Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario

RBG Case Study

The natural choice for Canada’s largest botanical garden

Burlington, Ontario’s Royal Botanial Gardens (RBG) has established an international reputation as a living laboratory for science, a connecting point for children and, a leader in sustainable gardening and the standard-bearer for ecological restoration and plant preservation.

In addition to 2300 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and diverse ecosystems that connect the Niagara escarpment to Lake Ontario, Canada’s largest botanical garden is home to an impressive Greenhouse Centre that houses a Mediterranean Greenhouse with five Mediterranean climate zones, a cactus and succulent collection, a bulb room, and 137 square feet of living walls. When the space was originally built over 25 years ago, ACRYLITE® was selected as the glazing for the exterior walls of the entire greenhouse space. In 2014, almost three decades of superior performance made ACRYLITE® the natural choice when the time came to reglaze.

“…Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night”

Located at the western tip of Lake Ontario, RBG sees more than its fair share of wind, ice and hail. According to Joe Tavares, RBG’s Senior Manager of Physical Assets and Security, ACRYLITE® has proven time and again that it can handle the worst winter weather that Lake Ontario blows its way, “We’ve seen winds that have damaged roof dampers, significant ice build up, sleet and hail, and we’ve never had a problem with ACRYLITE®. It’s been a great investment.”

RBG’s mission to promote the public’s understanding of the relationship between the plant world, society and the environment means that having a warm, welcoming space where guests want to spend their time is incredibly important. ACRYLITE®’s unique light transmission capabilities ensure that the Greenhouse Centre provides a pleasant escape throughout all the seasons. “ACRYLITE® brings out the brightest colours in our flowers, but it also brings out the best in our visitors,” says Joe, “You get a sense during the cold winter months that our guests feel like they’ve escaped to a tropical hideaway for a few hours. It’s a comforting place to be, and I’m sure that plays a role in the fact that we welcome so many visitors every year,” says Joe.

According to Joe, ACRYLITE®'s self-cleaning properties are an important value-added benefit, “Our exterior landscapes are a central part of the experience at RBG. This product literally washes itself every time it rains, and that ensures our guests always have a flawless view.”

A spec sheet that can be trusted

Reglazing a greenhouse is no small investment, but Joes says the almost thirty years of proven performance built a solid business case for the decision to choose ACRYLITE® once again for the job in 2014, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of products out there that just don’t live up to their spec sheets. I have to say that ACRYLITE® stands out in the marketplace because it actually does what it claims to do. The promises that ACRYLITE® makes about the product’s lifespan, its durability, its light transmission capabilities, those aren’t empty promises. We’ve seen this product prove itself consistently over almost three decades and we’re confident that will be the case for the next 30 years as well.”