July 4, 2018
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Anthony (Tony) Badali, patriarch and owner of Islington Nurseries, died peacefully on July 1, 2018.

The original garden centre was opened in 1950 by Anthony’s father, Joseph Badali and his wife Lena who had emigrated from Italy. When his father died at a young age, Tony took on the responsibility of the family business along with his mother Lena. Tony and his wife Pat continued to build the business with the addition of the landscape supply yard on Bering Avenue in the early 1980s.

Tony took a hands-on approach to many aspects of the business, and continued to build long-term relationships with both suppliers and customers through mutual respect and hard work. Tony had a circle of friends that encompassed family, other business owners, customers, suppliers and staff. He built up a clientele that included the Canadian National Exhibition, Boulevard Club, Toronto Cricket and Skating Club, and The Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Tony’s legacy was passed along to his sons, Joe and John.

Members throughout the landscape and horticulture profession shared memories and stories of Tony:

“I will always have very fond memories of Tony. He would envelop me in the biggest bear hug whenever I had to stop by his office, and I could always count on a good conversation and a tour around the yard to see the latest changes. I will always remember him as a kind gentle soul,” said Betty-Anne Gifford, Dutchmaster Nurseries.

“I was fortunate to have known Tony for close to 30 years. I knew him as a successful business owner who had imagination and grit. Tony was my customer, but he was also my dear friend. loved his enthusiasm for business, for life. He was always a gentleman, my friend, my ‘Favourite Tony.’ I will miss him so,” said Kim Iceton, Somerville Nurseries.

“Tony was my first customer when I got into the industry 28 years ago. I loved going to Islington Nurseries just to have a chat with Tony. I remember Tony’s Mom would always say, ‘Why do you show up at lunch?’ I would always say it was because of her meatballs, but really it was the only time I could track Tony down,” commented Paul Hopping, Braun Nurseries.

“I have dealt with Tony and his family for over 40 years and have always known him as ‘Tony of Islington.’ Everything he did, represented quality. He was a pioneer in both the nursery and landscape business. He was always there, as part of the business, his work was his hobby. The man he was at the core, is a true example of what a good business man should be,” stated Gerry Brouwer, Brouwer Sod Farms.

If desired, memorial donations may be made to The Dorothy Ley Hospice.