COVID-19 UPDATE: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada confirms that most roads and parking lots in the Central Experimental Farm are now open. The Agriculture and Food Museum (barns and farm animals) was reopened by Ingenium on August 1.
Please visit their website for tickets and information.

The Friends of the Central Experimental Farm office remains closed for the time being, but you can still reach us by email or on Facebook! Regrettably, our 2020 events and volunteer activities have been postponed or cancelled. Visit our Events page for more information.

Who we are
The Friends of the Central Experimental Farm are the volunteer gardeners who help protect, preserve, maintain, and enhance the Ornamental Gardens and the Dominion Arboretum. 

Who we aren’t
For information about weddings, farm animals, the tropical greenhouse, photo sessions, plant identification, and more, please go to our FAQs page for helpful links to the answers you need.

Our beautiful winter greeting cards are now available in our online Boutique! Available in sets of 6, these cards feature new images from photographer Richard Hinchcliff (co-author of For the Love of Trees), as well as old favourites from the Central Experimental Farm and Dominion Arboretum. Click here to place your order while supplies last.

Are you a member? We have new benefits for Spring 2020 — discounts at some local nurseries!
Support the Friends’ mission and receive membership benefits on Master Gardener Lectures.

Upcoming Events:

Our Annual Non-dinner Fundraising Event is now on through December 31, 2020!
Be sure to join us – from the comfort of your own home!


Watch our calendar for any new event details. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements.

Celebration Benches

New Celebration Bench in the Arboretum

Three benches were dedicated in 2019 in the beautiful Arboretum, and 5 more were installed in late 2020. Learn more about this Friends of the Farm program at Bench Program. (Delays are a result of Covid-19 challenges — see the Bench Program page for details)

[The Merivale Shelterbelt project is finished.]


You may now visit the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens Collections at the Farm, but please continue to respect COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and practice appropriate behaviour with respect to the gardens and Arboretum.

Visit our Boutique to share books with friends and family all year long. We ship across Canada, to the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Blooms is the Friends’ contribution to Canada’s 150th and tells the story of this Ottawa gem – take a peek inside!

See how you can buy Blooms or our other publications for pick-up or delivery within Canada.

The Friends gratefully acknowledge the very generous financial support of our Blooms book donors.

What’s Happening Now

New water feature in the Rock Garden

See the Gardening Calendar for more garden events in the Ottawa area.

Read the Friends’ letters and responses to encroachment on the Farm. “It’s a research facility. It’s a public garden. It’s a heritage site. We’d like to see it stay that way.”

River Ward City Councillor Riley Brockington asks Ottawa Centre candidates of the 2019 election salient questions about the Central Experimental Farm, “Ottawa’s jewel in the crown.”

The Friends are located at Building 72 in the Arboretum during these Office Hours. As noted above, our office is closed until further notice due to Covid-19.)

Volunteer Spotlight

December 2020 – Pierre Huppé

Did you know Friends volunteers donate more than 10,000 hours every year to support our mission and activities? Read about our latest Volunteer of the Month and about our other fabulous volunteers in Previous Spotlights.