May 29, 2024

With winter’s claws still dug deep into March, Ontarians may be suffering from winter blues. The cost of travelling somewhere warmer is too high for many people, so some Waterloo Region residents opt for a cheaper option: a day-trip getaway to a tropical paradise in Cambridge.

With a roaring waterfall, 20-degree-plus temperatures and a variety of plants, birds and insects, the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory may be the next best thing to relaxing a little closer to the equator.

According to conservatory manager and naturalist Andalyne Tofflemire, who has been with the conservatory for nine years, the greenhouse proper is about 10,000 square feet and visitors can find around 2,000 butterflies there on any given day.

Tofflemire said the conservatory is a great place for people to come to escape the cold and bleakness of winter.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, around 15 per cent of Canadians experience mild seasonal affective disorder symptoms, while an estimated two to three per cent suffer from depression caused by seasonal affective disorder. Exposure to warmer climates and greenery can help.

The conservatory hosts a variety of events, such as story time during the winter for kids to come learn about bugs and daily bug hunts in the summer.

From March 9-17, brave visitors can sample meals made with insect protein at the conservatory’s Bug Feast event.

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