Valleyview Gardens Nursery Has Moved

One of our favourite east-end nurseries, Valleyview Gardens, has sadly moved out of town. Driving to their old location on Kennedy Ave, with my flasher on, waiting to turn into the parking lot, I saw to my horror it had been boarded up. Eek! What happened to one of our favourite garden places?

Pulling into the closest lane, a quick Google told me they’d moved to a new location in Markham. It’s a sad reality that large nurseries—who need a very large lot for their plant lots and greenhouses—will be driven out of the city when real estate is so expensive and sought after. Another condo developer will build where Valleyview was. Valleyview’s new location is 8636 Reesor Road, which was a further 30 minutes or so. So, of course I kept driving.

Mixed succulent planters are a great way to add to your succulent collection. There are about ten plants in this container—some quite rare—plus you get a nice planter. I wanted to snap this one up.

Valleyview Gardens’ new spot is on a rural road, with quick access via the 407 highway, if you don’t mind the toll. I chose to keep to the quieter roads as I wanted to see a bit of the countryside (or what’s left of it) that was my old childhhood stomping ground. Having lived in the village of Markham for many years, I like to see what’s left of the old town and its surroundings.

The familiar hamlet names brought back childhood memories: Box Grove, Cedar Grove, Locust Hill, all names with botanicals in their roots. It’s something we lose when cities swallow up smaller villages and hamlets: not only do we lose the places themselves, but we lose the evocative names that reflect the botanical diversity that went with them. The odd empty farmhouse, still standing in a field ready for a new development, is often the only reminder of what Toronto’s burgeoning suburbs used to be.

A tangle of old cedar trees still stands in front of this cute as a button farmhouse in Cedar Grove.

Luckily Valleyview hasn’t changed much. The greenhouse is possibly bigger, and they still have a vast selection of plants, all well labelled, so wandering around can be educational.

They specialize in a huge number and variety of tropicals from bonsai, rare succulents, cactus, citrus trees, to enormous specimen plants.
‘Gryphon’ Begonia can become really giant if you keep it growing after summer.

If you want a tree-sized plant for your living room or loft, this is the place to come.

Valleyview has unusual succulents like this Peperomia ferreyrae.
And this new variety of Sansevieria, in whitish tones.

Their prices are still very reasonable. One of the things they offer is a variety of sizes for their houseplants. So if you want a starter jade plant you can get one for less than five dollars, and if you want a giant one, they have that too.

They also have a great selection of pots and planters, garden accessories, fertilizers, etc. Even though it’s a little further to drive, it’s still going to be one of our favourite garden destinations.

9 comments

  1. I, too, was a little devastated that they closed their Kennedy location, as it had been my “local” nursery since I was a kid. I have visited the Markham location twice — once, last summer before they moved their Kennedy inventory and expanded the greenhouses, and then just two weeks ago. I was glad to see that they have an improved entrance further back and have designed the space to be more customer friendly. I will keep going back, but I echo your sentiments about all the great nurseries closing up and/or moving out of the city.

    1. Yes, Trixie, it really is sad that the city has less and less room for nurseries. There is still Fiesta Farms in the city limits, and Plant World. But losing Valleyview in the eastern part of the city is too bad. Glad they relocated at least, rather than closing up shop.

      1. Enjoy Plant World while it’s still there. There is a multi-condo development proposal that has been in process for the last two years and it will eventually get approved in some form. I hope they don’t close up shop altogether, but where in Toronto is a nursery able to move these days?

    2. There still is Sheridan – though, yes, not the same, one at Yonge below Lawrence and the other is on Ellesmere past Midland. I too am ticked off by the closing of the good city nurseries. City beautification is not a moneymaker, it seems.

  2. This expansion in the Markham location is incredible! Just went for their spring open house this weekend and had to be dragged out, literally, by other responsibilities as I could have stayed there all day! Amongst the beautiful assortment of anything and everything you could think of in terms of plant varieties, they had the enormous back greenhouses open to the public, picnic sitting area, tropical plant area so lush it felt like a jungle, and an icecream truck outside to complete the visit. I am so happy that this location expanded. Have been going for years but this new version is so much more beautiful. Will start going here exclusively for all my plant needs.

    1. Adriana, I was just there myself last weekend and was hugely impressed. One of the staff told us it was three to four times the size of their old location, and it does have that infinite Hanger 51 feel about it, but with plants.

  3. I have used Valleyview since the 1970s about 40 years. I was a science teacher and used their plants in my classroom, but also used my students to landscape the school property.
    Unfortunately, I now am TTCing and just came on line to see if they list prices for flats of annuals, and herbs, and roses. I was going to TTC there from Don Mills Eglinton area, and have a taxi bring me home with the plants. Glad I found your website first. Truly sad to lose such a fabulous nursery. I am relieved they relocated instead of closing, but they are now beyond my reach. I used to go through their “dead” returned plants. I found one tree about 8 feet high, completely leafless. The tag said $500 Japanese red maple. One of the brother owners who knew me said if we can get it in your Prelude, you can have it. He was fabulous. It now stands 20 feet high at the front of my property, along with the countless perennials trees and roses reminding me of a place I counted on for forty years.

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