Gazebo vs Pergola — What Your Garden Needs?

When you start your research on backyard structures and landscaping companies in mississauga — you’ll inevitably find yourself at the crossroads: do you need a gazebo? Or do you need a pergola? Maybe a pavilion will do? What is a gazebo in the first place?! No worries — here’s how it works.  

What is a gazebo?

Gazebos are structures that are traditionally used in outdoor living areas to provide some shelter from the sun, wind, rain, and snow. The basic design of a gazebo is a tall, open structure with a sloped roof that provides protection from sun and inclement weather. Gazebos serve as a more private retreat from the elements, and to provide additional living space when needed. They are often used as an outdoor dining area and can be used for parties and gatherings. There are gazebos for a variety of different uses.

A gazebo is usually built one of two ways: in a “shade” version (designed to be covered when in use) or an open version (designed to allow maximum exposure to the sun).

What is a pergola? 

Pergolas are a structure typically used as another extension over an existing structure, such as a patio. They can be fully or partially enclosed and are often open or semi-open structures. A pergola is built with a trellis at the top, piping along the walls, and brackets to support the structure on both ends. 

A pergola is a good option if you have a particularly large space to cover, and don’t want to attempt to build it all from scratch. A typical pergola can be purchased, or built from scratch. It’s not recommended to construct a pergola using fixed-in-place concrete blocks.

What is a pavilion? 

A pavilion is generally a small structure that has walls and a roof but doesn’t necessarily have sides or anything other than the basic framework of an outdoor structure. A pavilion can have a variety of uses: from a simple place to sit and relax to a place for parties or barbeques. 

A pavilion is usually supported by either metal framing or posts, and the roof is sloped so that water rolls off easily.

Which one should I go for? 

Here are some tips, pros, and cons for you — to make the choice easier: 


Pros: The gazebo does offer the maximum amount of shade as traditional gazebos do. This can be beneficial for anyone who does not want to expose their guests to the sun. A gazebo also provides excellent shelter from extreme weather conditions. The gazebo is relatively easy to build and will provide years of enjoyment for those who decide to use it for anything they desire. 

Cons: The gazebo does not offer protection from inclement weather because the roof will not keep out rain or snow. It also cannot be used as an area where to sit and relax because the gazebo is not designed to be enclosed. 


Pros: A pergola can be used as an extension over a patio, deck, or even an existing gazebo. The pergola can also serve as a place to sit and relax, or as a feeding area for your kids. It has a more open design, which allows airflow and more areas of shade when needed. The pergola comes with a simple frame and is easy to assemble, meaning it can be built quickly and easily. It’s also easy to change the design of the pergola by adding or removing components. 

Cons: A pergola does not offer shelter from inclement weather because it is open to the sun. The pergola also falls victim to dust and bug problems when not used as an enclosed structure, which requires you to clean it regularly. 


Pros: A pavilion offers more privacy than a gazebo, and can be used as an exclusive area for parties and gatherings. The pavilion will also hold much more weight than both a gazebo or a pergola with the proper support, so it’s best to choose your pavilion accordingly. The pavilion is moderately easy to build, however, the structure is more difficult to construct because its components do not include power tools. 

Cons: The pavilion is more costly to build than either a gazebo or a pergola, but it is also more sturdy and weather-resistant and a plywood roof will provide excellent protection from the elements. 

Final Word 

The choice is yours — after all, that’s not the worst choice you’ll ever have to make. Just make sure to find professional contractors to reduce the stress from the installation process.

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