The Elevate World Photography Exhibition at Manulife Gardens has arrived

Amidst the gray concrete of Bloor Street is a manicured green patch dubbed the best lawn in Toronto. We have all seen it. We all admired him. And we all wanted to get in there. We’re talking, of course, about the historic garden at Manulife’s head office.

It turns out that the garden hides a secret path hidden behind the building. This one is just as beautiful and much quieter, overlooking Rosedale Ravine. And Manulife is giving us another reason to visit these green spaces with a one-of-a-kind free photo exhibit.

Photo via Manulife

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

To give you an overview, during the pandemic, Manulife launched an internal initiative, Elevate. The initiative was not meant to be an exhibition. This is a wellness initiative to celebrate and encourage all the ways Manulife colleagues can support their wellbeing, featuring celebrations around healthy living: healthy activities , mindfulness, eating well and gratitude.

So Manulife colleagues were asked to share photos illustrating how they were taking care of their own well-being during this time.

The registrations were so overwhelming and amazing that Manulife decided to make it an exhibit!

Elevate World Photography Exhibition at Manulife Gardens
Photos via Manulife

A jury led by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Barbara Davidson had the daunting task of selecting a collection of 12 incredible images from hundreds of stunning submissions. The result is now on display in Manulife’s gardens and will be showcased in various locations around the world.

Each of the exhibits featured in the exhibition is accompanied by a heartfelt voice note from the photographer explaining the captured moment. There is a QR code next to each image that you can scan and hear the voice note.

Photo exhibition in beautiful green gardens
Photo via Manulife

The display has been set up in the front and rear gardens with arrows guiding you through the displays. And once you’ve reached the end, you can vote for your favorite piece for a People’s Choice Award.

An exhibition showcasing the culture of health and well-being in gardens that have been an oasis of serenity for almost a century…as it should be!

Voting station for the public prize at the photo exhibition
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 landscaped in 1927 with peat from the Scarborough Golf Club. This probably explains the velvety green.

What’s even more impressive is that this gorg garden never looked immaculate.

Photo of the Ferris wheel as part of the Manulife exhibition
Photo via Manulife

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


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

Tracey L. Sweeney