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October 2018


PRIDE Charlie Wilson carries on the tradition of building quality landscapes.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Every challenge creates an opportunity By Warren Patterson LO President


ost people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the daily conveniences our modern society enjoys. We all know that water comes from a tap, but what process that water went through to get there, and how it actually got there, is not well understood. This also holds true for many of the goods or services that consumers buy. In the horticulture profession, most consumers do not know what is involved in bringing, say a Christmas tree to market. Most are pretty surprised to find out their “brand new” tree is actually 10 years old or more. This lack of understanding, however, can then create challenges for all businesses when there is a significant change in market forces. This year, there is a salt shortage that could significantly impact many of us. I

October, 2018 • Volume 36, No. 9 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

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Department Landscape Ontario 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8 Canada Phone: 905-875-1805

must admit, I never thought much about where salt came from or how it got to our roads and sidewalks. But I do understand what this supply issue will mean if we don’t have enough salt for our roads, parking lots and sidewalks: potentially more accidents and injuries. This significant change will impact any business that is involved in snow and ice removal. Business owners need to be very proactive to manage this, as it could potentially have devastating effects on their business. The most important thing a contractor can do is be transparent with their customers. You need to first educate them before you can then talk about the implications this has on prices. Customers need to understand what the problem is, why and how it has occurred, and then what it will mean to them. I have heard of some contractors who have written a very brief note of explanation to customers and included a news story to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. I have heard of some smart contractors who have added a “2018 Salt Short-

Editor Robert Ellidge, 647-722-5645 Multimedia designer/IT coordinator Mike Wasilewski, 647-723-5343 Sales manager Steve Moyer, 416-848-0708 Account integrater 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, Cassandra Gerrard, 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,

age Price Impact” as a specific line item on their contract for this season, so customers know this is a one-time increase. Most people in life are reasonable and will understand that significant market shortages result in temporary price increases. Look how quickly we have been trained to take a hit at the gas pumps whenever a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico and threatens production facilities. To protect your business, you can also focus on becoming more efficient with your salt usage. Becoming Smart About Salt (SAS) certified is a good place to start by making sure your equipment is properly calibrated and your staff are properly trained to not use any more salt than necessary. The key in times of a supply shortage is to secure supply. This year, the rules are changing. Some distributors are demanding up-front payment and some are requesting contractors take delivery in early winter. This can have a huge impact on your cash flow. Try to plan ahead now. For every challenge, there is an opportunity. Warren Buffet, American business magnate and philanthropist, has always made more money in times of uncertainty because he focuses on what is important and then properly plans for it. If you are a snow removal contractor, take this challenge and make it an opportunity. Landscape Ontario has many resources available online at salt-shortage-resources-page. 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


Work on Frank Stronach Park in Newmarket, Ont., won Bruce Wilson Landscaping a national award.

Member profile: Bruce Wilson Landscaping

Enriching the lay of the land By Becky Dumais Much like a father figure paves the way for his child’s life by imparting the valuable skills and knowledge needed to be successful and happy in life, you could say that Charlie Wilson’s father, Bruce, also helped forge a career path for his son.

Learning the ropes and taking the helm

Charlie had always been involved in landscaping in one way or another, thanks to his dad’s business, Bruce Wilson Landscaping, but he officially became involved in “a meaningful way” in the mid-1980s. A formal education was the logical extension for Charlie to pursue a career in something he’d always enjoyed. “There was a lot to manage as we had a large lawn maintenance and snowplow business at that time. Charlie worked alongside his father for many years. “My dad was very proud,” he says of taking on the business. After graduating from Humber College’s Landscape Technician program in 1989, Charlie transitioned into the landscape construction division of the company. Sadly, Bruce passed away in 2011, after his battle with cancer.


College grad and certified arborist In addition to attending Humber, Charlie is also a certified arborist. He was encouraged by a friend to write the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) exam and decided to go for it. “Writing and passing the exam was a validation of the landscape program at Humber College and specifically the high degree of education we received from Ian Bruce who taught the arboriculture course,” he says. Does this arborist have a favourite plant, shrub or go-to piece of greenery? Charlie says his favourite tree is a gingko. “It’s virtually maintenance free!” he notes. Bruce Wilson Landscaping was originally built on snow removal services but the transition to operating as a diversified general landscape contractor to serve municipalities and development communities exclusively was a natural progression. Charlie oversees his company’s work on the municipal parks, streetscapes, storm ponds, new corporate headquarters, and new industrial/commercial buildings. He knows it wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without his talented team and he acknowledges they are his best asset.

Greening up the neighbourhood

For the last number of years his business has focused on commercial and industrial projects exclusively, which involve a lot of site plan work — everything from trees and subdivision installation, to park construction, storm ponds and valley landscaping. Public green space that everyone can enjoy is vital to that feeling of comfort and gives residents a sense of pride in the community in which they live. In 2016, Bruce Wilson Landscaping received the Caterpillar Award of Excellence in Commercial Landscape Construction/Installation at the CNLA National Awards of Landscape Excellence for their work on Frank Stronach Park in Newmarket, Ont. “Getting the recognition from our industry was quite nice,” he says. Charlie says he maintains a stable of year-round workers, but wintertime could be his favourite time of year since he likes to jet off to his favourite destination: Florida. “I go there about five to six times a year,” he says. When he’s not jet-setting to warmer climates, home is where he spends much of his time. And of course, his property is well landscaped.

Community focused

Volunteering is also important to Charlie and he has dedicated his time for the last five years to fundraising for the local food bank in King Township. “It’s is a fairly affluent area and I was surprised there was a need for a food bank,” he

Before and after images of this award-winning project that featured a waterplay park on the roof of a parking garage.

explains and was astonished to learn that there were more than 200 people using the service each month — 60 per cent of whom were seniors and children. “It is important to give back to our community.” Charlie is looking forward to a busy year ahead and he’s recently taken a seat on Landscape Ontario’s Building

Committee. The LO building is under a major renovation and retrofit. “It’s been exciting,” says Charlie, who was encouraged to participate by way of request from LO Executive Director,Tony DiGiovanni, who also happened to be one of Charlie’s instructors at Humber. Manipulating the environment in such

a way for the greater (and greener) good benefits everyone; Charlie likes to see good quality landscapes everywhere. It’s something to be proud of. “In general, I really like to see good quality landscapes everywhere, regardless of who’s done them. Quality work is good for all of us.”


Spare some salt? The rock salt shortage of 2018 By Jordan Whitehouse A strike at one salt mine and a “replenishing” at another means that some Canadian road salt distributors and winter contractors are scrambling to find enough of the de-icer again this winter. This summer Cargill told a number of private contractors that it wouldn’t be supplying them with any rock salt this year. Company spokesperson Miles Trump only says that the company is “replenishing [its] stock after a busy winter last year.” Likewise, Compass Minerals told private contractors that there would be no road salt for them either. In an email sent to one Landscape Ontario member, they said that because of a strike at its mine in Goderich this summer and contractual obligations to municipalities, they didn’t have enough to go around. Both American companies are among the top road salt suppliers to Canada, so their shortages will result in higher prices for many Canadian users — if they can even find enough of the white stuff. Cambridge, Ontario’s RS Salt Supply was lucky. Though his company distributes about 10,000 tons of Compass salt each year, owner Fabrizio Recine found out about the shortage in May and was able to secure a different American supplier instead. But it cost him. “My prices will be going up 50 per cent, and that’s me being cheap,” he says. “Others I know are going up 65 per cent to 85 per cent.” The big reason for the big increase is the additional transportation costs. Some of the salt this year could be coming from as far away as Egypt, Chile and Morocco. Canadian Grounds Landscaping and Snow Removal owner Andrew Eaton hasn’t


seen a situation like this in his entire 22 years in business. He found out in June that Cargill, his main supplier, wouldn’t be supplying him. Now he’s trying to figure out what to do. “I’ve stressed about salt before in midseason — and salt is a constant problem — but not this soon, not in June.”

Cargill’s cramps

Cargill has salt mines in Cleveland, Ohio, Lansing, New York, and Avery Island, Louisiana. According to a story last year, the Cleveland mine can supply 4 million tons of salt per year. The Lansing mine can supply about 2 million tons. In Canada we use, on average, 5 million tons of road salts annually. The epicentre of the Cargill shortage appears to be at its Cleveland mine, a fivemile-wide cavern of rooms under Lake Erie that has supplied communities from Duluth, Minnesota, to Quebec. While the tough winter conditions last year depleted reserves, the mine was also dealing with a leak. In March, Cargill spokesperson Justin Barber told ABC’s Cleveland affiliate that “[t]here is water leakage in Cargill’s Cleveland mine we have been proactively managing for a number of years.” He also said the leak was one of the reasons the company has “experienced constrained road salt inventory.” The company isn’t saying anything about the leak now, let alone if it has been fixed or how much they’re short by this year. But Jim Monk, a member of Landscape Ontario’s Snow and Ice sector group, has learned that the shortage this year is partially due to that leak and that it’s causing widespread shortages. “They have essentially cut off all of their

contractor sales in this region [southern Ontario], but it’s wider spread than that,” says Monk, who also owns Markham Property Services and is a former president of the Snow and Ice Management Association. “It’s a central North America issue, and may be even further than that.” Monk adds that Cargill is fulfilling its municipal contracts before any others, but that’s not so unusual. In the U.S., at least, governments get first dibs on requesting road salts. This process usually begins in late spring there and can last a few months. What’s concerning is that the company doesn’t appear to be supplying as many municipalities as usual. In southern Ohio, for instance, Cargill only responded to 9 of 89 requests for road salts by municipalities there. Last year they bid on 81 of the 82 municipal requests in the region.

Compass off course

Compass’s largest salt mine is located under Lake Huron near Goderich, Ontario. It’s also the largest underground salt mine in the world. It has the capacity to produce up to 8 million tons of salt annually for hundreds of communities around the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Though its municipal customers appear to be okay (the company bid on all 89 of those southern Ohio municipal requests for salt this year, for instance), its private contractors do not. In early August, Landscape Ontario Executive Director, Tony DiGiovanni, was shown an email that one of the association’s members received. It said that due to a strike at the Goderich mine and contractual obligations to municipalities, there will be no salt for private contractors this winter. That strike occurred there this spring and summer. More than 350 unionized workers at the mine went on strike on April 27. They returned 12 weeks later after ratifying a new three-year contract that includes three years of wage increases but not the company’s initial demand for mandatory overtime. Though the company did bring in replacement workers from as far away as Quebec and New Brunswick, the union continuously blocked them at the mine entrance with wooden pallets and tractors from nearby farms. In an email, Anthony Sepich, Compass’s Senior Vice President, Salt, said that “[t]he strike did have a negative impact on production.” By how much, he didn’t say. He added that production numbers have also decreased in recent years because of milder winters in North America and because of a ceiling fall in September 2017 at the Goderich mine.

As for this winter’s shortages, he had this to say: “We have taken a measured approach in terms of how many customers we commit to serving this winter, and we will be prepared to serve those customers. Ultimately, if and to what magnitude shortages develop will largely depend on how winter weather unfolds this year.”

Now what?

While salt prices have gone up by about 50 per cent for people like Fabrizio Recine and Jim Monk, distributors and contractors are warning that those prices could go dramatically higher as winter draws near. Neither Cargill nor Compass is saying when or even if production levels at their mines will be high enough to supply private contractors at any point this winter. In response, some resellers and even some private contractors have organized themselves, bringing in vessels of salt from overseas, says Monk. “But not nearly in enough quantity, I think, to get us all through a winter if it’s anything more than light to normal.” Monk adds that many of those suppliers are also demanding pre-payment to hold salt for customers, which is creating even more shortages. So what should private contractors do to deal with the shortages and high prices? Landscape Ontario has a number of suggestions (, including talking to suppliers to understand what their situation is, investigating alternative ice melting products, considering mixing supplies with sand or other material, and legally protecting oneself by using contracts like the ones provided by the association. The association also recommends taking advantage of anti-icing formulations that reduce salt needs, gearing up with “live edge” segmented plows that clear sites while requiring less salt, pre-wetting salt and working with property owners to promote efficient salt use without compromising safety. Contractors also have to be willing to recognize that this isn’t just a contractor problem, says Monk. “It’s important that our customers are involved in this in terms of both prepaying a portion of their contract to allow contractors to secure salt where they can and also to offset some of the cost. They need to step up to the plate, too, for their own safety and the safety of their tenants.” As for how contractors like Canadian Grounds owner Andrew Eaton are going to deal with the shortage, answers are in short supply. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Eaton. “I wish I had a crystal ball.”

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Rodger Tschanz (left), leads a tour of the trial garden site in Guelph.

Trial Garden event continues to showcase exciting new plants By Rodger Tschanz Trial Garden Manager, University of Guelph This year’s trial garden open house took place on Aug. 23. The day started in Guelph, Ont., where over 60 industry professionals took part in the speaker sessions and plot tours. Kicking off the speaker program was Samantha Dupré, Community Steward-

ship Coordinator for the City of Guelph, who gave a comprehensive overview of the many different types of community gardening models employed in Guelph. Dupré is responsible for coordinating the city’s community gardening program which currently encompasses 22 community gardens and two orchards, with operating models ranging from traditional plot-based gardens to communal gardens,

to school-yard programs and hybrid combinations of various formats. Dupré also talked about the popularity and growth of the program, along with the challenges that manifest themselves when gardening in an urban environment. The second speaker was Cam Shaw, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) at the University of Guelph. Shaw talked about the GTI’s role in turf research and education and its plans to relocate to a parcel of land in the current U of G arboretum in the next year or two. The plans for the new site were also presented and discussed. Following the speaker program, those in attendance toured the GTI with a focus on turfgrass trials and the trial garden beds. Highlights of the tour included: • The turfgrass species display/educational plots that are mowed at different heights to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the different species for different turf applications. • Putting green research plots studying the winter hardiness of annual bluegrass and disease control options (presented by Dr. Eric Lyons, GTI Director and U of G faculty). • Prairie grass restoration research looking







at best practices for seed bed preparation and seeding dates. (E. Lyons). • Research using different bio-solids as a turfgrass fertilizer (presented by research technician, John Watson). • Discussions around chinch bug issues, nematode efficacy, IPM approaches, endophyte enhanced grasses, weed management and Fiesta. • Last but not least, the group toured the 2018 trial gardens at Guelph, followed by a early afternoon tour of the trial garden site at the Landscape Ontario home office in Milton, Ont. Heat, high humidity and variable rainfall have marked the 2018 trial season. Plants in the trial garden showed differently from dayto-day, depending on whether the site had experienced a pounding rain or not. The petunias are particularly noted for battered bloom displays following a thunderstorm. To find petunia selections that withstand this treatment is special, such as the new cultivars: ‘Supertunia Vista Fuchsia’ and ‘Supertunia Lovie Dovie.’ The voting that takes place for favourite plants at each open house gives me a clear idea of what stands out to those visiting the garden. Clearly, the annual of choice this year was the Celosia ‘Dracula.’ This short, stocky cockscomb celosia has a massive head and sturdy stock which caught the attention of all who visited the gardens. Coming in a close second was the annual sunflower ‘Sunfinity’ with its branching, season-long blooming habit. Two of the favourite perennials this year were Echinacea ‘Sombrero Salsa Red’ and Kniphofia ‘Pyromania Backdraft.’ Information about the performance of the other trial plants will be made available later this season on the Guelph Trial Garden website at



At the September 2017 board meeting of LO’s Georgian Lakelands Chapter, I suggested holding our annual chapter barbecue at Sheridan Nurseries. We then incorporated the event with the annual Trial Gardens Open House and invited other chapters and landscapers to attend. Despite a slow sign up; we realized the summer vacation period was slowing things down a little, enthusiasm was very high as we neared the big day. At the last minute there was a lot of renewed interest from our guest base and things were looking very good for our Summerfest event scheduled for Aug. 23. The event started at 3 p.m. and we had a lot of early arrivals — all eager to take part in the hay wagon farm tours and everyone was enjoying the selection of beers served by our local Elora breweries. A couple of games kept people occupied while they socialized until the food was served at 6 p.m. The DJ kept everyone happy with a fantastic selection of music; a few even dared to get on the dance floor! We were somewhat disappointed in the turn out; only 54 instead of the 75 plus we were expecting, but a major rain event earlier in the week had meant most landscapers had already lost two full days work, so they were well-behind for the week. Despite this, a good time was had by all and a few participants of the trial garden open house managed to make it too, despite it being a very long day for them. — Chris Mason, director, Georgian Lakelands Chapter

7314 Sixth Line, Milton, Ontario, L9E 0Y1 Phone: 905-878-7226, Fax: 905-878-8737 Email:

Trees Shrubs Evergreens Broadleaf Evergreens Vines Ferns Perennials Groundcovers



Over 250 skids of plant material were auctioned off at the 2018 growers Industry Auction.

Growers Group hold another successful industry auction An incredible host, great location, amazing food and gorgeous plants delighted participants of the 40th annual Industry Auction at NVK Holdings in Dundas, Ont., Sept. 13. Presented by the Landscape Ontario Growers Sector Group, the annual event helps to raise money for horticultural research, scholarships and sector development and promotion. All plant material and items up for bid in the live and silent auction are donated by growers and suppliers. This year, over 250 skids of plant material and various silent auction items were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Run concurrently with the LO Growers Awards of Excellence program, LO members in the grower sector are able to enter plant material in various categories to be judged live, on-site the morning of the auction. Winners are then recognized at the start of the auction with winning entries first up for bid and all winners presented with a certificate. Once again, auctioneer Jim McCartney kept things light and moving at a steady clip. McCartney tried to coerce the crowd into the opening bid by saying, “Anyone who has not been to a live auction before, please raise your hand.” The smooth-running auction was also due in large part to volunteers from LO’s Growers Sector Group, including auction operations manager, John Moons, aided by Steve Burgess, Jeff Gregg, Jeanine West, Serge Leclair, Jennifer Llewellyn,


Bill Putzer, John Mantel, and Glen Lumis. Of course the event would not be possible without a host. Thanks to NVK Holdings and its incredible team for all of the behind-the-scenes work that ran in conjunction with that of the Growers Group volunteers. You should all be very proud! The success of the event each year also relies heavily on the generosity of donors. Thanks to: AVK Nursery, Bakker (JC) & Sons, Blue Sky Nursery, Braun Nursery, Brookdale Treeland Nurseries, Canadale Nurseries, Dutchmaster Nurseries, Ground Covers Unlimited, Hillen Nursery, Kobes Nurseries, Langendoen Nurseries, Millgrove Perennials, Nisco National Leasing, NVK Holdings, Pieper Nurseries, Putzer (M) Hornby Nursery, Royal Botanical Gardens, S-P Packaging, Sheridan Nurseries, Somerville Nurseries, Timm Enterprises, V Kraus Nurseries Limited, Willowbrook Nurseries, and Winkelmolen Nursery. In addition to getting great deals on quality nursery stock, each successful bidder was also entered into a special draw held at the conclusion of the auction. Congratulations to John Moore, owner of Baltimore Valley Produce and Garden Centre, winner of a Samsung Smart Watch, donated by Plant Products. Landscape Ontario’s Growers Sector Group would like to thank all donors and participants, as well as NVK Holdings and all their amazing staff.


Growers of some of the finest nursery stock in Ontario were recognized with Landscape Ontario Growers Award of Excellence on Sept. 13. Held in conjunction with the growers Industry Auction at NVK Nursery in Dundas, Ont., the awards program sees members from Landscape Ontario’s grower sector enter skids of plant material in one of 11 specific categories. Delivered to the auction location, all plant material entered is judged live, on-site the morning of the auction by a small group of well-respected judges whose very careers involve dealing with all types of plant material on a daily basis. Thanks to this year’s judging panel of: Jennifer Llewellyn, OMAFRA; Perry Grobe, Grobe Nursery and Garden Centre; Sean Fox, University of Guelph; Jon Peter, RBG; Jim Lounsbery, Vineland Nurseries; Glen Lumis, University of Guelph. Judges examined all entries in the morning and winners of each category were announced and put up for bid to kick off the live auction at 1:00 p.m. Warren Patterson, president of Landscape Ontario, was on-hand to present award winners with a certificate of their achievement. Congratulations to the following LO members who received top marks in each of the respective categories from the volunteer judging panel: Sheridan Nurseries, winner, Category 1: Evergreens - Field Grown, Upright and Spreading, for Picea pungens ‘Baby Blue.’ Sheridan Nurseries, winner, Category 2: Evergreens - Container Grown, Upright and Spreading, for Assorted evergreens. Canadale Nurseries, winner, Category 3: Broadleaf Evergreens, for Assorted broadleaf evergreens. Sheridan Nurseries, winner, Category 4: Deciduous Shrubs, for Assorted deciduous shrubs. Willowbrook Nurseries, winner, Category 5: Deciduous Ornamental Trees, 300 cm or Less, for Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select.’ Willowbrook Nurseries, winner, Category 6: Deciduous Ornamental Trees, Top Grafted/Worked, for Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’. Dutchmaster Nurseries, winner, Category 7: Caliper Trees, for Quercus x warei ‘Long.’ Ground Covers Unlimited, winner, Category 8: Vines and Groundcovers, for Cornus Canadensis. Millgrove Perennials, winner, Category 9: Perennials, for Assorted perennials. Winkelmolen Nursery, winner, Category 10: Unusual and Rare Plants, for Ginkgo mariken. 1.866.964.6477

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Winning entry from Willowbrook Nurseries for the category, Design on a Skid.

Willowbrook Nurseries, winner, Category 11: Design on a Skid, for Assorted plant material. Millgrove Perennials, winner, Judges Choice, for Assorted perennials (Category 9). Plaques will be presented to winners at the Growers Fall Dinner Meeting scheduled for Nov. 27. In addition to the growers program, Landscape Ontario holds annual awards competitions for the garden centre sector, and the construction, maintenance and design sectors. Winners for those programs will be announced during special ceremonies in conjunction with Congress ’19, January 8-10, 2019 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

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as: International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Despite a major building renovation at accreditation, Fusion Landscape Professional (FLP) program, Water Smart IrrigaLandscape Ontario’s home office in Milton, tion Professional (WSIP) program, as well Ont., the association’s annual off season as Red Seal Landscape Horticulturalist, training schedule continues to forge ahead among others. at full steam. In fact, a copy of LO’s Professional Development Seminar Guide 2018Topics are geared toward 2019 is polybagged with this all skill levels and positions issue of Landscape within the green profession. Some allow particiOntario magazine. pants the opportunity to The only change master technical skills, this year is that some r Guide with others offering tools classroom-based offerSemina 019 2018-2 ings will be held at a for business management or owner success. select number of hotels Seminars are offered in and around Milton. on: customer service, As always, the bulk of attracting and retaining practical, hands-on seminars will still be held in the new employees, legal e g r ve On the ething greenhouse at LO’s Milton obligations, skid steer of som site. Most are scheduled for certification training, irrigation, turf early 2019. NEW! management, stone “The important thing to mansonry, landstress this year is to always scape design, grounds maintedouble-check the location of nance, pruning, plant identification, water your seminar and to follow gardening and more. A few new titles have whatever is listed on the website at,” says Kathy been added this year, including Green McLean, LO Seminar Coordinator. Roof Design and Installation, and For the McLean says in addition to the location ‘Love’ of Vegetables. for every single seminar being listed online, Seminars are led by experienced leaders within the profession, many whom have email reminders will also be sent out in long-standing reputations for sharing their advance to each participant that will once knowledge, tips and expertise, including: again indicate the actual location of the Nathan Helder, Lorne Haveruk, Jennifer seminar they registered for. Llewellyn, Beth Edney, Sean James and Once again this year, LO’s nine regional Rodger Tschanz. geographic chapters will also offers a “Each year, about 1,600 professionals selection of the more popular titles within participate in our annual seminar series,” their own communities across the province. In total, over 80 seminars are being notes Tony DiGiovanni, LO Executive offered across the province, from NovemDirector. “This clearly demonstrates the ber through the end of April. passion and commitment of our members The titles offered in the Guide are also and the green profession when it comes to aligned with various landscape industry upgrading both their business operational certifications, allowing participants access skills and their technical skills. The mark to material and knowledge that will help of a true professional is being able to offer them on their journey towards industry cerclients the best product, the best workmantification. For those already certified, semiship and the best experience possible.” nars also qualify the participant to earn In addition to skills upgrading, Continuing Education Credits/Units (CECs/ DiGiovanni says some of the many intangible benefits that come with continuing eduCEUs) towards recertification. cation include: increased confidence, more Seminar titles and content are also efficiency, a safe and happier workplace aligned in conjunction with other association partners and programs, allowing and a more loyal workforce. attendees to earn CECs/CEUs for variCurrent members of Landscape Ontario ous programs affiliated with groups such and their employees can take advantage

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of the discounted, individual seminar fee of $137.50, unless noted in the seminar description. Those individuals with landscape industry certification may also qualify for a reduced rate of $125 for select oneday seminars. Some exclusions apply. The non-member rate for most one day seminars is $264. Early bird discounts are also available. Anyone who registers by Dec. 31, 2018 for any seminar held Jan. 1 through April 2019 will automatically receive a 10 per cent discount. Full seminar descriptions and online registration is now available online at On the website, seminars can also be viewed by topic (sector), chapter (location), date or title.


It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family and staff of Risi Stone Systems announce the sudden passing of Angelo Risi, a true pioneer in the industry, on Sept. 1, 2018. Those who knew Angelo will remember him as an innovator and inventor, but more importantly, as a gentleman, a family-man, and a warm, caring individual. A co-founder of Risi Stone Systems, Angelo and his brother Tony were the true pioneers of the Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) industry. Their success story started out in the early 1970s, as they developed and patented their first landscape wall product, the iconic Pisa Stone. By the late 1970s, the Risi brothers invested in a larger plant in nearby Gormley, Ont., and it was here that the flagship Pisa2 Wall System was born. In a few short years, these products became an enormous success, signaling the birth of Risi Stone Systems. Over the next two decades, the Risi brothers expanded their product line to create a wide range of new and innovative products and they enjoyed great success. In 1995 they sold their manufacturing facilities to Unilock and continued Risi Stone Systems as a licensing company. Many of the early relationships with manufacturers throughout North America remain strong to this day and the Risi Stone line of products continues to break new ground in the SRW industry. Angelo will be missed immensely and a huge void has been left in all those who knew him. They may find comfort in take away lessons from their time with him: love

of family, fairness in business, generosity, looking for the win-win scenario, staying young at heart and being always curious. The Risi family welcomes donations to Community Living York South. See Stories and messages about Angelo can also be shared online at


With online registration now open for many upcoming events and educational offerings from Landscape Ontario, member companies who have not yet paid their annual member dues risk paying the higher non-member rate, as they will no longer qualify for preferred pricing. Dues invoices were mailed out in midAugust and are due upon receipt. The association’s fiscal year runs Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 each year and invoices must be paid for in order for members to retain their status within that time frame. Myscha Stafford, LO Membership Services Coordinator says improvements in technology, combined with better integration of the association’s data management systems for both online registration and membership information means companies who delay in renewing could also miss out on benefits they once enjoyed. “The bottom line is we know right away if a member has paid their dues or not,” says Stafford. “With future upgrades planned for our online awards entries and member profile pages on, not paying your dues could result in instantly losing access to a lot of member-only perks and programs that are very popular among members.” Under the Member Savings Programs administered by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), LO members qualify for special financial discounts on everything from new vehicles and equipment, to business services and training. Another huge benefit is the telephone legal advice service that gives members unlimited access to a panel of experienced lawyers who can answer questions seven days a week. For details on the Member Savings Programs, visit member-savings-programs. Member dues can be paid online, using LO’s secure payment method at or by calling the Membership Services Department at 1-800-265-5656 with a copy of your invoice and credit card in hand. If you did not receive your invoice, please contact the number above.

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Online registration is now open for Congress ’19: Canada’s Premier Green Industry Trade Show and Conference. Produced by Landscape Ontario, Congress will once again return to the Toronto Congress Centre, located at 650 Dixon Road in Toronto, Ont., Jan. 8-10, 2019. Featuring over 600 exhibitors, over 10 acres of show floor, pre- and post-show events, and sector specific conferences, Congress attracts about 14,000 green industry professionals each year. Landscape Ontario members and their employees have access to preferred pricing for the trade show, conference and special events, including the IPM Symposium, Landscape Designer Conference and Peer to Peer Workshop (Jan. 7), Awards of Excellence Ceremony and President’s Reception (Jan. 8), and Garden Centre Symposium (Jan. 9). In addition to the member savings, early bird discounts are also available, with prices going up after Dec. 14, 2018. For more details and online registration, visit


The Landscape Ontario Growers Sector Group will hold its annual Fall Dinner Meeting on Nov. 27 at Piper’s Health Golf Club-

(L-R): Gerald Reycroft, Martin Quinn, Bob Allen, Paul Ronan and Ray Hurd display the cheque after a recent CiB board meeting.


Landscape Ontario recently fulfilled a funding request for $5,000 from Communities in Bloom (CiB) Ontario. The request was submitted by CiB board member, Bob Allen, to help administer and promote the annual competition that has volunteer judges evaluate various community beautification projects. Allen is also a past president of LO and a member of the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation. house in Milton, Ont. The end-of-season celebration allows growers a much-needed break to catch up and compare stories on the trials, tribulations and successes of another busy growing season. All growers are invited to attend the event that also includes dinner and a number of informative guest speakers on topics related to the sector. Already confirmed for this year is a panel discussion titled, “What retail buyers want!” and more is to follow. The evening

will also include plaque presentations to winners of this year’s LO Grower Awards of Excellence program. The Growers Fall Dinner Meeting also helps the sector group to gather valuable feedback on concerns and issues facing the growing community, as well as to inform growers on future trends, technologies and business practices affecting their operations. An itinerary and online registration is now open at The cost to attend is $65 per person.

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EVENTS Oct. 18

Windsor Chapter Meeting Sutton Creek Golf Club, Essex Guest Cynthia Ingram of Piccolo Heath LLP will discuss how Bill 148 legislation can impact your business. Please RSVP by Oct. 14. Nov. 27

Growers Fall Dinner Piper’s Heath Golf Clubhouse, Milton All growers are invited to attend this year end celebration to network, enjoy dinner and learn from informative speakers. Register online. Oct. 29

Windsor Chapter Meeting Dominion Golf Course Join fellow chapter members for a round table discussion on current challenges, trends and more. Please RSVP by Nov. 25.

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

Jan. 8-10, 2019

Congress ’19 Toronto Congress Centre Canada’s Green Industry Show returns for threedays, featuring over 600 exhibitors, live demonstrations and a full conference program that begins on Jan. 8. Visit

Jan. 10

Contractors Lecture Event Toronto Congress Centre Save the date for this annual networking and learning event for designers, architects, contractors and other professionals. Jan. 31

Lighting Conference 2019 Lionhead Golf and Conference Centre, Brampton Don’t miss this all-in-one event for lighting contractors, featuring suppliers, new products and industry experts.

Jan. 8

Awards of Excellence Ceremony Delta Hotels Toronto Airport, Plaza Ballroom Get inspired by the talent and creativity of LO members. Purchase tickets online at

Feb. 1

Jan. 9

Landscape Ontario Annual General Meeting Delta Hotels Toronto Airport, International Ballroom Enjoy a 7 a.m. breakfast, followed by an update on association activities and give your feedback to help with future initiatives and programs.

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Bay King Chrysler

Fran Mackenzie 55 Rymal Rd E Hamilton, ON L9B 1B9 Tel: 905-383-7700 Membership Type: Associate

Yardtopia Landscapes Inc

GEORGIAN LAKELANDS 1627582 Ontario Inc O/A Repco Homes Richard Pitre 3251 Hanmer Lake Rd E Hanmer, ON P3P 1R3 Tel: 705-562-2333 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

1650806 Ontario Ltd O/A Victoria Lodge Mike Firby 922 Victoria Rd St Charles, ON P0M 2W0 Tel: 519-719-4774 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

Alkon Ltd

Jesse Alkhoury 1-10 Wilfred Ave Garson, ON P3L 1A9 Tel: 705-920-0246 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

JMR Soil Testing O/A Mark Russo Mark Russo 82 Wasaga Sands Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 1J4 Tel: 705-441-4117 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

Morley and Associates

Devin Morley PO Box 1067 Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1V3 Tel: 705-706-2949 Membership Type: Interim

Rosedale Construction & Landscaping Kevin Perrreault 5552 Highway 35 Fenlon Falls, ON K0M 1N0 Tel: 705-328-5999 Membership Type: Active

Sunrise Tree Service Ltd Derek Collis 1119 Dickie Lake Rd Baysville, ON P0B 1A0 Tel: 705-767-4670 Membership Type: Active

GOLDEN HORSESHOE ACL Andree Cartage & Leasing Sam Andree 1431 Westover Rd Millgrove, ON L8B 1R9 Tel: 905-659-1015 Membership Type: Associate

Steven Eames 51 Eden Rock Dr Stoneycreek, ON L8E 0G6 Tel: 289-776-8570 Membership Type: Active

OTTAWA John McCrea Excavating Ltd

John McCrea 982 Watson St Ottawa, ON K2B 6C2 Tel: 613-227-0245 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

Ken White Construction Ltd

David White 2405 March Rd PO Box 296 Ottawa, ON K0A 1L0 Tel: 613-839-5460 Membership Type: Chapter Associate

LBL Contracting Inc

Mervin Logan 6040 County Rd 29 Almonte, ON K0A 1A0 Tel: 613-913-1007 Membership Type: Associate

TORONTO Alliance Site Construction Ltd Domenic Evangelista 91 Parr Blvd Bolton, ON L7E 4E3 Tel: 416-747-5030 Membership Type: Active

J Orr Property Management John Orr 5731 3rd Line Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0 Tel: 416-706-9967 Membership Type: Active

WATERLOO GForce Custom Fabrication & Installations Inc Aaron Czech 1004 Industrial Cres St.Clements, ON N0B 2M0 Tel: 519-699-4004 Membership Type: Associate

WINDSOR 1403439 Limited King Homes John King 429 West Belle River Rd Belle River, ON N0R 1A0 Tel: 519-796-5450 Membership Type: Active




CANADIAN SOLDIERS LIVE FOREVER Join us in planting 2 million trees along the 401 Highway of Heroes, a tribute to the men and women who fought for Canada in our wars, and a living memorial to the 117,000 who died for freedom. You can participate in honouring our military, protecting the environment and beautifying North America’s most travelled highway. Visit or call 905-875-0021 to get involved. Illustration by Rick Jacobson

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Ben and Mark Cullen are joined by Terry Caddo for a big announcement.

Mark’s Choice becomes title sponsor of Canada Blooms Canadian gardening gurus Mark and Ben Cullen have reached a five-year agreement to be the title sponsor for Canada Blooms, the country’s largest garden and floral fes-

tival. The agreement attaches their Mark’s Choice brand to the Canada Blooms logo and wordmark. Mark is also a Canada Blooms board

member emeritus and has been involved with the festival throughout its 23-year history. “We are more than just ‘delighted’ to become lead sponsors of Canada’s greatest garden festival,” said Mark. “We are over the moon. Ben shares my passion for the mission of Canada Blooms and the extraordinary contribution that this event makes to horticulture in Canada.” Through regular appearances on television, radio, online, in print or in person at seminars and shows, Mark and Ben Cullen connect with more than two million Canadians every week. An author of 23 books and the spokesperson for Home Hardware Lawn and Garden, Mark’s personable style and topical information has captivated audiences and continued to garner him fans across Canada. Mark’s Choice is Mr. Cullen’s personal seal of approval on more than 200 gardening products available exclusively at Home Hardware stores across Canada. Besides adding the Marks’ Choice name to Canada Blooms, Mr. Cullen and his son Ben will present regularly at the festival, which takes place annually over March Break. The festival includes over 200 hours of entertainment and information

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on the three stages, offering professional insight on gardening, landscaping design and trends. “There is not a better name in Canadian floriculture and horticulture to associate with Canada Blooms than Mark Cullen’s,” says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “He has been an integral part of our festival since day one, and remains the go-to authority on all things gardening in Canada.” Co-located with the National Home Show, Canada Blooms takes place March 8-19, 2019 at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The annual festival was founded by Landscape Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto. For more information or for tickets, please visit


For the past 46 years, Landscape Ontario’s Congress Conference has connected green industry professionals with leading experts from various sectors and industries from around the world. The prominent speaker lineup for the 2019 conference was recently announced and includes a mix of practical sessions,

owners only workshops, an opening day lunch-time keynote, and mid-conference networking lunches. Conference session topics provide time saving advice, information on the latest trends, innovative marketing ideas and many insightful tips and processes to empower both business owners and staff to grow and prosper. For 2019, organizers are shaking things up with an all-new Thursday format. From 7 a.m. to noon on Jan. 10, conference sessions will be led by a select group of successful trade show exhibitors. These Congress Education Partners all have a proven track record of providing excellent education to their customers and will share their own tips on increasing profits and improving business operations to delegates at the conference. The Congress Education Partners include: Techo-Bloc, Jim Pattison Lease, Lawn Life, LMN, Load Army, SiteOne Landscape Supply, Tradewinds International, and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. The Thursday Education Partner sessions are available to attendees with a full or one-day conference pass. Conference pass holders can also

Sa ve th ed at e!


attend the opening mid-day keynote on Jan. 8. George Kourounis, explorer, storm chaser and host of Angry Planet, will compare his thrilling, around the world experiences with the types of challenges we all face in the real world. Kourounis’ one-hour talk in the Cohen Ballroom at the Toronto Congress Centre will help attendees to set goals, take risks and weather the storm through everyday workplace and personal challenges. “Dynamic weather patterns, new government regulations and rapidly evolving technology are hitting all professional sectors of the landscape industry with a wallop,” explains Heather MacRae, Director of Events and Trade Shows for Landscape Ontario. “Unforeseen consequences have huge ramifications for the success of their businesses, and at Congress, we work hard to present a full schedule of guest speakers, seminars, networking events, innovative products and services and suppliers to help green professionals’ weather the storms and grow in personal and professional prosperity. Congress is the ideal platform for discovering innovative ways to expand their businesses.” In fact, the educational programming of the conference actually kicks-off the day


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Join us for the Awards of Excellence Ceremony for Garden Centres Retail program winners will be announced!

January 9, 2019 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Toronto Congress Centre

Digital Marketing for Garden Centres: Building a Healthy Ecosystem Are you and your staff prepared for the future of the Irrigation profession in Ontario? Join your peers at the 2019 edition of the Irrigation Conference. Content intended for Landscape Irrigation Contractors.

Businesses of all sizes are converting traditional media budgets to digital marketing. Navigating the changing landscape of the web and web advertising is a challenge. We will examine some tips, tricks, and best practices for creating healthy digital ecosystems. Presented by Zachary O’Connor, Web Conductors Inc.



INDUSTRY NEWS before the trade show on Warm-Up Monday. The day offers sector specific professional development via three events: the IPM Symposium, Landscape Designer Conference and Peer to Peer Workshop. All have become perennial staples in the Congress program and offer affordable rates those who wish to attend. “For those wanting to explore concepts and ideas disrupting the green professions, this conference provides information and tools to prepare them for the challenges brought on through change,” says Amy Buchanan, newly appointed Conference and Events Coordinator for Landscape Ontario. “Our goal is to give delegates an unparalleled opportunity to meet change armed for success.” Among those keys to success are some big name presenters such as Paul Zammit, Nancy Eaton and member-preferred speaker, Mark Bradley. The highly-anticipated Congress Conference has been formatted and scheduled

New version of mandatory injury poster available

to allow delegates to maximize their time learning, networking and interacting with over 600 leading manufacturers and suppliers on the 10 acres of trade show floor. Close to 14,000 green professionals from around the world attend the three-day trade show to connect with exhibitors and with each other. The trade show offers guests even more learning opportunities, with Hardscape Live!, Green Live! and Drive Live! all held directly on the show floor. In addition, the latest products and technologies are on display in the New Product Showcase. Registration for the Congress trade show and conference is now open. Visit for full details on the conference, to see the floor plan, exhibitor directory, features and conference and speaker line-up. Start planning for Congress’19 now. Cost for both the full and one day conference pass as well as trade show only pass go up after Dec. 14.

A new version of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) “In Case of Injury” (Form 82) poster has been release. By law, the poster must be prominently displayed in every workplace covered by WSIB. Get the poster at


SAVE THE DATE January 31, 2019 ALL IN ONE EVENT FOR LIGHTING CONTRACTORS! Join industry peers and learn about lighting industry specific issues. Meet with suppliers to find out about new products and technologies at this annual conference.


February 27, 2019



Join your peers for education, networking and lunch!


EXECUTIVE DESK Value proposition Tony DiGiovanni CHT LO Executive Director


nce a year, the landscape and nursery associations surrounding the Great Lakes get together to exchange ideas and help each other get better at serving their membership and the profession. It truly is a “club for mutual benefit and improvement.” The format is simple. The president, vice president and executive director from each of the participating associations sit around a table and speak to a number of prepared agenda items. At this year’s conference, one of the topics was, “What is your value proposition to attract and retain membership?” Here is how I answered that question.

How to attract new members

If you become a member of Landscape Ontario and actively participate in the programs, events and activities, we can guarantee you enhanced prosperity. In my position, I have observed this for over 29 years. At the core, we are each other’s prosperity partners. Our definition of prosperity is broad and includes financial, social, professional and legacy growth. We are a club for mutual benefit and improvement, coming together to develop and support each other. Our goal is to become better businesses, build a healthier profession and enhance our communities via who we are and what we do. Our collective vision is a prosperous, professional, valued and contribution-oriented profession.

How to keep current members

Landscape Ontario has enjoyed a steady increase of members for many years. Our retention rate is quite high. One of the main reasons we keep members is because they are engaged in the activities and events of the association. Each year, hundreds of members volunteer their time and expertise to sit on various chapter boards, sector groups and com-

mittees. I am in awe of the participation of our members because I know how busy they are in their own businesses. We are focused on enhancing the lives of our membership in everything we do. When members leave, it is usually because they don’t see the value in finding the time to participate. Unfortunately, value is unlocked through participation and engagement.

Our highest valued benefit

Because everyone is unique, it is difficult to say what the greatest benefit is to being a member in LO. Our member benefits can be subdivided into four main areas: Financial benefit. Our member savings programs (affinity programs, discounts, preferred member pricing, etc.) is the easiest way to attract new members. Many new members join simply to save at least $15,000 off the price of a new vehicle. Last year, members collectively saved over $9 million on these programs alone. Social Benefit. Many companies join LO for the social interaction it provides them. Business ownership is lonely. It is important to be in the company of others with similar experiences, interests and challenges. Professional benefit. Many join LO because they want to be better and more competent, both at the technical aspects and business aspects of company ownership. They are involved to learn and improve. They want to be part of a professional organization that represents their values of quality and customer service. They want to be on the leading-edge of information, trends and knowledge. They want their businesses to grow. Being in the company of others with the same desire is “Professional Development” at its best. Legacy benefit. There are many members (especially in governance) who really don’t need the association in order to be more successful. They are often the most engaged. They are the ones who win the awards. They want to make the profession better because of their contribution values. They want to be involved in being a part of something larger than

themselves that will ultimately outlive them. They want to leave a legacy. What benefit has the highest value for you? Why are you a member?

Canada Blooms

Each year, Canada Blooms inspires the public by showcasing what we do and who we are. It is often said that landscape and horticulture has an image problem and that it is not a desirable career choice. Any visitor to Canada Blooms can easily see the skill, art, passion, creativity, professionalism and innovation that resonates throughout the green professions. Most people don’t realize that Canada Blooms is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote, inspire and educate the public. Proceeds from Canada Blooms are allocated to communityrelated horticultural projects. For this reason, sponsorship is a crucial part of the annual festival’s success. Past presenting sponsors have included Loblaws and Home Depot. This year, we are proud to announce the presenting sponsor will be Mark’s Choice. The theme of the festival for 2019 is “Family Affair.” It is fitting that the heart of the Mark’s Choice brand is father and son, Mark and Ben Cullen. The partnership is perfect because both Canada Blooms and Mark’s Choice brands are aligned and unified by a passion for horticulture.

Green Street Challenge

Have you ever wanted to close down Main Street and put up a park? This is exactly what the Come Alive Outside Green Street Challenge did in eight cities this past summer. Have a look at this YouTube video to see how it was done: Tony DiGiovanni may be reached at


PUBLIC RELATIONS Bookwork, beehives and beer By Denis Flanagan CLD LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations


s the autumn weather sets in, Landscape Ontario members start looking ahead to next season and focus on retaining employees and improving operations to become even more profitable in the future. Many LO business owners and their staff enrol in courses offered under LO’s Professional Development Guide or attend a local chapter meeting, sector-specific conference or one of many events in order to better themselves or their business. It continues to

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amaze me how diverse and wide-reaching our network of partners, presenters, topics and chapter events have become. Given the multitude of skills upgrading offered by LO, it’s not surprising to hear many members comment that one of the main reasons why they renew their membership each year is to stay connected to these opportunities for both personal and business growth. This point was reinforced at a recent meeting when the topic of business improvement was discussed. Everyone in the room agreed they have benefitted immensely from peer interactions — whether in the form of a one-on-one discussion, small group session, or a large scale event, that were made possible because of their involvement in the LO community. Many of those same people noted that their interaction also led to them hiring a business coach to help drill down on specific issues. Because of this huge benefit to members in our community, LO has once again organized a winter season that is jam packed with opportunities to network, compare notes and grow your business. For details on these upcoming events, visit or check out LO’s weekly enews. Here’s a tip: your employees can also subscribe at Another benefit of membership in LO is being made aware of the latest trends in horticulture. Your clients will certainly appreciate that you are taking time to stay current on issues that are important to them, such as environmental issues, water conservation, sustainability, etc. Once again this year, the important role of pollinators certainly garnered a great deal of media attention. It seems pollinators were promoted by everyone from small school groups and horticultural societies, all the way up to large corporations. On your behalf, LO featured the topic in our annual consumer magazine, Garden Inspiration that was distributed for free at Canada Blooms. Garden Inspiration 2018 showcased several pollinator plants, such as butterfly weed, zinnia and smooth oxeye. The article includes an insightful quote from University of Guelph Trial Garden Manager,

Rodger Tschanz: “Why should we care about conserving pollinators? Roughly one-in-three mouthfuls of food that we eat depend on the pollination services of insects. Almost 90 per cent of flowering plant species worldwide rely on animals and insects for pollination, making pollinators, particularly wild bees, an essential part of natural ecosystems. Reports surrounding global pollinator decline raise concerning issues of reduced agricultural productivity and reduced biodiversity due to pollinator deficits, in short pollinators are beautiful, fascinating, diverse and essential creatures that we can not afford to lose.” This is a good reason why we partner with the University of Guelph to include hundreds of annual and perennial plants in the Landscape Ontario trial gardens each year — pollinators are a resource we need for our future. It’s also why we have been supportive of the Bee City Canada organization who offer programs which recognize communities that are taking steps or are committed to future initiatives to help pollinators. Their efforts have met with success. They now have over 20 cities, schools and businesses who have joined the cause to protect our pollinators and preserve the beauty of nature. Another reason we need pollinators is because they play an essential role in the making of mead, which is an ancient alcoholic beverage created by fermenting water, honey and various fruits spices and hops. This leads me to my final point: another benefit of membership in LO is the fact that many of our meetings and events are often held in casual surroundings, such as a local restaurant or legion, where members can chat over a beer after a hard day’s work. And if beer is your thing, I encourage you to take advantage of the great deal LO’s Waterloo Chapter has made available to members again this year: free tickets to Oktoberfest. We look forward to renewing your membership and mailing out your 2019 membership certificate so you can continue to reap all of the benefits that will help your company to flourish. Cheers! Denis Flanagan can be reached at or at 905-875-1805, ext. 2303.

MEMBERSHIP I was gonna go to work, but then I got high By Myscha Stafford LO Membership and Chapter Coordinator


s of October 17, some Canadians may have a new meaning for the phrase, ‘Green for Life.’ The date for the legalization of recreational marijuana is looming and while recreational cannabis in the workplace will still be considered illegal, exemptions will have to be made for employees that have a prescription for medicinal marijuana. According to Statistics Canada, “Cannabis consumption for medical use has more than tripled since the middle of 2016”1 . It is being used to treat chronic pain, glaucoma, migraines and a broad spectrum of mental health issues. It is very likely that at least one of your employees may have a prescription for medical cannabis. Prescribed or not, a zero tolerance policy is in place for all workers responsible for operating a commercial vehicle or construction equipment. Safety is the number one priority, and being under the influence of cannabis on the job site carries the same penalty as impairment by alcohol. Prescribed medical cannabis users can still face penalties if a police officer determines that their driving ability has been impaired; it is the individual’s responsibility to determine their level of impairment and ensure that it is safe for them to drive2. While the government has outlined possible side effects of cannabis, impairment has no definition and can differ between individuals. It is recommended that employers observe staff behaviours to recognize possible impairment in their staff (behaviours that are not considered the norm for the individual). It is safe to say that this budding legislation will have many revisions over the next year. The reality is that this is a new area to navigate and laws and regulations will change as new situations arise and new precedents are set. We are already seeing this in a case involving the Toronto Transit

Commission (TTC) where a subway operator with a prescription for marijuana was given the ultimatum of not using cannabis to keep her position, or keep using and change to a “non-safety-sensitive” position which would come with a sizeable pay cut.3 Is this fair? Should an employee be subject to a lower paying position because of their health, or, should an employer accommodate (within reason), to maintain a role at the same level and same pay? While the safe operation of a motorized vehicle and a non-impaired driver is prudent here (as in your own businesses), there is arguably a lot of grey area in this matter. What impairment may look like can differ between individuals, their prescription dosage, the strain of cannabis or how they are administering the drug. If you have an employee that has been prescribed medicinal marijuana, you as the employer have the duty to accommodate

that individual to the point of undue hardship as per the Canadian Human Rights Act. Unfortunately, undue hardship also has no clear definition and is examined on a case-by case basis. To protect your business, workplace policies should be outlined and include a definition of what the employer considers impairment (without infringing on the rights of an employee). This is where your employee manuals and policies must be kept up-to-date. Educating yourself as a business owner, educating your staff, and keeping your Joint Health and Safety Committee members trained will be key factors to success. Over the next few months, Landscape Ontario and its partners will have many opportunities to educate you and your staff on these new regulations through local chapter meetings and seminars. Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have produced terrific resources on workplace strategies for dealing with cannabis. If you have specific questions, this would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the telephone legal advice service available exclusively to LO members. Myscha can be reached at or 1-800-265-5656 ext. 2333.

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UNDERGROUND WORLD Annual rodeo allows locators to show off their skills By Terry Murphy CLM


his year’s Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) Rodeo and Excavator Challenge was held Aug. 16-17 at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. The rodeo (which by dictionary definition means “skills competition”), saw trained locators compete to find underground utility lines according to industry standards, accurately and within a satisfactory time frame. Now in its 12th year, the locate rodeo is the only event of its kind in Canada, putting the spotlight on locators who are the front line workers of the Damage Prevention Industry, who are also helping to promote the significance of their role in the excavating industry. The locate rodeo allows locators to come together and demonstrate their expertise and superior locating skills in a competitive and friendly environment as locating utility lines is a mandatory requirement for any excavating work in Ontario.

Goal of the event

The goal of the locate rodeo is to recognize the profession of underground utility locating and to demonstrate the safety, skills and on-going educational efforts associated with high quality workmanship. At the end of the competition, many participants admitted it is a challenging event with fair and consistent judging, but also a lot of fun as well.


To compete in the locate rodeo, contestants must be (or have been) a practicing technician employed by a utility company, one of its locate contractors, or an owner of a private locating company. Any contestant who meets the requirement, but has located facilities in the confines of the locate rodeo event property within six months prior to the event, is ineligible to compete.


The competition

Like any major competition, the locate rodeo has specific rules and regulations to guide a fair competition. These items are clearly outlined and reviewed by the competitors and by the judges in a meeting the day before so there are no surprises during the event. Competitors are encouraged to ask questions and make sure they know all the specifics before the competition takes place. Since the site itself uses actual existing underground facilities, competitors are not allowed to visit the site in advance of the competition. Prior to the competition, the ORCGA event coordinator and key judges visited the site to prepare for the event. All rules and regulations are published on the ORCGA website so there are no surprises to competitors on the event day. Each competitor starts with 1,000 points and deductions are then taken for any violations or deficiencies. This year’s event had 52 competitors and more than 72 volunteers, which made it a very smooth-running competition. The top three competitors also receive a cash prize. This year’s event was a major success due to the organization of ORCGA staff and the dozens of volunteers who did an outstanding job.

Excavator challenge

The day before the locate rodeo, the ORGCA organizers another competition called the Excavator Challenge. This competition allows those who do the digging to show off their skills as well. This year’s event welcomed excavator competitors from municipalities, infrastructure owners and utility contractors. Prizes are also awarded to those who excel in this mostimportant area.

Feedback survey

At the conclusion of the event, a feedback survey was conducted. Sixty-four people completed the survey and results indicated a successful event that was well run and very enjoyable for all participants. All comments will be reviewed for next years’ competition to improve both the rodeo and excavator competitions.

Locators complete in an annual competition that showcases their skills.


The excavating industry should be proud of events such as these because it shows continuous dedication to training and development of industry professionals. All excavating contractors depend on these professional locators, and by law in Ontario, excavators cannot proceed on any excavation until locates have been provided through ON1CALL (1-800-400-2255). The ORCGA offers damage prevention locate training for the locate community which offers locators certification training by knowledgeable professionals with its Damage Prevention Training (DPT) programs. These DPT programs are run year-round by the ORCGA. Locators can develop their skills through classroom and field demonstrations training and can further develop their expertise when they do additional work with their employer. The locate rodeo allows these locators to show how good they are under pressure and under the close, watchful eye of knowledgeable judges. Thanks again to the ORCGA for its support of the development of skilled locators for the damage prevention industry. If you are interested in attending events like this, or would like more information on training or membership in the ORCGA, please contact Jennifer Parent at jennifer@ at the ORCGA office for more information. Terry Murphy can be reached at

PROSPERITY PARTNERS Polished salesmanship By Jacki Hart CLM Prosperity Partners Program Manager


o recap, over the last three columns, I’ve written about the key entrepreneurial skills of Engagement, Resilience and Focus. In my experience working with and mentoring business owners over the years, I believe mastering each of these important skills is key to the success of any business, regardless of the sector or industry you are in. In addition to these skills, salesmanship is also a crucial skill for a business owner to possess. The owner of every business is its top brand manager. It is up to the business owner – the driver of the company bus – to ensure the brand promise (both internally and externally) matches the actions of the team, and the functionality of the products being sold. It’s the business owner who can best train the team on what ‘script’ to use when speaking with customers, suppliers, potential customers and each other. It’s also the business owner who can best sell to the top accounts and rescue the customer relationship if things have come off the rails. The following are three things to consider about your role in salesmanship.

Selling your internal brand

It’s important to align the team with your expectations for how they will deliver on the company promises. This important step starts with training, then mentoring your team on what the final result needs to be with respect to your customers experience, and the steps they will take to accomplish it. You need to sell them on how the company culture needs to be deployed, in order to deliver on the external brand promise. When your team is focused on your vision of successfully delivering on the company brand promise, that’s when the magic happens. And profit.

Selling your external brand

Everything that is communicated about your company to the marketplace (and internet) makes up the sum-total of your brand image. The expectations for the ‘experience’ of doing business with your company stems from your branding image and messaging. It’s up to you to ensure that as the top sales person, you are leading the brand in the direction that fits the strategy and deliverability of your promises.

Earning word of mouth referrals and reviews

The single-most relevant and effective sales funnel in your business comes from word of mouth and online reviews. This is where your company reputation for consistent experience and kept promises is measured and leveraged. As the leader in salesmanship, it’s up to you ensure your top accounts are asked for their referrals,

and to ensure your team understands the huge value referrals bring to the bottom line profit. Good news travels fast and can build an important bank of right-fit clients to whom it’s easy to sell. Bad news travels faster and farther. Take a few minutes to think about the ways in which you are highly-skilled at acquiring top and key accounts with your polished, confident style. How do you train others to walk that talk and learn the reasons behind your sales script? While you can’t force staff to say things exactly the way you do, you can use your well-articulated core values, purpose and vision to give them the company dictionary necessary for creating their own scripts and selling your company brand and customer confidence with their own style. If you’re looking for ways in which you could improve the effectiveness and consistency of how your company delivers on its brand image – both internally and externally – Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network is here to help. Jacki Hart may be reached at

Landscape Ontario

Annual General Meeting Join your fellow members at the AGM on January 9, 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Held in the International Ballroom, Delta Hotels Toronto Airport, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto, ON. Breakfast served at 7 a.m. Meeting begins at 8 a.m. sharp

LO member business owners can join our peer mentorship and learning program for FREE! Great discussions are happening online. You don’t have to figure things out on your own. Your peers can help!

Open to all Landscape Ontario members. Please RSVP by December 28, 2018 to


Our next session will take place Jan. 7, 2019 at Congress. Learn how to find new team members, implement new ideas, and make them stick!


For details, visit the Peer Network info page at




Rates: $50.85 (HST included) per column inch Deadline: 20th day of the month prior to issue date. Space is limited. To advertise: E-mail name, phone number and ad to Online advertising: Website only ads are available. Website ads are posted for 31 days. Visit Post employment ads for free online at

Baumalight by MTB MFG

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES MAINTENANCE AND SNOW REMOVAL COMPANY FOR SALE Contracts are signed for 3 years, annual revenue $300,000, plus landscaping extras. Asking price $340,000 including equipment or $150,000 for contracts (located around edge of Mississauga and Etobicoke) with company name. Please contact Marek at 647-830-5348


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Connon Nurseries/CBV Holdings Inc.


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Connon Nurseries/NVK Holdings Inc.


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Bay King Chrysler Braun Nursery Limited Canadale Nurseries Ltd

Expressway Hino Waterloo GoGPS Great Lakes Wood Products Inc. Halton Autolease Inc. John Deere

M Putzer Nursery Metal Pless Inc.

Breaking news, events and membership information available online at

Newroads National Leasing Potters Road Nursery Inc. Sipkens Nurseries Ltd. Stam Nurseries Timm Enterprises Ltd. Wallace Chevrolet


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Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Piper's Heath Golf Club Initiative of:



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Attend the annual Growers Fall Meeting to network, enjoy dinner and hear informative speakers.











Landscape Ontario - October 2018  

The Voice of Landscape Ontario

Landscape Ontario - October 2018  

The Voice of Landscape Ontario