COVID-19 and The Arboretum

Ontario moved to Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen on June 11, 2021.  Outdoor social gatherings are permitted of up to 10 people.

The University of Guelph Arboretum buildings are closed to the public. The Arboretum's trails and parking lots are open between dawn and dusk. Visitors can walk and partake in permitted activities on Arboretum trails and grounds. When visiting The Arboretum, follow recommendations from Public Health and practice physical distancing by ensuring 2 metres of space between yourself and others. Please do not visit The Arboretum if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, difficulty breathing) or if you are in quarantine for any reason.  

Please continue to check this page and follow us on social media accounts (TwitterInstagram, and Facebook) for updated information as it becomes available.  

When Visiting The Arboretum

  • Wear a face covering when physical distance cannot be maintained or predicted.
  • Be mindful and obey all new procedures and rules as they apply to you/the space you are in.
  • Be patient and respectful towards our staff as we work to create new safe opportunities for our visitors. 
  • Be patient and respectful towards each other and other visitors to The Arboretum.

Assumption of Risk

When you visit The Arboretum, you are responsible for your own health and safety. By choosing to visit, you take an assumption of risk of possibly contracting COVID-19. The University of Guelph, The Arboretum, and the province of Ontario sugguest that you practice physical distancing (2 metres apart), wear a mask if physical distancing is difficult, wash your hands often, do not touch your face, and stay home if you are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Assumption of risk poster

Click to expand the image.

Assumption of risk regarding COVID-19:

All users of our facilities are subject to the following ASSUMPTION of RISK regarding COVID-19 which will be posted at all of the entrances to our facilities:

All users of University of Guelph's sports and recreation facilities assume all COVID-19 health risks and the risk of any adverse health-related consequences cause by or arising from engaging in any activities within these facilities.

By entering and using these facilities for any purpose:

(a) YOU ASSUME ALL RISKS MENTIONED ABOVE; and (b) you acknowledge that you are at least 18 years old OR if you are under 18 years old, that you have obtained your parent's/guardian's consent to enter and use these facilities and agreement to this ASSUMPTION of RISK on their behalf and on your behalf.

If you do NOT agree to the above and do NOT wish to assume such risks, please stay out of these facilities and do not use them.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment

When using The Arboretum guideline poster

Click to expand the image.

Before entering the Arboretum perform a self-assessment. If you answer YES to any of the below questions, DO NOT enter The Arboretum.

  • Have you travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days?
  • Do you currently have the following symptoms?
    • Fever
    • Coughing
    • Difficulty breathing
  • In the last 14 days, have you had contact with anyone who:
    • Has COVID-19?
    • Has or suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
  • Are you currently living with someone in isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms?


Disc Golf

The Arboretum's disc golf course is open to the public.

Disc Golf COVID-19 Rules

  1. Do a COVID-19 self-assessment before coming to The Arboretum.
  2. Ensuire a physical distance of 2 metres from people outside your household or social circle.
  3. Bring hand sanitizer with you.
  4. Maxiumum 4 players per group.
  5. Do not approach the tee until it is clear of others.
  6. Do not touch the equipment of others.
  7. Only one disc in the basket at a time.
  8. Retrieve disc out of basket only touching your disc.
  9. Any trash carried in must be carried out.
  10. No congregating in the parking lot before or after play.
  11. Do not damage any plants, trees, or equipment

If you are sick or have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 you may NOT play. These rules must be followed to keep the course open.


You can still support The Arboretum from a distance! We accept monetary donations through the University of Guelph's secure donation site. You can find a link to donate on our Dedications and Donations page. Currently, these generous donations are being used to complete our Boardwalk Trail and support our internship program. We are thankful for all donations we receive. 

Donations can also be made specifically to dedicate trees, benches, arbors, garden beds, or other features. We recognize this support by placing a small plaque to honour a person, group, or event. These donations support our long-term collections management plan across The Arboretum. To learn more about donations that can be recognized by a dedication plaque, pleasevisit out Dedications and Donations page to learn more.

Plant Sale

In September 2020, we pivoted to a Virtual Plant Sale with physically distanced pickups.

Purchasing Merchandise and Publications

Arboretum mechandise and publications are still available for purchase online during COVID-19 shutdowns. Please place your order online and it will be shipped to you in a timely manner. Purchases cannot be made in-person as our offices are closed at this time. Visit our Arboretum Merchandise page to learn how to place your order. 


Research approved under the University of Guelph's COVID-19 research regulations continue at The Arboretum. To learn more about completing research at The Arboretum, check out our Research and Conservation page. 

Room and Outdoor Ceremony Site Rentals

Currently, there is no access to indoor spaces, including washroom facilities, and U of G’s hospitality services will not be offered with facility rentals.

For 2022 availability, rental rates, and to schedule a tour, contact Dawn Ann Webster at 519-824-4120 ext. 54110 or


We are not offering in-person tours at the moment. Rather, we are offering our Wednesday Walks in a virtual format on a weekly basis. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to receive weekly notifications about when a new walk is posted on Youtube. You can check out all of our Wednesday Walks on our Youtube channel

Trails and Grounds

The Arboretum's trails and parking lots are open between dawn and dusk. Visitors can walk and partake in other permitted activities on Arboretum trails and grounds. When visiting The Arboretum, follow recommendations from Public Health and practice physical distancing by ensuring 2 metres of space between yourself and others. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell. 

Volunteering at The Arb

Our regular volunteer program is on hold until further notice. We are currently working on ways to bring volunteers back safely and at capacity.

Wall-Custance Memorial Forest Annual Dedication Service

The Wall-Custance Memorial Forest is still growing despite COVID-19 shutdowns. Donations are continously accepted and commemorative trees are still being planted.


Our in-person workshops are suspended for the time being. To continue educational opportunites and foster a sense of community during these difficult times, we are offering workshops in a virtual format using Zoom video conferencing. Please visit our Workshops page to learn more about our virtual workshops and our Registration Information page for details about our registration, deadlines, and cancellation policies.

50th Year Celebrations

The pandemic has altered our plans for our 50th anniversary, but we won't let it stop our celebrations! We began our 50th year celebrations on October 18th, 2020. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and follow the #ArbAt50 for news on our 50th Anniversary events and online activities.