Garden Inspiration

100 Garden Moments of Canada

Celebrating Canada’s Garden Culture Roots – Creating a Legacy

2022 being the Canada’s Year of the Garden, we thought it would be appropriate to identify 100 ‘Garden Moments of Canada’ that have contributed to the development of Canada’s garden culture, the ornamental horticulture sector and the country.

Led by Centre for Canadian Historical Horticultural Studies, and supported by Know History, we have researched and established 100 ‘Garden Moments of Canada’ since 1867.

These 100 Garden Moments of Canada will be the base for setting up Canada’s Garden Hall of Fame, an important educational legacy of the Year of the Garden 2022.

Discover 100 Garden Moments of Canada

  • 1867 : Halifax Public Garden opens in Nova Scotia
  • 1868 : Canadian Wild Flowers (book) published by Catharine Parr Traill and illustrated by Agnes Dunbar Fitzgibbon
  • 1872 : First gardening book published in Canada by Delos White Beadle
  • 1873 : 19th Century Cemetery Gardens are a trend
  • 1874 : Fredrick Law Olmsted commissioned to design Mount Royal Park, Montreal, QC
  • 1874 : Ontario Agricultural College founded in Toronto, later moved to Guelph, ON
  • 1878 : First Canadian Horticulturist magazine published by the Fruit Growers’ Association of Ontario, St. Catharines, ON
  • 1879 : Gardens in front of Parliament Buildings completed; designed by landscape artist Calvert Vaux, Ottawa, ON
  • 1879 : The Allan Gardens were open as the Toronto Horticultural Society Gardens, Toronto, ON
  • 1883 : First Arbor Day in Canada was celebrated in Quebec
  • 1886 : Government of Canada enacted the Experimental Farms Act, establishing the Central Experimental Farm including arboretum and gardens, Ottawa, ON
  • 1886 : Maison Dupuy & Ferguson, first seed business in Québec, founded by Alexandre Dupuy (Place Jacques Cartier), Montreal, QC
  • 1901 : Gardens at Fulford Place completed, designed by Olmsted Brothers. Estate later designated National Historic Site of Canada, Brockville, ON
  • 1901 : The Mayflower is proclaimed as the provincial flower of Nova Scotia, a first in Canada
  • 1902 : The Canadian Garden: A Pocket Help for the Amateur, published by Annie Jack, first Canadian gardening book written by a woman
  • 1903 : William Lyon Mackenzie King started beautifying his Estate, now known as the Mackenzie King Estate Gardens, Gatineau, QC
  • 1904 : The Butchart Gardens started by Jennie Butchart, Victoria, BC
  • 1906 : Ontario Horticultural Association founded
  • 1907 : Canadian Pacific Railroad formalized program for railway gardens at stations, following informal creation of many gardens in 1890s
  • 1908 : National Battlefields Parks, home of the Jeanne-d’Arc Garden, established as a national park, Québec City, QC
  • 1908 : Royal Roads University Botanical Gardens opened, Victoria, BC
  • 1909 : Assiniboine Park opened with several formal gardens, Winnipeg, MB
  • 1911 : Government House Gardens created, Victoria, BC
  • 1913 : Howard and Lorrie Dunington-Grubb founded Sheridan Nurseries, Sheridan, ON
  • 1913 : Landscaped gardens added to Stanley Park by City of Vancouver, BC
  • 1913 : Reader Rock Garden, a National Historic Site, opened, Calgary, AB
  • 1913 : The grounds and gardens at Government House and Saskatchewan’s Parliament Buildings, designed by Thomas Mawson, epitomized the Edwardian trends of the City Beautiful Movement, the Garden City Movement, and the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris, Regina, SK
  • 1913 : The Rose Society of Ontario was founded in Toronto; later renamed the Canadian Rose Society
  • 1915 : Morden Experimental Farm (Research Center) founded, site of many plant breeding programs, Morden, MB
  • 1916 : University of British Columbia Botanical Garden opened, Vancouver, BC
  • 1919 : George C. Creelman lily bred at Ontario Agricultural College by Isabella Preston, first professional woman plant hybridizer in Canada, Guelph, ON
  • 1922 : Canadian Horticultural Council formed as a national trade association
  • 1922: Eastern Canada Nurserymen’s Association formed; became Canadian Nursery Trades Association in 1968, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association in 1998
  • 1925: Manitoba Hardy Plant Nursery opened – and Frank Leith Skinner began serious plant hybridization, eventually introducing 248 hybrids of ornamental and fruit species, Dropmore, MB
  • 1926 : Reford Gardens started by Elsie Reford, Grand-Métis, QC
  • 1931 : Montreal Botanical Garden opened to the public, Montreal, QC
  • 1932 : The Rock Garden opened to the public, first part of Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, ON
  • 1932 : International Peace Garden opened, Boissevain, MB
  • 1934 : Canadian Association of Landscape Architects & Town Planners formed with nine founding members, today known as Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
  • 1935 : Publication of Brother Marie-Victorin’s La Flore Laurentienne, Montréal, QC
  • 1936 : Niagara Parks School for Apprentice Gardeners, forerunner of the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden and School of Horticulture, opens, Niagara Falls, ON
  • 1943 : BC Council of Garden Clubs was founded
  • 1944 : Started in WWI, Victory Gardens peak in WWII with more than 200,000 Victory Gardens across Canada produced 57,000 tonnes of vegetables
  • 1950 : Milner Gardens and Woodland opened, Qualicum Beach, BC
  • 1953 : Canadian Tulip Festival founded, Ottawa, On
  • 1954 : Odell Park and Arboretum founded, Fredericton, NB
  • 1956 : The Prairie Garden magazine founded, Winnipeg, MB
  • 1959 : University of Alberta Botanic Garden, opened to the public under the name of Devonian Botanic Garden, Edmonton, AB
  • 1960 : The Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia was established, designed by Japanese landscape architect Kannosuke Mori, Vancouver, BC
  • 1964 : University of Guelph’s BLA begun as Canada’s first university program in landscape architecture, Guelph, ON
  • 1965 : Canadian Botanical Association founded at a meeting at Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
  • 1967 : Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden opened, Lethbridge, AB
  • 1967 : Simon Fraser University Arboretum founded, Burnaby, BC
  • 1967 : The Canadian Prairie Lily Society was founded
  • 1968 : First Explorer Rose (“Martin Frobisher”) introduced to commercial horticulture by Felicitas Svejda of the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON
  • 1969 : Bloedel Floral Conservatory opened, Vancouver, BC
  • 1970 : The Arboretum at University of Guelph was established, Guelph, ON
  • 1970 : Chatelaine’s Gardening Book published, one of Canada’s first mass how-to-garden books
  • 1975 : VanDusen Botanical Garden opened to the public, Vancouver, BC
  • 1975 : Les Jardins de Quatre-Vents was founded by Francis Cabot, La Malbaie, QC
  • 1976 : Muttart Conservatory established, Edmonton, AB
  • 1977 : Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanic Garden, founded as Oxen Pond Botanic Garden, St. John’s, NL
  • 1978 : Fédération des sociétés d’horticulture et d’écologie du Québec, founded
  • 1978 : Roger-Van den Hende Botanical Garden opened in Quebec City, QC
  • 1979 : The Centre for Canadian Historical Horticultural Studies established by the Dunington-Grubb Foundation and Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON
  • 1980 : Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village opened, Whitby, ON
  • 1980 : Floralies Internationales, Canada’s first international horticultural exhibition, Montreal, QC
  • 1981 : Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens opened, Annapolis Royal, NS
  • 1981 : Canadian Orchid Society founded
  • 1981 : Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden opened, Vancouver, BC
  • 1983 : Rhododendron Garden opened (renamed the Brueckner Gardens in 2008 to honour master rhododendron hybridizer Dr. Joseph Brueckner), Mississauga, ON
  • 1985 : Canadian Wildflower Society founded; coincided with publication of first issue of Society’s WILDFLOWER magazine
  • 1985 : Le parc Marie-Victorin inaugurated, Kingsey Falls, QC
  • 1985 : Master Gardeners program founded
  • 1987 : The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association founded to promote gardening as a way of improving human well-being and mental health
  • 1988 : Canadian Gardener television program on CBCTV begun
  • 1990 : Urban Wild Gardens became a trend
  • 1991 : Fleurs, Plantes, et Jardins magazine founded
  • 1991 : The David Douglas Botanical Garden Society was founded to develop garden in partnership with University of Northern BC, Prince George, BC
  • 1992 : Villes et villages fleuris founded, today named Les Fleurons du Québec, a garden competition
  • 1993: New Brunswick Botanical Garden opened, Edmundston, NB
  • 1995 : Communities in Bloom held its first Canada-wide competition featuring entries from 29 municipalities
  • 1995 : Vancouver’s first public rooftop garden designed by Cornelia Oberlander for Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, BC
  • 1996 : A Canadian court ruled that “natural gardens” are constitutionally protected freedom of expression in the Sandy Bell case
  • 1996 : Canada Blooms created by Landscape Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto, ON
  • 1996 : Jardin Daniel A. Seguin opened, St. Hyacinthe, QC
  • 1997 : Canadian Hemerocallis (Daylilies) Society was founded
  • 1998 : Canadian Peony Society was founded
  • 1998 : Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens were founded, London, ON
  • 1998 : Kingsbrae Garden created by Lucinda Flemer, opened, St. Andrews by-the-Sea, NB
  • 1999 : Yo-Yo Ma Music Garden awarded to Toronto, ON
  • 2000 : Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens founded as Columbia Valley Botanical Gardens, East Kootenays, BC
  • 2000 : Historic Governor’s Garden recreated at the Chateau Ramezay, residence of 18th C. Govenor Claude de Ramezay, Montreal, QC
  • 2000 : Inaugural Mosaïcultures Internationales was held, Montreal, QC
  • 2000 : Olds College Botanic Garden opens, Olds, AB
  • 2002 : Harriette Irving Botanical Garden opened to the public, Acadia University, Wolfville, MS
  • 2003 : Toronto Botanical Garden formally established, Toronto, ON
  • 2007 : The xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden (Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden) began operation as Indigenous knowledge educational and research facility, University of British Columbia Farm, Vancouver, BC
  • 2017 : The Garden Promenade officially opened, 75 gardens across the National Capital Region, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, Ottawa, ON
  • 2020 : Pandemic Gardening emerged during COVID-19 Pandemic

100 Garden Moments Jury

  • Céline Arseneault, former Librarian, Montréal Botanical Garden.
  • Erin Aults, MLIS, Librarian and Archives Specialist, Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • Gaétan Deschênes, Horticultural journalist, author and editor.
  • Dr. David Galbraith, Ph.D., FRCGS, Head of Science, Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • Alexander Reford, CM, M.A., Director, Les Jardins de Métis.
  • Dr. Sara Williams, LL.D., author and retired horticultural specialist, University of Saskatchewan.

Get the full list of Canada’s 100 Garden Moments!

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