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June 2018


APPRENTICES Adam Angeloni helps to encourage the next generation of landscape pros Page 4

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Supply and demand justifies a raise in prices By Warren Patterson LO President


ave you ever wondered why lawyers and accountants are able to charge large hourly rates for some really mundane tasks, or for work that is being reused from another client? The truth is, these professions have done a great job of positioning in the consumer’s mind the value that comes from their services, and consumers are willing to pay that value. In my last article, I identified the first reason why the landscape and horticulture profession is having a really difficult time attracting talent: our profession has lower earnings potential than other professions and trades. The earnings of a professional are directly tied to how much consumers value the products or services of that professional. That starts with how much the profession/industry

June, 2018 • Volume 36, No. 6 Landscape Ontario’s mandate is to be the leader in representing, promoting and fostering a favourable environment for the advancement of the horticultural profession in Ontario. ISSN 1928-9553 Publications Mail Agreement No. PM40013519

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itself values its products and services. I believe the more you value your products and services, the more the consumer will too. Every business I have spoken with over the past month is looking to hire employees. We can’t find enough labour for the business we can generate. This problem provides us with an opportunity to communicate just how valuable our services are, and more importantly, provides a reason to continue raising our prices. I believe there is more demand for our services than there is supply. So many garden and lawn maintenace companies are not accepting new customers simply because they don’t have the staff to properly service them. I recently had a new customer say we were $17 more per hour than what she was used to paying. But she accepted our quote because she couldn’t find anyone else to do the work. This also holds true as I know of three well-established, successful businesses who ceased operations this year. They folded because they found the business to difficult to operate trying to find people to do the work. With this shortage of applicants, now

Editor Robert Ellidge, 647-722-5645 Assistant editor Scott Barber, 647-478-3171 Multimedia designer/IT coordinator Mike Wasilewski, 647-723-5343 Sales manager Steve Moyer, 416-848-0708 Integrated solutions representative Greg Sumsion, 647-722-6977 Communications coordinator Angela Lindsay, 647-723-5305 Accountant Joe Sabatino, 647-724-8585 Publisher Lee Ann Knudsen CLM, 416-848-7557 LANDSCAPE ONTARIO STAFF Darryl Bond, Amy Buchanan, Kim Burton, Tony DiGiovanni CHT, Denis Flanagan CLD, J. Alex Gibson, Meghan Greaves, Sally Harvey CLT CLM CAE, Heather MacRae, Kathy McLean, Linda Nodello, Kathleen Pugliese, John Russell, Ian Service, Myscha Stafford, Tom Somerville, David Turnbull, Lissa Schoot Uiterkamp, Martha Walsh, Cassandra Wiesner

is the time to raise our prices to build stronger businesses. With higher revenues we can afford to pay more, but can also invest more time and money in recruiting and developing future staff. Which, at the end of the day, makes for a sustainable business. But raising prices is only one side of the problem. To properly value our services we must stop discounting our value. I recently saw a post online about how a business owner quoted a project. This was a big client for them and would be a good customer reference. They were contemplating a project discount to make their proposal more attractive. Yes, it would be more attractive to the customer, but how attractive would it be for the employees of that company? The owner was, in essence, discounting their pay. So the next time you are thinking about discounting a project, think about how that could short-change your employees. You wouldn’t be able to afford to pay them simply because you wanted a feather in your cap. Next month, I will examine how product pricing needs to mature in our profession and what I have learned over the years from the big box stores. Warren Patterson may be reached at

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Views expressed are those of the writer concerned. Landscape Ontario assumes no responsibility for the validity or correctness of any opinions or references made by the author. Copyright 2018, reproduction or the use of whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited. Published 11x per year. Rates and deadlines are available on request. Subscription price: $43.51 per year (HST included). For subscription and address changes, please e-mail


Adam Angeloni (centre), with some of the apprentices at Downsview Park in Toronto.

Mentoring the next generation of apprentices By Robert Ellidge

Adam Angeloni didn’t plan on having a career in the green profession. In his first career, he spent years making his way up through Toronto’s TV and film industry on the production side. “As I was approaching 29, I realized I wasn’t happy in what I was doing and questioned myself on why I was doing it,” Angeloni recalls. “Working in film just wasn’t conducive to family life with late hours and an unpredictable schedule. Don’t get me wrong, it was challenging and I learned so many skills, it was just time for a change.” Feeling a responsibility to the environment and that he wasn’t staying true to his personal beliefs, Angeloni decided he needed a career he thoroughly enjoyed, that was also unique, and one he could be proud of. “I proceeded to find the nearest garden centre and begged for a job,” Angeloni says. A year later, with a child on the way, Angeloni was enrolled in the Apprenticeship Program and was earning $10.50 an hour. “I couldn’t have been any happier,” he recalls.


Now, Angeloni is Manager, Parks and Surface Area Operations at BGIS, a world-wide company that provides consulting, management and services to occupiers of real estate. BGIS currently holds the facility management contract for Downsview Park in Toronto. At Downsview Park, Angeloni mentors a team of the next generation of landscape professionals, many of whom are at various stages within the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program. Having completed the program himself, Angeloni is a certified Red Seal horticultural technician and says he owes that, and his current position at Downsview, to former teacher and mentor, Paul Ronan. During his first semester in the Apprenticeship Program, Angeloni sought the advice of his teacher in order to set out some new goals. “I expressed my goals and concerns, and Paul knew what I wanted,” Angeloni explains. “He listened and believed in what I wanted for myself.”Ronan is still a mentor and personal friend to this day. Today, Angeloni believes it is important for his staff to have the opportunity to participate in the Apprenticeship

Program because of the many doors it opened for him in his career. “I’m a firm believer in giving back,” he explains. “The Apprenticeship Program took me places my 29-year-old self would never have thought of. I can only imagine each and every individual career path my apprentices will take. I hope to be a part of every one of them, also to be a friend and mentor along the way.” By encouraging and supporting his team members to participate in the Apprenticeship Program, Angeloni has created a culture where team members feel valued, appreciated, trusted, confident and responsible for the success of everyone involved. “You truly can’t deny the value of an employee who is trained and loves what they do,” Angeloni says. “They will give you 100 per cent every time, if you just give them the opportunity to make their own informed decisions.” All of Angeloni’s apprentices feel a genuine gratitude for the investment, support, encouragement, commitment and opportunities provided to them through the employer sponsored Apprenticeship Program. On the employer side, having staff engaged in the program goes a long way in helping with employee retention and recruitment. “Offering apprenticeship is why I believe certain workers will choose one company over the other,” Angeloni explains. “Since I started sponsoring apprentices, I have seen a dramatic increase in the level of commitment, camaraderie, responsibility and overall enthusiasm during the work day.” Angeloni’s hope is that all employers in the landscape and horticulture profession can come to appreciate the value in teaching and mentoring apprentices. “I think it is just the beginning of the attraction to our profession,” he explains. “There is still so much groundwork to do in getting workers of all ages to join. We have a lot of work to do in getting society to recognize us as leaders in one of the most undervalued professions in our society.” The Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program is offered at five postsecondary institutions across Ontario. The program consists of approximately 80 per cent on-the-job training and 20 per cent in-class training over two 12-week winter semesters. For more information on the program and employer incentives, visit

Meet the Downsview Park apprentices CHRISTINE BALMES

Christine Balmes has worked in the landscape profession for just one year, and is new to the team at Downsview Park. She says, “Downsview Park is a great place to learn and a wonderful place to work.” Having completed her first year of in-class training, she plans to complete the entire program and ultimately obtain her Red Seal. “I like the opportunity to be certified because it gives me the ability to work anywhere in Canada,” she says.


says, “So I’m very grateful.”

New to the Downsview Park team this season, Madeline Midgley has worked in the profession for about three years, and had never heard of the Apprenticeship Program until she had talked with Adam Angeloni. “I’ve had a lot of other jobs in the past, but they’ve never provided as much direction and opportunity as this one,” Midgley

JANAKAI BANTING In her first season at Downsview, Janakai has completed her first year of in-class training for the Apprenticeship Program. “I was at a point in my life where I needed to change direction and learn something new,” she says. “ Horticulture has always been and interest and a hobby of mine, and I thought the Apprenticeship Program would be a good way to get myself involved

in the industry.” Janakai says her previous employer, Malcolm Shute, really encouraged her to pursue the program.


Rosalyn Endlich was hired three years ago to take care of, and further develop, the public orchard at Downsview Park. Endlich is a senior member of the team who has completed the program and is now ready to write her Red Seal exam. “Early on, my boss, Adam Angeloni, began encouraging me to learn more about the program and to consider it as an important next step in my career,” Endlich recalls. With a strong academic background, but not much experience with horticulture or parks, Enlich says she decided to take Angeloni’s advice and pursue apprenticeship because she loved her job and was eager to learn more and to build her skills. “I was initially hesitant about going back to school, but I came to see it as a win-win situation for me: I was being paid to learn more and develop my skills, both in the classroom and in the field,” Endlich says. “It has been a non-stop learning journey since then!”


Preston Taylor is one of the senior members of the team at Downsview Park. Now in his fifth year in the profession, four of those at Downsview. Taylor has completed his second year of in-class training and Taylor says “the amount of variety and experience I get working with Adam in one year is definitely more than I would get working for four full years anywhere else.” One of Taylor’s priorities is the maintenance of the large, wide open turf area that is used almost every weekend in summer for large concerts and festivals which can wreak havoc on the area. Taylor offers advice to other seasonal workers who may be considering the Apprenticeship Program: “It is the best way to utilize your winter down time to strengthen your resume and start building up your network of knowledgeable people within the industry.” For Preston, the fact his employer has invested in the program means they are also committed to improving the overall professionalism of the industry and well as realizing the benefit skilled workers can bring to the workforce.


rent stakeholders around the table who can provide their input and feedback.

Everyone on the same page

Landscape Ontario’s Congress trade show now has a clearly defined purpose and goals.

Congress success about sticking to the plan Landscape Ontario’s Show Committee is responsible for steering the direction and success of the Congress trade show and conference. Many of the new ideas, improvements and successful marketing strategies implemented at Congress in 2018 were in large part due to the work the committee has done to create a detailed strategic plan, outlining the purpose, goals and key priorities for the annual event. Facilitated by current Show Committee Chair, Nathan Helder, the committee carried out a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) back in November 2016 and created a one-page stragtegic plan document listing a number key objectives or goals for the 2018 show and beyond. A volunteer on the committee for about 10 years, Helder says even before he became chair he would constantly ask questions at meetings, such as “what is our purpose here?” and “what is our goal?” Due to the ongoing success of Congress, Helder says the typical response was “we are here to do what we did last year.”

Every business needs a plan

The president of Gelderman Landscape Services and principal consultant at Southbrook Consulting, Helder is also president of the Golden Horseshoe Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI). Helder has gone through the process


Helder says setting and achieving those goals give purpose to the committee and the process also helps to get everyone working together towards clear, common goals that also generates a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among the participants. “For me, it’s about rallying the troops around you, empowering everybody to do their part and getting everyone on one page together,” Helder says. By setting long-term goals, it also gives committee members a sense of purpose and generates a lot of excitement about the potential benefits of realizing those goals.

Review and adjust every year

At a meeting in February 2018, the Show Committee reviewed their 2018 strategic plan and updated it for 2019. “Of the seven key priorities for 2018 we achieved four of them,” Helder says. Key objectives or goals that were not met in his own business at Gelderman and were also discussed to determine why with other businesses and associations they may not have been achieved. Those like CCI. that are still relevant are kept, some are Helder says one thing he has learned removed, others are more clearly defined over the years is that operating any successful business starts with having a good or adjusted to be more realistic. strategic plan. He com“One of the key prioripares it to having a good ties was to add at least two roap map. The map clearly people under the age of shows you where you are, 30 to show committee,” where your destination is, Helder says of the committee’s plan to deal with sucand should be referred to cession planning. With the often to make sure you are additions of Chris Mueller still on track and not going and Rebecca Parker, the in the wrong direction. If committee was able to utiyou do happen to get off lize say they had clearly course, referring to the achieved that goal. map will quickly show you Other key priorities for what direction you need to the 2018 show included go in order to get back on orientation materials for track. members of the Show When creating the stra- The Congress strategic plan tegic plan with the Show Committee, summarizing process is facilitated by Show Committee, Helder says and sharing the strategic Committee Chair, Nathan the collaboration of ideas plan to empower chapters Helder. came very freely due to and sector groups, to utilize technology (social media) with exhibithe fact that volunteers already shared tors, and to develop a process to ensure the common purpose of making both 50 per cent of exhibitors utilized the digital Congress and Landscape Ontario better. VIP passes. “Everyone is very proud of the organization we are in, and Congress is basically With an updated plan for 2019, Helder says the key priorities are much more an example of that,” Helder explains. focused this second time around. Keeping Congress relevant and leveraging LO’s total connection to membership is stated on the one-page document Giving it all a purpose The strategic planning process also as the factor for success. Helder says one allowed committee members to clearly way to remain relevant is by having cur-

define the purpose of Congress and identify the factors needed to ensure success. That is defined in the document as keeping Congress relevant and leveraging LO’s total connection to its membership. Action items to ensure that is met include: yearly strategic planning sessions with quarterly updates, developing marketing strategies to bring in new business and increase attendance, elevating the on-site experience, exploring new markets and revenue streams, and maintaining annual profit margins.

Strategic plan for the association

Helder’s work with the Show Committee to develop a strategic plan was noticed by LO’s Provincial Board of Directors, who have hired Helder and Southbrook Consulting to work on a strategic plan for the entire association. Helder says just as the process helped to create a clear vision and unify members of the Show Committee towards working on a common goal, the facilitation of a strategic plan for the association will help to unify all stakeholders and create a clear road map for future success of the association as well.


LO board looks to the future Landscape Ontario’s Provincial Board of Directors have hired Nathan Helder and Southbrook Consulting to create a detailed strategic plan for the entire association. Helder facilitated the planning and development of a strategic plan for LO’s Show Committee back in November 2016, of which Helder is the current chair. During that process, the committee had to clearly define both the core values and purpose of Congress. Helder says once those values were clearly defined, the question then became, “Do those values and goals align with those of the association, and what are the goals and values of Landscape Ontario? This spring, all LO chapters, sector groups and home office staff were asked to complete a SWOT analysis without any facilitation by Helder, allowing input to be as candid as possible. As those are completed, Helder will then compile the information and summarize it on a

one-page document as succinctly as possible. Helder did facilitate one session with the LO past presidents, some of whom were involved in the last strategic planning session many years ago. “I’m a big believer of respecting the past,” Helder explains, “but at the same time, we still need to move forward.” The next step will involve gaining perspective via interviews with engaged volunteers and some of the LO staff, followed by the formation of a hand-picked strategic planning committee that will then spend a day or two to produce the final one-page document. The result will be an updated longterm, association wide strategic plan that will clearly define the values and purpose of Landscape Ontario and its many efforts, initiatives and events. The plan will also act as a guide the association will refer to on a regular basis to continually update and to keep on track.

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Volunteers began the clean up by raking the turf in the park.

St. James Park gets Earth Day weekend makeover By Robert Ellidge

The seventh annual Clean Up the Park Day at St. James Park in downtown Toronto saw dozens of volunteers enjoy a few hours working outdoors to transform and revitalize the vital green space for all those to enjoy. In the early morning of April 21, crews from several Landscape Ontario member companies arrived on site, unloaded their tools and equipment, and gathered at the park’s gazebo to go over the game plan for that morning. Organizers Kyle Tobin and Alan White, members of Landscape Ontario’s Turf Management Sector Group, thanked the over 30 volunteers from Landscape

Ontario member companies and gave a brief history of the event. Tobin, owner of LawnSavers Plant Health Care in Concord, Ont., explained the clean up became an annual tradition after the park was fully restored in just two days by volunteers and suppliers from the landscape profession back in 2010. “Every Earth Day weekend since, we come back here and we rake, aerate, seed, fertilize, to make sure this park, that gets a tonne of use, stays healthy and green and producing all of the environmental benefits that we can all enjoy.” Tobin says the annual clean up is a means to ensure that initial volunteer effort was not wasted. White, owner of Turf Systems in Bur-

Community volunteers included members of Toronto Police Services and its youth program.


lington, Ont., thanked the many volunteers for attending and explained the strong relationship that has ensued over the years with local residents and the St. Lawrence Market BIA, a partner in the event from the very beginning. Bob Kemp, St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Streetscape Coordinator, has been taking care of the park for 20 years. He, along with Tobin and White, was able to pull off the major park restoration back in 2010 and have continued to maintain the park meticulously ever since. Kemp also coordinated the participation of Toronto Police Services in the clean up this year. Several uniformed officers arrived to lend a hand with about two dozen youth from the Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI). Started in 2006, the YIPI program employs a number of diverse youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years old from priority neighbourhoods across Toronto, with the goal of providing them exposure and experience in a work environment. Stacey Atkins, a Plant Health Specialist with LawnSavers, described the maintenance performed by her and other volunteers from the green profession throughout the morning: “We started by cleaning out all the sticks and debris and any of the garbage that had blown into the park. We then aerated the property to help relieve the compaction, allowing air to circulate around the roots of the grass and also to improve drainage throughout the park. Following that, we went through and seeded the whole area. Any of the particularly damaged or well-worn spots we went over with a power seeder that helps to further improve the grass in those areas. We then went through and fertilized everything to make sure it has nutrients to grow big and strong.” Atkins says her work “to help establish a nice green space for people to enjoy” is one reasons why she volunteered, adding not only does it help her to feel good, but it also helps to instill a love of nature for the many kids and young people from the local community who helped out. Holly Howitt, a hairdresser at World Salon that overlooks the park, says her entire workplace participated in the clean up because the goals of the event align with those of her workplace. “The salon has always made lots of effort to be sustainable and eco-friendly and it just seemed like a natural extension of the value of the salon to pitch in with the community and help with the maintenance of the park,” Howitt says, adding the salon’s owner also takes care of the gardens on the corner of Adelaide and

Equipment, labour, tools and supplies for the park clean up are provided at no cost to the city.

Jarvis in the park. Lindsay Renner, a horticultural technician with Clintar Landscape Management, spent the morning picking up debris and raking. “This park is centrally located and there’s pretty much nothing like it in the area,” Renner said. “Where I live, there are parks everywhere, so I can’t even imagine living downtown and not having a park.” Renner said she volunteered for the event in order to help keep the park looking green all summer long for kids and the local community. Clayton Markham, Irrigation Lead and Supervisor at Turf Systems, says the day was a lot of fun, and not only did he get the personal satisfaction that comes from volunteering, he was also inspired by the efforts of the local community: “That was probably one of the best parts was to see the community come in and just pick up a rake or ask if there was anything they could do. To me, that really fulfills the reason for being here.” About 30 people from the local community worked alongside the landscape profession, cleaning out garden beds, raking, and picking up debris. Among those were local residents, Bob Tubby, founder of Arbordale Landscaping in Markham, Ont., and Chris Clayton, owner of Christopher Clayton Landscape Architect, in Toronto, Ont., both seasoned volunteers with Landscape Ontario. Clayton says in addition to wanting to give back to community, he participated simply due to his love for working outdoors — something that appeals to all those who work in the profession. “Most of us work outdoors anyway, and we love it,” Clayton says a benefit of the event is the ability for green professionals “to be able to encourage the general public and to actively engage them that they can do something wonderful outside, and that there is also potential to having a good career.” Organizers would like to thank: sponsors Plant Products and Lawn Life; the St. Lawrence Market BIA (for providing coffee and food for volunteers); volunteer crews from Allweather Landscape, Clintar Landscape Management, LawnSavers Plant Health Care, Turf Systems, Weedman; Bob Kemp, Toronto Police Services; and the many volunteers from Landscape Ontario and the local community.

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The competition provides real-world experiences for students.

Students compete at annual Skills Ontario The 2018 Ontario Skills Competition took place May 7-8, at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto, Ont. The largest skilled trades and technology competition in Canada, Skills featured both secondary and post-secondary students from across the province competing in a number of various skilled trades, including categories for Horticulture and Landscape, and Landscape Design. This year saw an excellent showing from all competitors. Despite a few hiccups along the way, it was encouraging to see competitors conquer challenges head-on. For

this event to even be possible, members of the industry also step up to the plate — providing their time, product, supplies and resources needed to put on a competition of this scale. Thank you to the following sponsors who continue to provide the resources needed to host this event: Permacon, Connon NVK, Milwaukee Tools, Battlefield Equipment, Stihl Canada (and Steve Anderson for his continued help supervising the saws), Creative Landscape Depot, Grand River Natural Stone, Snap Edge Canada/Great North Landscape Supply,

Students hard at work in the landscape design competition.


Compact Sod, TNT Property Maintenance, and FSI Landscape Supply. The Horticulture and Landscape, PostSecondary competition featured seven, two-person teams from across the province work hard to complete a two-day build. Winners are: First place, Thomas Hawley and Blaise Mombourquette, Algonquin College; second place, Andrew Campbell and Tianna Ghersini, Durham College; third place, Connor Hockley and Kevin Willcox, Humber College. The Horticulture and Landscape, Secondary school competition had 13 teams of two compete to complete their build in just one day. Winners are: First place, Antonio Carvalho and Nicholas Braga, St. Joan of Arc Secondary School (Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board), second place, Anton Niemi-Fielding and Colin Therrien, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School (Rainbow District School Board); third place, Arcindo Costa and Michael Gomes, Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School (Toronto Catholic District School Board). Winners for the two-day, Landscape Design, Post-Secondary competition are: First place, Rachel Radauskas, Fanshawe College; second place, Terri Carroll, Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture; third place, Haley Johnston, Humber College. Winners for the one-day, Landscape Design, Secondary competition are: First place, Hazel Barredo, Mary Ward Catholic School (Toronto Catholic District School Board); second place, Fiorella Granda, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School (Halton Catholic District School Board), third place, Adiva Saadat, White Oaks Secondary School (Halton District School Board). Thanks also to the support from Landscape Ontario, as well as committee members and judges for participating in the event that continues to enhance the industry through recognizing the skills of future employees. Judges: Steve Neumann, Mark Dawson, Candace Lapointe, Alex Foster, Erin Carey, Michael Garcia, Brandon Gelderman. Thanks to Shane Jones for completing the designs for the competition and cochair, Eckhard Lutz, master of the judging program and to Rob Tester for his dedication and support that makes this event such a success. The 30th annual Skills Ontario competition will take place in 2019. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Sally Harvey at sharvey@ or Rob Tester, Horticulture and Landscaping Technical Chair, at


Fanshawe Colleges students, Geoffrey Trenholm Tobias Edwards and Lisa Norton help with the clean up of the park.

London Student Chapter cleans and greens Culver Park On April 21st, volunteers from the London Student Chapter of Landscape Ontario spent a few hours to “Clean and Green” Culver Park in London, Ont., in celebration of Earth Day 2018. After months of lulls and setbacks, I was joined by Fanshawe Horticulture Technician students, Geoffrey Trenholm, Tobias

Edwards, and Lisa Norton (who drove all the way from Strathroy, Ont.), who were happy to finally do their first work on the project that didn’t involve just garbage clean up. There was tremendous initiative and energy for the project, and we all shared great ideas to make the short two-hour

project a neatly-completed reality. Our work included the installation of a garden bed using only materials salvaged from the park itself. Irises, daylilies, and other donated bulbs were planted under a pre-existing tree, with leaf-mulch gathered from piles around the park (and combed for trash). Fallen logs were cut with hand-tools and used to line the bed. There is much more work we are anxious to do, and we can’t wait to see the plant material in fullbloom! The Student Chapter would like to extend their deepest thanks to Landscape Ontario members Wendy Harry, Matt Hart, Heather Jerrard, and Pam Cook, for their involvement and assistance with this Culver Park “Clean and Green” event. Its success was due in no small part to their encouragement and assistance. Thanks also to second-year student, Matthew Marrison, for donating plants from his personal collection, and to all the members of the Student Chapter who were unable to attend, but whose previous dedication helped us to achieve this groundbreaking event. — Norna Hugasdottir, Student Chapter President 2017-2018

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Communities across the province will transform a downtown street into a temporary outdoor playground for the Green Street Challenge.


Presented by Springfree Trampolines, the Green Street Challenge creates opportunities for residents in local communities to celebrate the importance of outdoor, unstructured play. For each event, sod is laid down on a prominent street in a participating community across Ontario, effectively creating a temporary park to be enjoyed. The Green Street Challenges are made possible thanks to a partnership between Landscape Ontario members, the National Sod Growers Association (NSGA) members, and Come Alive Outside. In 2018, Green Street Challenges will take place in the following communities: Hamilton, June 2; West Port, June 30; Picton, July 1; Barrie, July 4; Calgary, Alb., Aug. 4, Woodstock, Aug. 10-11; Huntsville, Aug. 18; Toronto, Aug. 19. Events are also being planned for London, Oshawa, Vaughan, Milton, and Collingwood. If you would like to get your company involved with any of these events, contact and check for details on specific events.





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The Landscape Ontario Irrigation Sector Group has released the Irrigation Charge-Out Rates card, listing recommended hourly and daily charge out rates for common skill sets and tasks within the irrigation sector. The rate card IRRIGATION suggests hourly CHARGEcharge out rates for: OUT RATES water manager, irrigation service technician, central control specialist, designer, and more. Also listed are suggested daily rates for a pipe puller, wire locator and three-quarter ton pickup truck. The rate card is designed to educate potential and existing clients on the direct costs related to working with qualified irrigation professionals and to combat the practices of undercutting of rates. A copy of the printed rate card is included with this issue of Landscape Ontario magazine. LO members may order bulk copies of the rate card in packages of 100 from the LO home office in Milton by calling 1-800-265-5656 or online at The following are recommended charge-out rates for the irrigation industry. Rates do not include cost of equipment.



Irrigation service technician . . . . . . . $80 - $105/hour

Labourer . . . . . . . . .$65 - $75/hour Water manager . . . . .$125 - $150/hour

Central control specialist $100 - $145/hour Supervisor . . . . . . . $75- $100/hour Foreperson . . . . . . . . $65- $95/hour

Designer/Consultant . . .$125 - $150/hour

Service charge . . . . . .$40-$100/hour

Three-quarter ton pickup truck . . . . . . . . . $150/day

Pipe puller . . . . . . . . . . $350/day Wire locator. . . . . . . . $35 - $50/day

Published by

May 2018 • Irrigation charge-out rate information


Entries for Landscape Ontario’s Garden Centre Awards of Excellence program will be open to retail members of the association from July 1 to Sept. 1, 2018. Whether it’s a creative merchandising display of plants or seasonal goods, a permanent display garden, print advertising, a website, or a special event designed to attract customers to their store, the annual awards competition offers many categories to recognize the unique and innovative marketing efforts of retailers. The Outstanding Display of Plant Material category includes deciduous shrubs and/or trees, annuals and/or perennials, evergreens and/or broadleaf, specialty plants material your business is noted for, and new varieties of annual and/or perennials. In the Outstanding Display of Goods category, awards will be handed out for displays of giftware, hardgoods and

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Marketing efforts by retailers can be entered into LO’s annual awards competition.


seasonal goods. Other Merchandising Techniques is divided into creative P.O.P. area, outstanding promotional event, outstanding print advertising, and outstanding website development. The Permanent Display Gardens category is divided into display under 500 sq. ft. and over 500 sq. ft. in size. The awards program is only open to current Active and Interim members of Landscape Ontario and a fee of $75 per entry applies. Entries are judged based on images and project description submitted with each entry. Entries by non-member companies will not be considered. Entries are judged by a group of industry experts with winners announced during a special ceremony in January 2019 in conjunction with Congress: Canada’s Green Industry Show and Conference. Details on the awards ceremony will be made available at a later date. A brochure containing information on the Garden Centre Awards of Excellence program was mailed out to all LO garden centre members in early June. To learn more about the program, or to enter, visit Questions can be directed to Amy Buchanan at Amy@


Some pretty spectacular projects by Landscape Ontario members adorn the pages of the annual issue of Pools, Spas and Patios magazine. The 2018 edition includes twopage spreads on projects by Pool Craft, Solda Pools, M & S Architectural, and Betz Pools, plus a project by Roger Willis Contracting that won the Casey van Maris Award in the 2018 Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence program. In addition, a four-page article written by Denis Flanagan, LO Public Relations Manager, discusses how homeowners can budget for and plan ahead for their own backyard sanctuary. Flanagan’s article also provides tips on the latest trends in design, vegetable gardens, outdoor kitchens, outdoor exercise areas, unique plants and interesting colour combinations. The article is supported by stunning photography from Awards of Excellence winning projects from BonaVista Pools, Pool Craft, Earthscape Ontario and Landscape Plus. The publication is available at the following retailers until the end of November: Canadian Tire, Chapters/Indigo, Home Depot, Lowes, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart.

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Each year, the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation awards over $50,000 in scholarships to high school and post-secondary students across the province. The funding goes to the best and brightest horticulture students who are the future of the profession, and it provides a real boost right when they need it most. Created in 1979, the Foundation’s mandate is to ensure a healthy future for the horticulture industry through financial support for research and scholarships. With dozens of recipients each year, the foundation makes a major impact on the lives of future green professionals. Under the Foundation umbrella, the Cullen Family Scholarship program also sees some $30,000 awarded to students each year. In the last 10 years alone, the Foundation has awarded over $330,000 in scholarships to students pursuing a career in the green profession. The deadline to apply for scholarships is June 30. Applying is easy, and generally requires students to send their transcripts and a short essay describing their interest in horticulture. To apply, visit and click on Available Scholarships.

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979650 Ontario Ltd


Thurlow Construction Ltd

Zak Snowden 57 McGill Dr, Janetville, ON L0B 1K0 Tel: 905-260-8854 Membership Type: Active

Ciamp Services and/or Taylor P Mackenzie Ciampichini

Taylor Ciampichini 15 Christy Dr, Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 1C8 Tel: 519-330-4573 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

Forbes Sand & Gravel Ltd Dawn Forbes 381297 17 Conc, PO Box 967 Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0 Tel: 519-534-5540 Membership Type: Associate

OnSite Landscaping Inc

Domenic Romeo 8 Riley St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0 Tel: 905-285-0661 Membership Type: Active

Weeks Construction Inc

Shannon Burrows PO Box 397, Parry Sound, ON P2A 2X4 Tel: 705-746-5111 Membership Type: Active

Larry Sacchetti 13 Orlanda Rd, Stoney Creek, ON L8G 2J9 Tel: 416-509-3140 Membership Type: Interim Tim Thurlow 1811 Old Waterdown Rd, Burlington, ON L7P 0T2 Tel: 905-630-4801 Membership Type: Active

LONDON Cochran’s Landscaping

Ryan Cochran 90 Oxford St, Woodstock, ON N4S 6A5 Tel: 519-671-3170 Membership Type: Active

OTTAWA Valley Landscaping & Excavating

Alex Brown 1272 Helferty Line, Douglas, ON K0J 1S0 Tel: 613-649-8222 Membership Type: Active

TORONTO Alpine Arborist

Spencer Jackson 4 Lenarthur Crt, Aurora, ON L4G 6M2 Tel: 416-509-2665 Membership Type: Active


Fencer 3000 Inc

Ryan Todd 3389 Nighthawk Trail, Mississauga, ON L5N 6G5 Tel: 416-885-7926 Membership Type: Associate

Tridant Rail Services and or Tanner Forsyth

Landmark Construction Landscaping Ltd

Tanner Forsyth 48 Cousins Crt, Bradford, ON L37 0H1 Tel: 289-926-8880 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

Menna Landscaping & Contracting Ltd

Pankaj Jain 7714 Martin Grove Rd, Woodbridge, ON L4L 2C4 Tel: 905-266-2098 Membership Type: Associate

Cemal Giritli 17 Bighorn Trail, Nobleton, ON L7B 0A5 Tel: 416-399-6060 Membership Type: Interim Jason Menna 13305 Hwy 27, Nobleton, ON L0G 1N0 Tel: 416-997-1644 Membership Type: Active

Nevada Pools & Spas/ Stonecrete Landscaping

Tony Furfaro 4-10501 Weston Rd, Woodbridge , ON L4H 4G8 Tel: 289-553-7665 Membership Type: Satellite

Noby Landscaping

Nobuaki Tanaka 4 Dersingham Cres, Thornhill, ON L3T 4E7 Tel: 416-580-7711 Membership Type: Active

Spitz’s Total Maintenance Inc

Domenic Spizzirri 314 Pine Ave, Palgrave, ON L7E 4C1 Tel: 647-501-5604 Membership Type: Active

The Gilded Garden

Grant Cooper 29 Craigleith Cres, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 2S3 Tel: 647-333-9120 Membership Type: Active

World Wide Stone

UPPER CANADA Renew Landscaping

Bryan Couperus 320 Smith St, Brighton, ON K0K 1H0 Tel: 613-403-4374 Membership Type: Interim

WATERLOO M.D.S. Projects Ltd

Michael Scott 40 Stuart St Guelph, ON N1E 4S5 Tel: 519-827-7057 Membership Type: Active

Parkland Fuel Corporation Brent Taylor 228 Arthur St W Harriston, ON N0G 1Z0 Tel: 416-606-2714 Membership Type: Associate

EVENTS June 14

Halton Commercial Vehicle Safety Information Night

Regional Headquarters, 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville Operators of commercial vehicles and trailers can RSVP for this information session led by Halton Regional Police Services.

Full details and registration information for all events can be found online at or at specific chapter or sector pages.

June 26

Aug. 17

ORCGA Golf Tournament

The Club at Bond Head, Bond Head Register online for this annual gathering of stakeholders and suppliers in the damage prevention industry. Visit July 19

Toronto Chapter Golf Tournament

June 16-24

Garden Days

Organize an event in your community or participate in Canada’s annual coast to coast to coast celebration of gardens and gardening. Visit June 23

Landscape Industry Certified Exam Day

Landscape Ontario, Milton Verify your skills and expand your career path by becoming Landscape Industry Certified. Visit

Cardinal Golf Club, King City Online registration and sponsorship packages are now available for the chapter’s annual golf event to be held at a new location this year. July 26

Ottawa Chapter Golf Tournament

The Meadows Golf and Country Club, Ottawa Proceeds will benefit the Do It for Daryn Foundation (DIFD). Sponsorship and golfer registration available online. July 29

Waterloo Chapter’s Family Day

Bingeman Park, Kitchener A limited number of tickets are available for this fun day that includes park admission, face painting, bouncy castle, prizes, water park and more.

Golden Horseshoe Chapter Golf Tournament

Willow Valley Golf Course, Hamilton Sign up by June 22 for your chance to win a special early bird prize. Online registration and sponsorship opportunities are available. Event supports the MS Society of Canada. Aug. 23

Summerfest BBQ

Sheridan Nurseries, 1266 10th Line, Georgetown After a day touring the trial gardens in Guelph and Milton, head to Georgetown for an evening of food, drinks and merriment hosted by LO’s Georgian Lakelands Chapter. Register online. Aug. 23

2nd Annual Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Golf Tournament

Port Hope Golf & Country Club, Port Hope Golfers of all levels can join hosts Mark Cullen and Dr. James Cubine for this day of golf to raise money for the HOHLT. To register or sponsor the event, visit

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Heat stress can lead to exhaustion, heart attack and lost production time.

Ways to prevent heat stress Working in the intense heat of the summer sun can put workers at risk of heat stress, but heat stress can also hit you in places you wouldn’t expect. “Any job that causes your body temperature to rise has the potential to cause heat stress,” says Michael Puccini, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) occupational hygiene consultant. “Even jobs carried out in air-conditioned environments.” There are many ways to keep workers safe from heat stress. It’s important to train

workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress in themselves and other workers, and to take action. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience as a result of heat stress include: fatigue, light headedness, dizziness, blurry vision, trouble focusing on the work at hand or others, including excessive sweating. Left unchecked, heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heart attack, and other physical health effects. Plus, it can be damaging to business, by way of

lost productivity, disability costs, and fines and penalties. Workers should be protected from the health risks associated with heat stress. Sun-related heat stress is a well-recognized hazard that can be prevented through a combination of engineering and administrative controls. Put policies and procedures in place, based on a risk assessment. Is work being done in direct sunlight? Are there heat producing processes and equipment in the workplace? Have workers been affected by heat in the past? Indoor heat stress can occur anytime a body temperature rises and the body cannot cool itself. This can occur anywhere, even in cooler temperatures. If protective clothing doesn’t allow your body to expel heat, you could be at risk. Here are five cost-effective prevention tips: 1. Wear cotton or other loose woven fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin. As soon as you allow that evaporation, you’re cooling the body. 2. Make watering stations available for employees. Small quantities of cool (not cold) liquid prevent dehydration, and maintain the body’s ability to sweat and cool itself. 3. Train workers, supervisors and managers to recognize signs of heat stress. You may not be aware you’re suffering heat stress, but others can say, “Look at the sweat pouring off of you. Something’s wrong. You need to go take a break, or talk to the supervisor.” 4. Promote a healthy lifestyle. Workers who are not physically fit are more susceptible to heat stress because their body has to overly exert itself to perform a task. 5. Review other risk factors for heat stress



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with workers. As we age, our bodies are less able to get rid of heat efficiently. Certain medications, such as blood pressure pills and other diuretics cause increased urination, which can reduce the body’s ability to expel heat through sweating. For more resources, article and tips on dealing with heat stress and other workplace hazards, visit and click on Resources, then Articles or visit the shortlink


The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) recently announced its list of provincial safety blitzes for 2018-2019. In the construction sector, MOL will conduct an enforcement campaign on compliance for working at heights/fall protection training from June 1-30, 2018. A blitz on reversing equipment on construction projects will look at compliance support and prevention from Sept. 1-30, followed by an enforcement campaign from Oct. 1-31. A blitz on employment standards within construction firms began on May 1 and will run until Aug. 31. In the industrial sector, MOL will continue its blitz on new and young workers’ health and safety until Aug. 31, then look specifically at health and safety in warehouses and big box retailers from Oct. 31 to Nov 23. Machine guarding in the sector will be blitzed Feb. 1 to March 29, 2019. For more details on health and safety and employment standard in the province, visit

Snowposium offers an ideal pre-season event for snow removal contractors.


Snow and ice removal contractors and affiliated suppliers planning to attend Snowposium 2018 on Sept. 25 should note this year’s event will be held at a new location, Lionhead Golf and Conference Centre in Brampton, Ont. Produced by Landscape Ontario’s Snow and Ice Sector Group, the Snowposium trade show and conference was moved due to planned construction at LO’s home office in Milton, Ont. The full-day event runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will focus on the conference portion this year, but will still include a scaled-down exhibit area of tabletops, featuring snow and ice removal equipment, technology and affiliated products. Planned conference topics include a legislative update relating to the snow and ice sector, an overview of the Smart

About Salt (SAS) program, a detailed session on the Landscape Ontario Standard Form Snow and Ice Maintenance Contract, plus Claims Management, Civil Litigation Issues and an in-class Commercial Vehicle Inspection demonstration. A full conference pass includes inclass sessions, lunch and access to exhibits. Early bird registration is now open. Costs are $85 per LO, SIMA or SAS member or $115 per non-member if registered by Sept. 14. Prices go up after that date. Snowposium is where key players in the Ontario snow and ice removal sector gather to prepare for the upcoming season. Tabletop exhibit space is already sold out, but sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, please contact Amy Buchanan at A full agenda, event details and online registration is available at

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SCHOLARSHIP PROFILE Passion for the outdoors leads to a career path After graduating high school, study at the college in the greenhouse and my studies have Giovanna Catenacci wasn’t sure complemented it so well. I have which career path she should had the opportunity to propagate pursue. What she did know, new cuttings, start plants from however, was that she loved seed, and I have really enjoyed being outdoors. the process of taking care of the “I started working in retail for plants and seeing them planted an outdoors store and I had the in the gardens in the arboretum. opportunity to do some kayaking and backpacking trips.” CatIt is really special to be a part of enacci explains. “Eventually, that process where the plants are Giovanna Catenacci I decided to look for a college beautifying spaces that people program that would be a good fit and I came get to enjoy every day. Being able to work across the Landscape Technician program outdoors is probably the best thing ever.” at Humber College.” A 2017 Ontario Horticultural Trades Giovanna quickly fell in love with landFoundation post-secondary scholarship scaping and horticulture. recipient, Catenecci graduated from Humber “My favourite part has been the propaCollege in April 2018. gation and working directly with plants,” “It was a honour to receive the scholarship,” she says. “I am paying for school on Catenacci says. “I ended up getting a work

my own, so the scholarship really made a difference when it comes to all of extra expenses including field clothes and all the equipment that I need. I feel very fortunate and grateful to the Foundation for supporting me to pursue my goal of a career in horticulture.” In September 2018, Catenacci will study urban arboriculture at Humber where she will earn an arborist certification. “It’s a one year program that includes tree identification, proper maintenance, disease identification as well as safety when cutting down trees,” she explains. Catenacci hopes to start her own business that specializes in maintenance and sustainability of properties. “I think there is a trend where people maybe aren’t travelling as much as they used to, and instead, they want to create their own space at home where they can enjoy nature and the outdoors,” she says. “With the experience I have gained through the landscape technician program, the greenhouse work study, the arboretum maintenance work that I did last season and now the urban arboriculture course, I feel like a have a great foundation to begin working in the field. I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m excited to continue learning everyday.”



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Landscape Ontario promotes the career paths available in the profession to thousands of students at Skills Ontario.

What to do about labour Tony DiGiovanni CHT LO Executive Director


ithout a doubt, the most pressing short- and long-term issue for the landscape and horticulture profession is a lack of skilled labour. Historically, the industry was built on imported labour from Portugal, Italy, Holland and Germany.

Times are different

Imported labour is no longer available and many young Canadians are not interested in trade occupations. This situation is true for most skilled trades, not just landscaping and horticulture. The construction, automotive, manufacturing and industrial sectors are all experiencing the same challenges. Many well-paying, full-time jobs are not being filled because of the stigma attached to trade occupations. Landscape Ontario has been working on this issue from a short- and longterm perspective for many years. We have made huge inroads at the high school, college and apprenticeship levels, yet the issue remains by far, the most challenging

one we face. There is a lot more we must do. Our future depends on it.

Analyzing the problem

The problem is very complex. A buoyant economy, seasonality, perceived low pay, lack of awareness of career opportunities, image, long hours, negative attitudes against the trades, demographics, reduced immigration, stigma attached to physical work, lack of benefits in many companies, lack of clear career paths, inconsistent training, lack of mechanization, human resource management issues, etc. Balancing out those negatives are a number of great reasons to have a career in the landscape and horticulture profession. We offer physical fitness benefits, fresh air, a healthy lifestyle, beautiful atmosphere, an excellent outlet for creativity, stimulating knowledge, therapeutic attributes, spiritual stimulus, aesthetic enhancement, relevancy and the ability to leave a green legacy for many generations. It is an august and worthy trade. The question and the challenge is: What can we do as a profession to ensure a continued supply of talented, skilful, creative and enthusiastic individuals who will define the future of our profession? Here are some ideas:

• Develop an employment agency to: - Register all current employees and find them temporary, off-season jobs. - Recruit new employees from other parts of the world or country. - Recruit new employees from high schools, colleges and universities. - Recruit retired people and others who may not want full-time work. - Provide training opportunities and jobs for people looking for work. - Register candidates into the Apprenticeship Program. • Mount an advertising campaign on the benefits of a career in the profession. • Promote horticulture careers to students at all levels. • Promote youth apprenticeship and co-op programs. • Continue engagement with Skills Canada. • Develop relationships with other temporary agencies to fill seasonal labour needs. • Host job fairs. • Encourage immigrants to work in the profession. • A public relations campaign to change societal perception toward the trades in regards to manual labour. • Change working conditions, i.e. increase pay, reduce hours, banking of hours, reduce seasonal layoffs, develop bonus and profit sharing plans, add benefit programs, look into franchising opportunities, etc. • Promote skills training within companies. Knowledge builds enthusiasm. (Apprenticeship, certification programs, etc.).

How employers can help

What are you as an employer doing to make sure your staff are aware of the many career development and training opportunities? Have you registered any of your staff in the apprenticeship or certification programs? Are you looking for ways to work smarter by using labour-saving equipment? Is your operation a fun place to work? As with many problems, the first step on the road to a solution starts by taking responsibility to improve the situation. Landscape Ontario and its members need to take ownership of this problem and take action to ensure that at the very least, those currently in the profession are having positive experiences. Our future depends on it. Tony DiGiovanni may be reached at



A renewed home office in Milton

A new day is dawning By Denis Flanagan CLD LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations


une has always been known as a month for fresh beginnings and celebrations. One of the three most popular months for weddings, June also includes Father’s Day, Flag Day in the U.S., SaintJean-Baptiste Day in Quebec, and of course, the first day of summer. The arrival of summer brings with it a sense of revival after the long winter months. This is especially true this year. With a prolonged cold spell well into spring, many gardeners (myself included) waited anxiously to see if the buds on our wisteria, red buds and buddleias would ever come to life — and at the same time, watched as our natural woodlands and ravines burst into activity.

Embracing the natural world

This sort of sums up how a new day is dawning in the world of landscaping and gardening. Homeowners still want to surround themselves with ornamental beauty, yet at the same time, they also want to embrace the natural world. A fine example of this can we witnessed with the ongoing expansion plans at the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG). ! VE TE SA DA E TH

I sit on the board of the TBG, and I am very excited to see how this unique green space located in the heart of the city will evolve; as will its partnership with the City of Toronto. Hopefully, many of our Landscape Ontario members will be involved to create a hub for excellence, exploration and education for a new breed of gardeners.

A new generation of gardeners

My good friend, Mark Cullen, describes these new gardeners quite nicely in his book, The New Canadian Gardener: “As I reflect on the gardeners’ priorities in the ‘90s, I am reminded that gardening will never be the same way again. First, because newer homes are being built on much smaller lots than they were 20 years ago. In fact, many “homes” are not even houses at all, but condos with intensely planned and planted balconies that present new opportunities and challenges. Second, and more importantly, the incoming generation of gardeners has challenged all of us to look at gardening from a different point of view.” As an industry, I believe the green profession has an opportunity in the next couple of years to be the leader in this new movement. Your LO staff are already developing programs, meetings and information in partnership with our chapters and sector groups to embrace this new generation of homeowners and gardeners. We have already seen great examples through plant symposiums and the Fusion Landscaping program.

At the same time, construction will begin shortly on the LO building in Milton, transforming and modernizing the offices of your membership services team. It’s interesting for me to watch the younger generation of staff give their input on how the association should be portrayed. As always, this portrayal is a true reflection of the pulse of our membership. The valuable information we gather while talking with members at events across the province allows us to not only shape the future of your association, but to also gather insight on how to best connect with potential members and their customers in an ever-changing world of instant communications and technologies. If we get it right, we could seize the opportunity to provide well-crafted horticultural information, coupled with with a broader message about ecology, the environment and community, which could not only be a wonderful conduit between our members and the media, but in the grander scheme of things, could also help to paint a new image of our profession. This new image may also be part of the solution towards solving the number one issue for our members: attracting and retaining new, skilled staff for their growing companies. By the way, the buddleia, redbud and wisteria all survived in my garden. Perhaps this is an indication that both ornamental and native plant material have room to grow and flourish in harmony, to provide an opportunity to share a story. As we embark on this new day, we welcome any feedback, ideas or comments from LO members. Denis Flanagan can be reached at or at 905-875-1805, ext. 2303.

Nursery Growers

Summer Tour


The tour will include nurseries, greenhouses, and botanical gardens in the Hamilton-Niagara Region. Enjoy lunch at the Niagara College Culinary School Restaurant with afternoon refreshments at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Visit for more information.



Valerie Groves (Landscape Plus), Ben Cullen (Mark’s Choice), Jim Mosher (Landscape Plus) and Claudia Zuccato Ria (Toronto Botanical Garden). Mark’s Choice and Landscape Plus sponsored this year’s Through the Garden Gate tour.

The power of volunteers By Myscha Stafford LO Membership and Chapter Coordinator


his year’s Through the Garden Gate, a tour of some of Toronto’s finest private gardens, will feature 19 gardens in Windfields Estate. I had the opportunity this year to tour the gardens during a special preview held in late May. Celebrating its 31st year in 2018, the annual self-guided garden tour is produced by the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG). Each stop along the tour is staffed by a Toronto Master Gardener and TBG volunteer who are there to answer questions and explain unique elements about each garden. With the spectrum of gardens on the tour, guests can learn about many elements in the gardens, including: creating a certified wildlife habitat, what plants to use in a shade garden, creating a kitchen garden, using colour to marry your house and garden, elevation changes, a dog friendly garden (I especially liked this one), as well as what plants to choose for all-season blooms. This tour offers a sampling of some of Toronto’s most exquisite private gardens for ideas of what folks would like in their own landscape and of course, demonstrates the results of hiring a real landscape professional. Something different about this year’s

tour was that the Toronto Botanical Garden was the headquarters for the tour. Not only were guests given access to the private gardens along the tour, but they were also given the opportunity to enjoy the gardens surrounding the TBG. With a recent approval by Toronto City Council, those already fabulous gardens will soon expand from four to 35 acres in size. This expansion will allow for increased educational opportunities, conservation efforts,

research, and of course, expanded gardens for visitors to tour. Both the garden tour and the efforts to expand the TBG are a true testament to the power of volunteers. Within that spirit, I would like to give an extra special thank you to all of Landscape Ontario’s own volunteers who continue to donate their time during their busy spring season. Without them, we would not be able to put together summer events for our membership and plan ahead for the many fall and winter chapter meetings. The late arrival of spring this year has made it especially difficult for our members, and weather is not the only challenge they face. And yet, our members continue to find the time to volunteer for their association and share their passion for their profession. Thank you! With the help of our volunteers, the LO event calendar is filling up with chapter golf tournaments, family days, barbecues and baseball tournaments across the province. Online registration for many, if not all events is now open. You and your staff work incredibly hard and you deserve a change of pace. Our summer events are not all fun and games — they are also some of the best networking opportunities around. Why not attend an event and meet suppliers, learn about new products and foster your team camaraderie? We look forward to seeing you there! For more information about the summer events, please contact Myscha Stafford at or visit

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Milton Mayor Gord Krantz (centre), prepares to raise the Dig Safe flag with ORCGA President and CEO, Douglas Lapp (right), and Terry Murphy.

Milton mayor proclaims Dig Safe Month By Terry Murphy CLM


own of Milton mayor, the Honourable Gordon Krantz, proclaimed the months of April and May as “Dig Safe” months for the Town of Milton and for Halton Hills during a special ceremony at the Landscape Ontario home office in Milton, Ont., on May 4. Organized by the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA), the special Dig Safe event like the one held around the flag pole at Landscape Ontario, is designed to raise awareness about the need to call for locates before digging in the soil. The ceremony included a proclamation by Mayor Krantz and a flag raising ceremony. Many similar events have taken place this spring around the province in key municipalities. A Dig Safe event in Toronto this April attracted over


250 politicians and contractors to celebrate the progress the ORCGA have made in reducing the number of underground damages. The longest serving mayor in Canada (at 38 years), Mayor Krantz has now supported the Dig Safe initiative for three years in a row. During his time as mayor, Milton has grown from a population of around 30,000 to over 110,000 and has recently earned the title as the fastest growing town in the country. Due to this overwhelming amount of development, Mayor Krantz is very supportive of the damage prevention industry and encourages both excavating contractors and residents to call 1-800-400-2255 for locates prior to digging in the soil. Milton has seen such a growth, that the Mayor has commented on the importance of protecting our underground utility assets and the safety of all workers and the public. Milton’s tremendous building boom and the importance of obtaining locates on each project protects the safety of industry employees and the public from costly accidents, personal accidents and

even a fatality. During the Dig Safe event, Mayor Krantz stressed the importance and his appreciation of the work done by the ORCGA and passed on similar words of support from the Town of Halton Hills. The audience on May 4 was reminded about some of the important statistics that are key to measuring the performance of the damage prevention industry. The total number of underground utility hits in Ontario in 2017 was 5,149, up from 4,497 in 2016. The green industry (which includes landscaping and fencing) accounts for about 15 per cent of the total number of utility hits in Ontario. Landscaping hits have decreased slightly over the last couple years, while hits by fencing contractors has increased. Irrigation and agriculture caused very few hits and are negligible components of the Green Industry. Home and property owners are responsible for about 12 per cent of the total number of utility hits in the province. Events such as the one at Landscape Ontario also help to educate those groups on the possible dangers and damage that can result from digging without first obtaining locates. About 20 years ago, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rate for the landscape industry quickly skyrocketed to nearly 10 per cent. A strategic plan was developed at LO’s provincial board level to educate contractors and to raise awareness to the importance of on the job safety. Through the Safety Groups Program, speakers and discussions at chapter meetings, magazine articles, Congress seminars and special safety events, this multi-faceted approach reduced WSIB rates down to 3.5 per cent. In order to drastically reduce the number of underground utility hits by the green industry, we need to once again focus at the board level and disperse the “call before you dig” message from the top down. For starters, if more LO members joined the ORCGA, they would have access to more news, education and resources about the need to first call for locates. Let’s see how many LO members join the ORCGA to start that process. Thank you to all those who attended one of the ORCGA’s awareness events this spring. You have helped to support the ORCGA’s damage prevention efforts. If you would like more information on the many benefits of joining the ORCGA, please call 1-866-446-4493. Terry Murphy can be reached at

PROSPERITY PARTNERS Top skills of great entrepreneurs By Jacki Hart CLM Prosperity Partners Program Manager


fter many years of working with and mentoring business owners, I’ve concluded there is a surprising set of skills that are key to the success of any business career, regardless of the sector or industry you are in. Over the next few months, I’ll chat about some of these key skills. I encourage you to make the time to sit and ponder where your strengths are in regards to each of them. There’s always room for improvement. By having strengths in each of these skills, you will bring a broad-based value to your company as it grows and matures to its next level. After having spent several full-day workshops last winter focusing on building teams, onboarding and improving people management systems, of my top 10 skills, I’ll discuss the skill of engagement this month. A fully engaged business owner includes three main actions as a part of their daily habits: 1. Proactively recruits new people to the

team, keeping their eye on the horizon to balance the emerging needs of the business with the emerging needs of the team. Recruiting has become one of the most important internal activities in most businesses. Creativity, diligence and perseverance are all required in order to proactively build a right fit team at the right time. When new recruits move through the onboarding system, there can be unanticipated strengths and talent that emerge. An engaged entrepreneur notices and adapts constantly. 2. Continuously considers their role as the lead company mentor to people at all levels of the business. Mentoring is one of the key strategies to engage people — especially Millennials. Inspire, engage and tuck them under your wing. Challenge their thinking, give them small projects, demonstrate excellence hands, giving them something to strive for. There are countless ways to make the time as a mentor. Set the example and engage employees at every level within your company. Put yourself in their shoes. Who mentored you to set you off on your current path? Who gave you a bit of special attention or an unexpected compliment? Who passed on what they knew because they saw the potential in you? Become that person for someone else.

Peer to Peer Network is priceless for LO member business owner like-minded business owners. Lindsey Ross is the president The Peer to Peer Network of Living Green Landscaping is free for any LO member in Winchester, Ont. A member business owner. According to of Landscape Ontario, Ross Ross, “it is the single greatest joined LO’s Peer to Peer benefit of Landscape Ontario; Network this year during the the chance for new business face-to-face session, “The owners to pick the brain of a Business of Improving Business” held during Warm Up veteran business owner who Monday as part of Congress has been there, done that. You 2018. Since then, Ross has can’t put a price on being able been actively engaged in the to learn from another professional’s years of experience.” Peer to Peer Network, attendLindsey Ross ing face-to-face sessions “The biggest misconception is that you have to come to the faceacross Ontario this winter, and participating in the online discussions with other to-face sessions in order to be part of

3. Efficiently provides meaningful training opportunities for staff, with an open-door policy for asking questions without fear of ridicule or reprimand. The only thing worse than feeling like you need to ask a dumb question is not asking it to save yourself the embarrassment — and then making an inexcusable or costly mistake on the job. Training is an ongoing activity that has to be meaningful, effective, timely and consistent between employees/teams. An engaged boss ensures they effectively manage the moving parts of the business, with an eye on the big picture. They enable their team to be aligned with one another and continually communicate the targeted company results to everyone with transparency and resolve. They encourage positive accountability at all levels, which most particularly starts with holding him/herself fully accountable to the stated company values and vision. Even at the busiest time of the year, seasoned business owners and managers have developed the wisdom and skills to step back from the busy dayto-day tactical duties and consider their own role as an important part of leading the team. Keep your eye on the prize! Jacki Hart may be reached at the group. You don’t!” Ross explains. The Peer to Peer Network is accessible to everyone. With a mixture of ongoing online discussion on the group’s private LinkedIn or Facebook pages, as well as face-to-face group discussions, there is something that will work for everyone. “If you aren’t able to attend the in-person sessions or don’t want to have to do the traveling, you don’t have to; just engage online,” Ross advises. Ross believes that every business owner or manager should be a member of LO’s Peer to Peer Network: “Try it out and you won’t be disappointed. For all new members, this should be the first thing they do.” For more information or to join LO’s Peer to Peer Network, visit WWW.HORTTRADES.COM  25



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Brandt Tractor Ltd. Braun Nursery Limited Connon Nurseries/CBV Holdings Inc. Expressway Hino Waterloo


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G & L Group (Less Mess)


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GoGPS Great Lakes Wood Products Inc. Greenlife - Ottawa Wholesale Nursery Halton Autolease Inc. John Deere Dealers

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M Putzer Nursery Metal Pless Inc.

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Millgrove Perennials Inc.


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Newroads National Leasing


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Potters Road Nursery Inc. Sipkens Nurseries Ltd. South Oakville Chrysler Fiat Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.


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Total Equipment Sales Inc. V. Kraus Nurseries Ltd.


Join us at Snowposium 2018! A conference focused on relevant business issues and suppliers with the latest equipment and technology makes this the snow event you don’t want to miss.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018




SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 and






Hosted by NVK Holdings Inc, DUNDAS, ONTARIO AW AR






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Proceeds benefit industry research, scholarships, and sector development and promotion through:












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Landscape Ontario - June 2018  

The Voice of Landscape Ontario

Landscape Ontario - June 2018  

The Voice of Landscape Ontario