Amidst the grey concrete of Bloor Street is a manicured green patch dubbed as the best front lawn in Toronto. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all admired it. And we’ve all wanted to step inside it. We’re talking, of course, about the historic garden of Manulife Headquarters.

Turns out, the garden is hiding a secret trail tucked away behind the building. This one is just as beautiful, and far more calm-inducing, overlooking the Rosedale Ravine. And Manulife is giving us more reason to check out these green spaces with a one-of-a-kind, free photo exhibition.

Elevate Global Photography Exhibition at the Manulife Gardens
Photo via Manulife

So, the insurance and financial services provider is hosting its first-ever photo exhibit, the Elevate Global Photography Exhibition. What makes this exhibition so unique is the fact that the images on display are actually clicked by Manulife team members from around the world.

To give you some background- during the pandemic, Manulife started an internal initiative, Elevate. The initiative wasn’t meant to be an exhibit. It is a wellness initiative to celebrate and encourage all the ways Manulife colleagues can nurture their well-being, featuring celebrations around healthy living: healthy activities, mindfulness, eating well, and gratitude.

So, Manulife colleagues were asked to share photographs illustrating how they were nurturing their own well-being during these times.

The entries were so overwhelming and amazing that Manulife decided to turn them into an exhibition!

Elevate Global Photography Exhibition at the Manulife Gardens
Photos via Manulife

A panel of judges led by the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Barbara Davidson, had the tough task of selecting a collection of 12 incredible images from hundreds of great submissions. The result is now on display at the Manulife gardens and will be shown at different locations around the world.

Each of the displays featured in the exhibition comes with a heartfelt voice note from the photographer explaining the captured moment. There’s a QR code next to each picture that you can scan and hear the voice note.

Photo exhibit in beautiful green gardens
Photo via Manulife

The exhibit has been set up across the front and back gardens with arrows guiding you through the displays. And once you make it to the end, you can vote for your favourite piece for a People’s Choice Award.

An exhibit showcasing the nurturing of health and well-being in gardens that have been a serene oasis for almost a century… how befitting!

People's Choice Award Voting Station at Photo Exhibit
Photos via Manulife

Yes, these gardens are a century old. For those not in the know, the Manulife building was built in 1925 and the garden was installed in 1927 with sod from the Scarborough Golf Club. That probably explains the velvety green.

What’s even more impressive is that this gorg garden has never once looked anything short of impeccable.

Photo of Ferris Wheel as part of Manulife Exhibit
Photo via Manulife

So, if you’re looking for a chill weekend (or weekday!) activity, head over to the Manulife building. The exhibition is on from September 14th, 2022 to November 9th, 2022.


Where: 200 Bloor Street East, Toronto
When: Wednesday, September 14th – Wednesday, November 9th, 2022
Cost: FREE