December 17, 2021
Landscape Ontario has a number of long-standing committees that help to both implement and oversee specific initiatives for the betterment of the profession, association members and the association. These volunteers lend their expertise, give feedback and make decisions that impact everyone in the profession. Their insight, dedication, forward-thinking and camaraderie exemplify the very nature of the association's mission — to foster a favourable environment for the landscape and horticulture profession in Ontario. These leaders help to steer the direction of the association and the profession. New committees are formed on an as-needed basis, and are sometimes absolved when objectives are met. Staff also sit on each committee to ensure proper communication and to provide vital information in the decision-making process.
Jump to: Building Committee, Canada Blooms, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Communications Committee, Show Committee, Human Resource Development, Pesticide Industry Council

Building Committee

The good news is that the building interior renovation is completed. The bad news is that COVID forced our staff to mostly work from home for the last 18 months! While COVID has slowed down some processes, your committee has been focused on developing the landscape plans for the entire property. While costs will force us to implement installation over the next few years, we are excited to tender out the main entrance and parking areas for spring 2022.

The design team led by Haig Seferian has come up with a plan to showcase leading edge technology in hardscape materials and green conservation.
Our property manager, David Turnbull, has also been hard at work. We had a large amount of topsoil given to us and Dave has spread out, graded, and seeded the south side facing Highway 401, as highway construction along our frontage will no longer affect us. We also assumed the use of the “school” building as Vanden Bussche Irrigation has moved out as a tenant. The unit has been painted and a potable water line will be installed this fall. The greenhouse has also been completely painted.
We have approached the Ministry of Transport inquiring about the possibility of installing a large electronic sign to generate advertising revenue as well as increase the association awareness to the public. After numerous meetings, we had a very favourable meeting with the Ministry lawyers and the deal is now resting with them to approve. If we do get the approval, this will be an opportunity for our landscape architects to showcase a very landscape friendly sign as well as enhance the Association income. We should know sometime in early 2022.

I would like to thank the committee members for their diligence during these unprecedented times. Everyone is working flat out at their businesses and yet they find the time to meet and contribute.

The first round of designs for the entrance has been submitted and now the design is being vetted for changes, cost efficiencies and final approval. We look forward to completing this work in spring of 2021.
Respectfully submitted,
Karl E. Stensson
Chair, 2020-2021

Canada Blooms

After lots of thought and planning, we have decided to wait a little longer for the next Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival. 

We are thrilled the government has finally eased up on a number of restrictions that will allow events to open up again, as we have all been missing the fun that shows and events provide. But many of Canada Blooms participants and visitors are just not comfortable in large crowds yet. The thought of visitors being limited to certain times, long lineups at the gardens or the Toronto Flower Show, presentations with many constraints; feels like the enjoyment would also be limited, and this is just not the feel we want for the Canada Blooms Festival.

We were very disappointed to make this decision as we have been planning our big 25th Anniversary party for two years now and we have to wait another year. We miss all of our partners, garden builders, floral artists, exhibitors and especially the over 800 volunteers that join us every year. But, there is no sense having a celebration if it can't be done right.

So let's do it right. We will wait one more year and plan for the 25th Canada Blooms Festival taking place in 2023. There are some changes coming. Please stay tuned because we will have details for you in February 2022. 

Communications Committee

Chair: Hank Gelderman
Members: Gerald Boot, Laura Catalano, Lindsay Drake Nightingale, Jeremy Feenstra, Mark Fisher, Marty Lamers, Bob Tubby, Nick Winkelmolen

This past year saw the continued evolution of Landscape Ontario’s communications team. Digital communications including the association’s websites, email newsletters, and social media channels are increasingly effective tools alongside LO’s publications.
And there has been plenty of important information and news to share with members this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic remained a critical issue. The communications team continues to support Landscape Ontario’s COVID-19 Task Force through regular updates of the COVID-19 Resource Hub to keep members up to date with the latest news specific to landscape professionals and business owners. 
Early in 2021, Lee Ann Knudsen retired. I am happy to report Lee Ann and her husband Kerry are enjoying plenty of time outdoors in their new home in the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania. Scott Barber, previously LO’s digital media and marketing specialist and magazine assistant editor, was tapped to lead the team.  
One change you may have noticed this summer was the new look for Landscape Trades magazine. Led by LO’s creative director Mike Wasilewski, the magazine received a full redesign, including a new trim size (slightly wider), refreshed logo, updated fonts and cover style. I am confident readers across Canada will enjoy the new look.
Next, the Landscape Trades website will receive a full redesign with the aim of making the go to place for landscape news and stories in Canada. Development is currently underway, with the goal of launching the new site in the first quarter of 2022. 
I want to express my sincere gratitude to my fellow Committee members for taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to LO. And I would also like to thank the entire communications team for their hard work this year.
Respectfully submitted,
Hank Gelderman
Chair, 2020-2021

Human Resource Development

This year has been extraordinarily busy! COVID-19  continued to create challenges but also many new opportunities. LO continued to offer programs, developed partnerships and actively pursued and secured  funding to develop and deliver 3 new programs aligned with our strategic plan. We are pleased to report that thanks to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, we received funding for three major Employment Ontario projects that are accelerating our ability to achieve our workforce development  goals. The Discover Green Careers project,  the GROW program and the Apprenticeship Group Sponsor Grant program are providing LO with significant funds  and resources to enable us to become the hub for creating sustainable careers in our profession, and ultimately developing and connecting a pipeline of ‘workers of choice’ for ‘Employers of Choice.’ We are closer to building a solid  foundation  that could lead to LO developing a  training and hiring hall hub for our members. We are grateful for the funding provided by the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada, and owe a debt of gratitude to our new and current staff family for making this all possible!

All work aligned with the strategic plan and continues to inform and provide LO with a solid foundation for a potential  training and hiring hall hub framework in future.  

Please find below the highlights of the past year:

The Employment Ontario - Discover Green Careers project funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, will advance our careers awareness marketing strategy and augment the website  by providing information and material aimed at attracting youth and newcomers to sustainable careers in the landscape and horticulture profession. This project also provides LO with fundamental labour market information related to the 12 most in-demand occupations in our profession. The new website will be launched in late 2021 at: and will inform youth, newcomers, job seekers, guidance and employment counselors about real jobs that are in-demand and provide them with profiles and pathways to help them plan their journey.

The website was a priority as was support to the Horticulture Educators Association. Continuous improvement of the website, and connecting secondary and post-secondary educators and students to related partner programs was the focus last year in a virtual environment. The website continues to grow as a tool that provides valuable information and resources aimed at our current workers and the future workforce, parents, educators, policy makers and employers within the profession. With COVID-19 challenging our outreach and connection at career fairs, and in-person events, LO partnered with many organizations to provide a virtual presence during the pandemic including partnering with organizations such as Build A Dream, Halton Industry Education Council, Skills For Change, Skills Ontario and Support Ontario Youth etc., to bring experiential learning opportunities to youth, newcomers and job seekers. Horticulture Educators were also supported with regular newsletters and additional digital resources to support virtual classroom learning.

Come Alive Outside partnered again with Landscape Ontario to successfully coordinate its first virtual Design Challenge in Ontario. Green Streets was paused due to the pandemic. The CAO Design Challenge creates the opportunity for teams of college, university, high school  and elementary students to work together with landscape and horticultural professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities. In addition to creating the new spaces at the schools, one of the primary goals of this program is engaging young people in the process of designing nature into our lives through vibrant urban green spaces. This year, St. Michael Catholic and Nicholson Catholic College will be the recipients of a nature rich schoolyard in Belleville designed by the winning team: the University of Guelph.
The GROW Program (Get Ready for Opportunities at Work) program was developed and delivered with thanks to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. LO received funding for this Employment Ontario project  which is enabling LO to bring trained workers to members and expand partnerships to enhance accessibility to training. Increasing the New Worker Pipeline entering the profession and upskilling current workers remains our top priority. The GROW  team successfully completed the first year of delivery serving the Greater Toronto and Hamilton, and Kawartha Muskoka area during COVID-19 and provided basic entry  level training to 72 new  workers to employers, supported the upskilling and advancement of 41 future supervisors, and helped 26 employers build recruitment and retention capacity  via the ‘Employers of Choice program’. We were very excited to receive approval and funding to offer the GROW program for a second year and continue to build and improve the 3- part program.  From June to Aug. 31, 2021, the program trained 62 workers for entry in to the profession. The Supervisor development program (known as the Incumbent Worker Training Program) is full with 25 participants and the Employers of Choice program with 24 participants and will run starting late fall 2021. There will be 60 more new entrant workers trained and ready for work February and March 2022. For more information go to:   

The Horticulture Technician/ Landscape Horticulturist Red Seal Apprenticeship Program registered 78 apprentices, which was enough to run all but Level 1 at Algonquin College in January 2021. Many apprentices were concerned about COVID-19 if classes were offered in person, while others were able to reduce travel by attending on-line learning. The feedback received was that the on-line learning was challenging for apprentices across all trades.

Since 2015, LO has registered close to 200 employers and over 400 apprentices in the Horticulture Technician 441C apprenticeship program.

LO continues to support our four colleges offering the in-class training portion of the program: Algonquin College (Ottawa), Fanshawe College (London), Humber College (Toronto), and Mohawk College (Stoney Creek).

In March of 2021, we were again very thankful to receive approval for an Employment Ontario program funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, to advance LO’s Apprenticeship Group Sponsor program. The Group Sponsor grant builds on the original program and enables LO to grow capacity with the goal to increase apprentice and employer registrations, and apprenticeship completions. The grant also provides funds to develop incredible resources to better support apprentices and employers. Over the course of the 3-year project term, we will develop, pilot and release:
  • A robust marketing campaign aimed at increasing awareness, registrations and completions
  • A registration framework to reduce the administrative burden for apprentices and employers
  • Prior to school learning digital toolkit designed to support adult learners in successful  return to school
  •  The new Landscape.Jobs Job Board and  Talent Sorter designed to help employers and job seekers/apprentice candidates match to real jobs
  • Digital study manuals for apprentices
  • Improved awareness and leveraging of apprentice and employer incentives
  • Digital on the job training tracker to support improved tracking of on-the-job skills/competency achievement
  • Train the trainer and On-the-Job Training programs for employer trainers
  • Digital Completion Toolkit to support completion of the program etc.
In March 2021, the Ontario government announced the Achievement Incentive Grant and LO distributed $36,000 to employers who employed apprentices in April 2020. Employers who sponsor Horticulture Technician 441C apprenticeship training are now eligible for a maximum of $3000 at three milestones during the course of an apprentice’s journey.

Registrations up to Aug. 31, 2021, have been slower than anticipated even with the additional resources provided by the Group Sponsor Grant. Employers attribute the reduction to the demand combined with the worker shortage. The team continues to work diligently to increase awareness and registrations and to produce the resources.

Government Relations continued as a top priority, although at times more challenging due to the pandemic. Highlights include supporting the hosting of a MLTSD - Ministerial announcement about the apprenticeship program at TLC in London in Dec. 2020. We thank  TLC’s President Jay Murray and HR Specialist Carla Bailey and the entire TLC team for hosting this event and showcasing our landscape and horticulture industry as true professionals!  

LO continued to advocate on behalf of and participate in consultations related to:
  • Employment Insurance, CERB, CRB and other COVID-19 Emergency relief benefits,
  • Ontario and Canada’s Economic Recovery plan,
  • raising awareness about the benefits of green infrastructure to every community,
  • the critical domestic skilled labour shortage that is threatening our profession’s ability to meet demand,
  • Immigration and Foreign worker programs,
  • developing a skilled  workforce through all post secondary pathways, including College, University, and Apprenticeship programs,
  • The transition from Ontario College of Trades to Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) LO’s Group Sponsor Program Horticulture Technician – 441C Apprenticeship program,
  • Workplace Health & Safety etc.
The Water Smart Irrigation Professional (WSIP) training and certification program developed in partnership with our municipal partners, the Region of Peel, York Region, continued to provide specialized training, audit software and certification to the sector across Ontario. The program  grew and currently promotes 46 certified companies who employ 96 individuals as Water Smart Irrigation Professionals that provide “water smart” irrigation system efficiency and maintenance services to clients to support environmental protection and sustainable water use. A major highlight this year was to have the opportunity to host the WSIP Validation test in the spring at Landscape Ontario home office using the irrigation system installed in the trial gardens. We continue to appreciate the opportunity that this program provides our Irrigation Sector and wish to thank the Region of Peel and York Region for granting LO permission to continue to offer the program to irrigation Contractors across the province.

The Fusion Landscape Professional (FLP) training and certification program celebrated five years of training and certification program delivery. Thanks to our municipal partners the region of Peel and York Region who recognize the critical role that the landscape profession has in addressing and managing the adverse effects of climate change, conserving water resources and addressing lot level stormwater management. The Fusion Landscape Professionals (FLP) program was developed to expand the current knowledge base for experienced professionals who provide design/ installation and/or maintenance products and services to their clients. The FLP program strives to inspire Fusion landscapes as an industry standard and encourages collaboration between Landscape professionals so that Fusion principles and elements are considered and incorporated into every landscape. The FLP program grew this past year with four training and test opportunities made available across the province and thanks to partnership and sponsorship provided by the City of London and Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, the City of Ottawa, and the Region of Peel and York region. The program is growing and currently promotes 111 FLP’s in Ontario with an additional 46 in progress.

The Landscape Horticulture Certification Program (LHCP) promotes professionalism, maintains standards in nursery and landscape horticulture operations across Canada and offers certification for the following designations:
  • Certified Landscape Horticulturist Technician (CLHT) for the following modules:
    1. Ornamental Maintenance
    2. Turf Maintenance
    3. Softscape Installation
    4. Hardscape Installation
    5. Irrigation
  • Certified Landscape Designer (CLD)
  • Certified Landscape Horticulturist Manager (CLHM)
  • Accredited Landscape Horticulture Company: Recognizes companies with a proven record of commitment to excellence
Online delivery, for both hands-on practical and written tests, enabled more candidates to take assigned tests at their own convenient time and  work location.
To encourage certification this year, a $100 CNLA member discount is currently being offered for the Certified Landscape Horticulturist Technician (CLHT) and Manager (CLHM) exams. Rather than pay $400 to register for one CLHT module and $325 to register for the CLHM exams, CNLA members will now pay $300 and $225 respectively. The LHCP Introductory Video and Seven Steps to Get Certified are items in the communication toolkit that is being developed and disseminated to educate members on how to become certified. For more information visit the LHCP website or email

Health and Safety continues to be a priority, especially through COVID-19. Members benefit from our trusted partnership with Workplace Prevention Services (WSPS), to deliver health and safety communications, programs and resources to support our members towards providing healthy and safe workplaces. LO is active on several WSPS committees and represents the profession to communicate our issues, and seek information vital to safe work. Our partnership has grown during COVID-19 and we thank WSPS and the MLTSD for all of the good work they did to keep LO’s COVID-19 Taskforce informed so that we were able to keep our members aware and safe of any prevention and compliance changes.

Over the past year, resilience and planning seemed to be a predominant theme as we continued to build and offer new programs in a pandemic environment. Virtual outreach and connection became more of a norm with partners and the government as we continued to emphasize the need for workforce development solutions. Our profession continued to experience a critical shortage of low, medium and high skilled workers due to COVID-19 and the “staycation” trend, the retiring workforce, and the ever-growing demand for Landscape and Horticulture professionals who design, build and maintain healthy Green Infrastructure and support some of the solutions to negative impacts caused by climate change. We are recognized as a profession with ‘in-demand’ careers and our efforts will continue to focus on  developing strategic solutions that reduce the pressures caused by a workforce shortage, and provide relevant workforce development and professional development opportunities that support our objectives to create a climate where our Employers of Choice have access to a Workforce of Choice and can meet consumer demand. We are proud of the work achieved and that which is underway, as it brings us closer to exploring the feasibility of a profitable training and hiring hub.
Respectfully submitted,
Sally Harvey CAE, CLHM, CLHT

Pesticide Industry Council

Chair: Gavin Dawson
Secretary: Tony DiGiovanni CHT
Manager PIC: Tom Somerville

In 2000, the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) implemented new requirements under the Pesticide Act (originally Ontario Regulation 914). Under these new requirements, anyone who applied pesticides had to be either MOE licensed or have Technician Status. The new regulation required that all unlicensed assistants, working with licensed exterminators, must complete a basic pesticide safety course to acquire the Technician Status in order to legally apply pesticides.

The Pesticide Technician Program (PTP) was established as the “basic pesticide safety course” to be able to acquire Technician Status and meet the new requirements (Ontario Regulation 914). The PTP is a two-part basic pesticide safety program that incorporates both a practical component and an academic exam in the training requirements.

The Pesticide Industry Council (PIC) was formed on behalf of the pesticide industry and has worked with MOE since 2000 to meet the requirements and administer the Pesticide Technician Program. Landscape Ontario agreed to be the administrator of the Pesticide Technician Program on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Environment under the guidance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

PIC is a council that has representation from Hydro One, Ontario Golf Superintendents Association, Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario, Urban Pest Management Council, Crop Protection Institute, International Society of Arboriculture, Ontario Parks Association, Ontario Vegetation Management Association, Structural Pest Management Association, University of Guelph and Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association.

This is the 21th year that the Pesticide Industry Council has administered the Pesticide Technician Program and the 12th year worked within the Cosmetic Ban on pesticides (Regulation 63-09).  

In the 2020-2021 season, approx 950 technicians cards were generated through the Pesticide Technician Program (PTP) program. This is a decrease from the past couple of years.

Note: The Pesticide Technician Program PTP has been amended to reflect the changes brought about by the 2009 Cosmetic Ban on pesticides (Regulation 63-09). 
Respectfully submitted,
Tom Somerville
Manager, 2020-2021