January 15, 2020


Landscape Ontario is pleased to announce
the first annual Employer of Choice Awards. 


Out of the Strategic Planning sessions, the Employer of Choice Awards Committee was established with the mandate to define the characteristics, processes and systems of an Employer of Choice in order to create an aspirational model for employers. The goal of these Awards will be to recognize Employers of Choice and to promote better practices in the landscape and horticulture professions. Entries for the Employer of Choice Awards will open from July 1 to October 1. 

To be considered for Landscape Ontario’s Employer of Choice Awards your company must meet the following criteria:

Competency Standards

  • Offer and pay for ongoing education and training to its staff and management
  • 1 in 10 staff to have Landscape Industry Certification, apprenticeship, or equivalent
  • Use of CLD or equivalent on staff if Design/Build firm
  • Must show employee retention statistics

Character Standards

  • Google Reviews
  • Company policy and employee manual
  • Gives back to the community
  • Conscious of environmental initiatives

Business Operations Standards

  • Has a fair, concise and significant company policy manual.
  • Has safety as a priority in the day to day operations of its company and staff
  • Loss time statistics WSIB from the last five years
  • Has a Mission statement and Strategic plan of action that is developed with its own staff
  • Must be compliant with safety legislation

Financial Standards

  • Offers fair or better remuneration in their respective markets (at or above the average from the wage surveys- with career ladders)
  • Credit Exchange to ensure credit standing
  • Offers a pension plan to staff
  • Offers overtime
  • Offers Health Benefits

Industry/Community Involvement

  • Membership in the Peer to Peer program
  • Strives to hire Horticulture students when possible.
  • Contributes volunteer hours to the association
  • Encourages staff to participate in LO events and meetings
  • Supports local Horticultural education programs.

To be considered for the Employer of Choice Awards you must submit the following information:
  • Application form and questionnaire
  • Payment of $150 entry fee
  • Staff list (names and email addresses). List all staff certifications including CLT, and Apprenticeship or Red Seal CLD (or equivalent, including College or University programs) as well as employee start date.
  • Copy of company policy and employee manual
  • An overview of employee compensation structure
  • OH&S metrics including WSIB statistics
  • Names of staff on Joint Health and Safety Committee and proof of training
Applications should be sent to Awards@landscapeontario.com. Upon successful completion of the application, a questionnaire will be sent to the applicant to forward to their employees. Company information will be remain confidential and employee responses will be kept anonymous. At the conclusion of the program, each company will be sent their overall scores based on feedback from their employees.
Questions about the Employer of Choice program can be directed to Myscha Stafford at Awards@landscapeontario.com