October 13, 2021

The best of Canadian landscaping

CNLA presents the 2021 National Awards of Landscape Excellence

Canada’s top landscape projects and nurseries were honoured at the 2021 National Awards of Landscape Excellence (NALE).

Presented by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), the NALE winners were announced Sept. 15, via an online event hosted by Mark and Ben Cullen.

The awards celebrate the best-of-the-best in landscape and horticulture, recognizing the outstanding work of companies across the country that are raising the level of professionalism in the Canadian landscape industry.

The awards consist of five landscape categories, with each provincial association nominating members from its own awards of excellence competition. In addition, the Green for Life Community Award recognizes incredible projects within communities that benefit the public through the construction or maintenance of green spaces. As well, two new awards were added this year: the CNLA Grower of the Year Award and the CNLA Garden Centre of the Year Award.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Para Space Landscaping (Burnaby, B.C.)

Granville Island Project

Green for Life Community Award

Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C., is home to about 400 trees, 150 seasonal flower beds, 2.5 acres of lawn, two ponds and three playgrounds. The revamp of Granville Island’s entrance began in 2019, and incorporated a large boulder wall to correct the grade and preserve mature willow trees. A habitat for pond wildlife and perennial flower beds were also created. The site is now recognized for breaking new ground by incorporating core principles of sustainability.

The Cultivated Garden (Toronto, Ont.)

Ivey Residence

HortProtect National Award of Landscape Excellence for Residential Landscape Maintenance

Ivey Residence includes a terraced backyard and view of Toronto’s skyline, which creates an open and large impression for the residential property. Staff are on site weekly tending to the perennial garden full of plants selected based on the client’s love of the colour purple. For contrast, the front yard is simple and green with crisp lines.

“The thing about winning an award is it’s really a testament to the staff’s skills,” said Barbara Rosensweig of the Cultivated Garden. “They are the ones that do the hard work.”

VisionScapes (Calgary, Alta.)

Lotus Gardens

HortProtect National Award of Excellence for Landscape Design

Lotus Gardens includes a custom-built outdoor kitchen, a hand-carved stone fountain, multiple hidden sheds and an 1,100 kg Buddha sculpture. The pergola design was created by watching how sunlight moves through the property to ensure optimal shade coverage. As well, thousands of square feet of Batu hardwood was used for fencing and tied in through aspects of the home and landscape.

“This award is definitely not mine. It’s for our team. Everyone that put their heart and soul into this project deserves recognition,” said Jeff Campbell, founder, managing partner and president of VisionScapes.

Millcreek Nursery (Edmonton, Alta.)

CNLA Garden Centre of the Year Award

Millcreek Nursery is a century-old family farm located within the Edmonton city limits. Established in 1903, the farm operated as a dairy farm, before transforming into a retail and wholesale provider of potted trees, shrubs and perennials as well as gifts and garden decor. Today, the dairy farm’s vintage red barn is a landmark for the nursery.

“Probably the greatest award to me is to be a supplier to the University of Alberta,” said Millcreek Nursery owner Ken Riske. “I have a forestry degree and graduated in 1981, and now supply them with products they use on their grounds to beautify the University of Alberta.”

Aden Earthworks (Toronto, Ont.)

Musee Picass

Caterpillar National Award of Landscape Excellence for Commercial Landscape Construction

Located at the corner of Bathurst St. and Adelaide St. W in downtown Toronto, Musee Picass creates an oasis for condo residents away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The project included various hardscape and softscape elements spanning several floors of the condo building, as well as individual patios for townhomes and a park on the ground level.

“This project was one of our best projects we have worked on over the last number of years,” said Ben Zlotnick owner of Aden Earthworks.

Fossil Landscape Construction (Vancouver, B.C.)

West Vancouver Estate

Caterpillar National Award of Landscape Excellence for Residential Landscape Construction

West Vancouver Estate is located about 25 minutes from the city’s downtown core. Fossil Landscape Construction worked with the property’s natural bedrock, trees and an adjacent park to create a mixed environment, rich in native plants.

“Working on high end residential projects gives us the opportunity to work with some amazing consultants, landscape architects, materials and designs,” said Andrew Foster, project manager for Fossil Landscape Construction.

Strathmore Landscape Contractors (LaSalle, Que.)

Rideau Canal Corridor

HortProtect National Award of Landscape Excellence for Commercial Landscape Maintenance

Commissioner’s Park in Ottawa, Ont., is situated on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park’s foliage ranges from annuals to 100-year-old specimen trees.

Each year, Strathmore Landscape Contractors plant 300,000 tulip bulbs in the park’s garden beds, which are later rotated out with annual flowers. Just deadheading the hostas alone requires an entire day’s work for the Strathmore team.

“The nice thing about this property is that the feedback is constant,” said Jessica Milligan, vice president of Strathmore. “We have thousands of people that go through this park on a weekly basis. They really appreciate the work they see happening here.”

Eagle Lake Nurseries (Strathmore, Alta.)

CNLA Grower of the Year Award.

For more than 50 years, the family-owned Eagle Lake Nurseries has supplied prairie-grown trees, shrubs and perennials to the horticulture industry throughout Western Canada and the northern United States.

“We’re always trying new things to see what we can push the envelope on and see what may be hardy,” said Anita Heuver, owner of the nursery.

To watch a replay of the awards, including videos of current and past winners, visit cnla.ca/awards