June 15, 2014
A legend set to retire
Peter Cantley announced that his assistant Sonya Palermo will be taking over the reins from him at Loblaw.
Denis Flanagan CLD
Director of Public Relations and Membership Services

Denis FlanaganPeter Cantley, vice president of Floral and Garden for the Loblaw Companies, has announced he will retire this year.

Peter has over 46 years’ experience in the business with the last 28 at Loblaw, where he achieved many milestones in the horticulture marketing arena, including the development of the indoor floral business across Canada. He built a national network of exceptional growers and introduced countless exclusive lines.

He has travelled the world searching for the latest in lawn and garden products. This also included putting together a team of growers and meeting with breeders to help determine what will grow best in the Canadian climate.

Peter’s many achievements, over close to half-a-century in the business, include the development of the Lawn and Garden Insider’s Report, creating a national program Loblaw stores to accept used plastic pots and flats which were not accepted by municipal recycling programs, being an active member on the board of Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) and playing an instrumental part in Loblaw’s major sponsorship of Canada Blooms. This involved working closely with renowned landscape architect Janet Rosenberg to design and build spectacular feature gardens at the show.

In true form, Peter recently hosted another successful product launch at the TBG which showcased the new plant line-up for 2014. Media members in attendance were able to talk with many Landscape Ontario growers who had displays at the show.

two men giving a gardening seminarOn left, Peter Cantley, vice president of Floral and Garden for the Loblaw Companies, spoke at Toronto Botanical Garden, with help from Rob Naraj CHT, vice president of nursery sales at Sheridan Nurseries.
These included Bradford Greenhouses, founded in 1961 by Francis Ferragine and sons. This wholesale and retail business supplies a full line of root liners and plugs to independent greenhouses across Canada, as well as a large selection of annuals and specialty mixed hanging baskets.

Brookdale Treeland Nursery is one of the largest growers of nursery stock and perennials in the country. It also supplies a unique line of Florida-grown tropical plants for Loblaw.

Martin Farms, based in the Niagara Peninsula, is a family-owned business in tune with the demands of the Canadian customer. It has recognized the need for premium individual vegetable plants and has created a demand for tomato plants in patio containers.

Sheridan Nurseries celebrated over 100 years in business in 2013. It has developed a thriving wholesale and retail company and has been responsible for several plant introductions. The company had many hardy shrubs and perennials on display at the launch.

Peter Cantley announced that his very able assistant Sonya Palermo will be taking over the reins at Loblaw. He will continue to be a sought-after speaker at garden industry events in Canada and the U.S., and will in fact be giving a presentation at the Landscape Ontario Garden and Floral Expo this October. It will be a not-to-be missed event.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com.