiences to private groups on select dates, with plans to expand their offerings next year. For $35, pickers get to fill a Mason jar with anything that’s in season.

Drive time from Toronto: About two-and-a-half hours Region: Muskoka Contact: 705-205-2301, 1276 Falkenburg Rd., Bracebridge, muskokaflowerfarm.com, @threebirdsflowerfarm

At 42 years old, Janet Tuenschel said sayonara to her nine-to-five, and ditched her desk to open Country Cut Flowers
Photo by Jen Short
Country Cut Flowers

At 42 years old, Janet Tuenschel said sayonara to her nine-to-five and ditched her desk for a 30-acre farm, two acres of which she’s planted with more than 50 types of flowers. “I wanted to create a space for people to connect with flowers and their own creativity,” says Tuenschel, who offers pick-your-own experiences and classes on botanical silk-scarf dying, flower arranging, abstract flower painting and alfresco hatha yoga. Country Cut Flowers’ picking season kicks off in May, when the snow-defying tulips erupt in just about every imaginable colour. In June, the peonies come in with their usual pomp and petals, and by August, annuals (dahlias, zinnias, strawflowers) steal the show. Tours here are especially intimate: “I like to keep the numbers low—it’s so much more enjoyable for everyone,” says Tuenschel, who lets only a dozen or so people build one-litre Mason jar bouquets at a time. Guests must bring their own clippers, and the cost is $50 per picker, $20 for additional guests. Advanced booking required.

Drive time from Toronto: About 55 minutes Region: York Contact: 289-264-3964, 970 Miller’s Sideroad (Newmarket), countrycutflowers.ca, @countrycutflowers

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A child picking sunflowers at Pingle’s Farm Market
Courtesy of Pingle’s Farm Market
Pingle’s Farm Market

Think sunflowers are just yellow? Among the many, many rows at Pingle’s, you’ll find more than 30 varieties of sunflowers. With names like Chianti, Chocolate Cherry and Firecracker, their colours range from deep maroon to ombré orange, with some growing taller than a giraffe. You can pay by the stem ($5) or opt to fill a Mason jar ($25) or a florist’s bucket ($30). Flower season wraps in early October, but there are also strawberry, pea and tomato fields; a corn maze; and a pumpkin patch, plus a market packed with locally sourced meats, cheeses, vegetables and artisanal products. There’s a bakery too—don’t sleep on their pizza. And, if you schedule your flower-picking over the weekend, there’s also live music and a cash bar. General admission, starting at $5, is required for pick-your-own experiences, and pre-booking is recommended.

Drive time from Toronto: About 85 minutes Region: Durham Contact: 905-725-6089, 1805 Taunton Rd., Hampton, pinglesfarmmarket.com, @pinglesfarm

An aerial view of Windecker Woods Flower Farm
Courtesy of Windecker Woods Flower Farm
Windecker Woods Flower Farm

The season at this 22-acre farm kicks off in June, with fragrant peonies boasting grapefruit-size florets, and culminates in October, when the farm’s dahlias hit their peak. Throughout that time, 45 varieties of flowers—including pollinator-friendly blooms like bee balm and yarrow—grace their fields. Windecker Woods abides by the honour system: “We ask you to look at the size of your bouquets and pay a fair price,” says co-owner Petra Kruis Daly. Most visitors follow the rules, says Daly. She also invites city dwellers to wander her forest paths. Next year, she plans to expand the farm’s offerings to include field picnics, beekeeping workshops and bouquet-making classes.

Drive time from Toronto: About two hours Region: Haldimand-Norfolk Contact: 905-973-1786, 215 Windecker Rd. (Cayuga), windeckerwoods.ca, @windeckerwoods

A bucket of flowers at River Ridge Farm Flowers
Courtesy of River Ridge Farm Flowers Courtesy of River Ridge Farm Flowers
River Ridge Farm Flowers

Dave and Laura Twidale are unlike most Richmond Hill retirees. The pair embarked on a new chapter by ditching the GTA for Uxbridge, where they purchased a derelict 103-acre property. Restoring the farm, which included a burned-down barn and crumbling farmhouse, was hard work, but the phenomenal views made it worthwhile. Over the past four years, the couple has built a new farmhouse and relocated and restored the 1885 heritage barn, and now, every year, they plant more than 4,000 flower seeds. They encourage visitors to avoid monoculture when building bouquets, asking pick-your-own visitors to grab one or two stems of each different type of flower. There are more than 40 blooms to choose from, including ranunculuses, columbines and strawflowers. Picking is by appointment only and costs $25 per bouquet. Reservations are required.

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Drive time from Toronto: About 60 minutes Region: Durham Contact: 12500 Concession Rd. 6 (Uxbridge), riverridgefarmflowers.ca. @riverridgefarm.flowers 

Andrews Scenic Acres

This 42-year-old, 165-acre farm offers a full afternoon of family fun, with walking trails, wagon rides, a corral populated by a nursery rhyme’s worth of animals, pick-your-own fruits and veggies, and even a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall corn maze. There are multiple flower fields, but the most visually stunning is the field of dahlias: a sea of pink and orange that blooms right until the first frost. There’s also a sunflower field and a mixed annuals patch, where you’ll find elegant gladioluses and snapdragons. Pick-your-own flowers are available to anyone who has paid the admission fee ($15); bouquets cost $2 per stem. No reservations required.

Drive time from Toronto: About 55 minutes Region: Halton Contact:  905-878-5807, 9365 10 Side Rd. (Milton), andrewsscenicacres.com, @andrewsscenic

 

A perfect photo op at Avalon Farms
Courtesy of Avalon Farms
Avalon Lavender Farm

Named after the Arthurian legend’s mystical isle, Avalon grows 31,000 lavender plants every year. It also has an enormous Celtic stone circle, an homage to its owners’ Scottish origins, where you can find live music, yoga classes and solstice celebrations. There are plenty of events held outside of the circle as well, including high tea among the blooms and a nap day (blankets and pillows provided). This Arcadian acreage also hosts free-roaming hens, horses, ponies, a peacock and visiting wildlife that come to graze by the winding river cutting through the property. Stop by the recently restored heritage barn, built in 1881, where the Levine family sells the many lavender products they produce. Pick-your-own flowers ($10) are available to anyone who has paid the daily admission ($17), and reservations are strongly recommended.

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Drive time from Toronto:  About 75 minutes Region: Dufferin County Contact: 519-941-3369, 347036 Mono Centre Rd. (Mono), avalonlavenderfarm.ca, @avalonlavender

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