Robert Butchart, who began manufacturing cement in Ontario in 1888, moved his business to Vancouver Island in the early 1900s. By 1909 the quarry which supplied limestone for his cement plant had been worked out leaving a large, ugly hole. Robert’s wife, Jennie, went to work transforming it into a beautiful garden that attracts thousands of visitors every year. The Butcharts built a house in the quarry that is now a restaurant.
The Sunken Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Japanese Garden are the largest gardens but plants and flowers line all of the walkways. Quieter areas have fountains and ponds. A short walk to the cove leads to a nice view of the Tod Inlet.
Almost all of the garden is accessible. Visitors are given a map that shows the best path for wheelchairs. The grades of the paths are gentle. The boat tour (additional fee) is not accessible.
Follow the signs for RV and bus parking. The lot is slanted so much that we needed to level our RV.