October 15, 2008
A total of 38 Ontario communities were honoured at the 2008 Communities in Bloom Ontario awards conference in Gravenhurst. The September 13th event celebrated the organization’s 15th year.

Two highly qualified CiB judges visit each community registered in the program over a two-day period. A comprehensive evaluation form outlines the particular features and projects in each community. The judges determine scores and offer constructive suggestions and recommendations in each of eight criteria areas including tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage conservation, tree/urban forest management, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcovers.

In partnership with Landscape Ontario, CiB created a special competition entitled Community Corner – Awards of Excellence, recognizing special community projects. The entry is judged in Landscape Ontario’s Awards of Excellence program. The 2008 winner of the CiB Ontario Award of Excellence is the City of St. Catharines, for its Merritton Heritage Bin project.  


Bloom awards

The following winners were announced for each of the population categories:
  •  1,001 to 5,000: Municipality of Red Lake, five blooms; Village of Sundridge/Township of Strong, four blooms; Community of Exeter, three blooms
  •  5,001 to 10,000: City of Dryden, five blooms; Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, five blooms
  •  10,001 to 20,000: Town of Wasaga Beach, five blooms; Municipality of Lambton Shores, four blooms; Municipality of Trent Hills, four blooms
  •  20,001 to 50,000: Township of Scugog, five blooms; Town of Essex, four blooms; Town of Lincoln, four blooms
  •  50,001 to 100,000: City of Pickering, five blooms; City of Sarnia, five blooms.
The scoring system is based on the following: Three blooms, 64-72.9 per cent; four blooms, 73-81.9 per cent; five blooms, 82 per cent or above.

National award ceremony

One week later, on September 20th, Lethbridge, Alta. hosted the 14th edition of the Communities in Bloom National Awards Ceremony, honouring municipalities from Canada, the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland and Japan.
Five Ontario communities received awards, while two of the province’s entries won two of the three international awards.
National award winners by population category are:
  • 1 to 1,000: Muskoka Lakes-Port Carling, Ont.
  • 1,001 to 3,000: Calmar, Alta.
  • 3,001 to 5,000: Antigonish, N.S.
  • 5,001 to 8,000: Goderich, Ont.
  • 8,001 to 10,000: Dauphin, Man.
  • 10,001 to 13,000: Ingersoll, Ont.
  • 13,001 to 20,000: White Rock, B.C.
  • 20,001 to 55,000: Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que.
  • 55,001 to 155,000: Barrie, Ont.
  • Over 300,000: Mississauga, Ont.
  • Canadian Forces - 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta.
International Challenge winners were Brampton, Ont., in the large category, Stratford, Ont., in the medium category and Annapolis Royal, N.S., in the small category. The CiB international winners will compete with past winners of Tidy Towns of Ireland, Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom and Japan in Bloom.

The Best Blooming Community in Canada award went to Stratford, Ont., for achieving the highest aggregate score in both the WinterLights Celebrations and the Communities in Bloom programs for 2008.

Ontario Criteria Award winners

Name of Award Sponsor Recipient
Tidiness Trystan Site Furnishings City of Sarnia
Environmental Awareness Horizon Utilities Town of Wasaga Beach
Community involvement Composting Council of Canada Town of Lincoln
Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation Ontario Small Urban Municipalities Township of Scugog
Tree/Urban Forest Management International Society of Arboriculture   Ontario Municipality of Southwest Middlesex
Landscaped Areas Niagara Parks School of Horticulture Alumni    City of Pickering
Floral Displays Bearskin Airlines Municipality of Lambton Shores
Turf and Groundcover All Treat Farms City of Dryden
Most Improved Landscape Ontario Town of Essex

Caption: LO’s executive director Tony DiGiovanni presents a Community Corner Project Certificate to Mikki Nanowski, centre, and Julie Randall representing the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury for its project, Elizabeth Gwillim Simcoe Statue.