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Allied Horticultural Trades Congress.


G.R. (Dick) Sale (standing) flanked by presidents of the four participating associations that formed Landscape Ontario.


by those who simply had a love of the land. Many were immigrants from Europe, and together they built an industry that has become a major economic force in the country. Some two years before the forma-


tion of the OLCA, a small group of landscape contractors under the lead- ership of Leslie Hancock had begun meeting during the winter months, together with employees of the Metro Parks Department, in a high school in Port Credit. They called themselves the Landscape and Horticultural Guild, and were mainly devoted to education. The concept was based on European methods of vocational or trades training. The guild, accord- ing to Glenn Peister, offered an early and splendid opportunity, not only to learn and exchange trade ideas, but to develop lasting friendships among those engaged in the landscape trade at that time. Early in 1959, with the encourage-


ment of Leslie Hancock, the Ontario Landscape Contractors Associa- tion was formed with 14 founding member firms. Ontario Garden Maintenance and Landscaping Association It wasn’t until after the Second


World War that gardening began to become a respectable occupation. A good deal of the credit must go to those who came to this country seeking a new and better life. Many had been trained in horticulture in Europe, and gardening offered a way of establishing themselves by setting up their own business with little equipment — sometimes not much more than a few tools in a wheelbar- row. It wasn’t easy for them. Difficulty learning the English language caused problems


in 44 • Fall 2016 communicating with


customers, and even within the associ- ation that was eventually formed, Old


World animosities sometimes caused problems. In the fall of 1964, on the way back


from a short course in Guelph, some gardeners were having coffee in one of the small restaurants along the way, and the idea of an association was discussed. However, nobody acted on the idea until January 1965. At that time Casey van Maris (Parklane Nurseries Ltd., Agincourt) and Tony DeGroot (Hensberger & DeGroot, Willowdale) phoned Bernie Bouw- meister (Modern Holland Landscap- ing, Unionville), John van Roode (also of Parklane Nurseries Ltd.) and Hank Deenen (Hank Deenen Land- scaping Ltd., West Hill); asking them to devote some of their time to get this new association rolling. The meeting was duly held, with


Hank Deenen in the chair. He had come well prepared with a printed agenda that included an outline of nine proposed objectives: 1. A better image as a maintenance


group to the public. 2. Educational program to upgrade


the knowledge of members. 3. Proper presentation to govern-


ment departments. 4. Advice on equipment and suppli-


ers. 5. Arbitration committee on diffi-


cult accounts. 6. A service to help fellow members


when sick. 7. Business overflow and labour and


equipment pool. 8. Set standard rates. 9. One rental agency to rent special


equipment for the trade. In his opening speech Hank Deenen


outlined the need for an association of the smaller landscape gardeners, and listed the above as possible objec- tives…The first permanent Board of


Casey van Maris (left) receives the Honorary Life Membership from LO President Harold Deenen in 1982.


Directors was voted in at an executive meeting on September 7. The OGMLA was working with


the Ontario Landscape Contractors Association, Ontario Nursery Trades Association, the Nursery Sod Grow- ers Association and the Ontario Shade Tree Council to develop educational course in various aspects of horticul- ture. In January of 1968 the most successful pesticide course to date was held at Edwards Gardens, and through the efforts of these groups the Ontario government was about to set up courses at Humber and Centennial College. Interest was also being shown in an apprenticeship type of training, and the association was co-operating in this phase of the program.


Unity – the formation of Landscape Ontario


On January 24, 1973, at the close


of the Ontario Horticultural Trades Congress, after members of the Ontario Nursery Trades Association, the Ontario Landscape Contractors Association, and the Ontario Garden Maintenance and Landscape Asso- ciation had voted overwhelmingly to support the concept of unity within Ontario’s horticultural


industry,


Landscape Ontario officially came into being. x Denis Flanagan CLD (certified land- scape designer). After graduating from horticulture in Surrey, England, Denis, was moved to Canada where for 35 years he has contributed to the Canadian horti- cultural scene by designing hundreds of gardens, teaching at several colleges and appearing on many TV shows. He contin- ues to share his passion for gardening by giving presentations to the public and presently directs the membership depart- ment at Landscape Ontario, promoting the joys and benefits of the Green Profes- sion as manager of public relations.


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