October 15, 2019
Warren PattersonWe’ve all experienced that great feeling you get when you buy something new. Sometimes it’s a reward for the sacrifices you have made. Sometimes it’s a treat for reaching a goal or completing a task. That something new comes with a sense of pride and the belief that it will make your life better.

As an association, Landscape Ontario has that feeling right now. Our home office staff are now settled in our newly-renovated building, and many sector groups, committees and your LO Board of Directors have met in the new space. It is awesome! But it has not been without sacrifice. The biggest sacrifices made have been made by our association staff. For years, the old building was plagued with many issues. It was too cold and drafty, drains overflowed, toilets clogged, the water was not fit to drink. But now, all of those issues are gone and I am grateful that our staff were patient in dreaming and waiting for something greater.

The LO Building Committee, chaired by Karl Stensson, sacrificed a great deal of time for the greater good of the association and the profession. Without their leadership and willingness to get the facility built and stick to a strict budget, we would still just have the “sheet” of a road sign as Karl often referred to it. Their collective commitment to this endeavour spanned many years, not just a few months. They have been pressed to make tough decisions, ensure all stakeholders were heard, and steer us in the direction that was right for the future of our association. I would personally like to thank the committee members for their service.

Finally, we now we have a wonderful facility. Together, we made this happen. The tens of thousands of cars that pass our site now take notice that Landscape Ontario means something. The building looks attractive and warm and is a great representation who we are — professionals. The Building Committee has already shifted focus and is working on the landscape plan for the entire Milton site. The landscaping will differentiate us from every other land owner along Highway 401. People will speak our name as they pass by. It’s a start to building a memorable brand where the true meaning of Landscape Ontario will one day be realized.

With new offices, new training rooms and a solid partnership with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, we are at the start of a new journey toward even greater things. Our recently revised strategic plan has great aspirations and visions to support our members and their businesses. We now have the facilities to start on its execution. Together, this renewal of our association is heading toward maintaining relevance with its members.

We’re very fortunate to have the resources and the vision to build such a facility. Everyone should take pride in knowing they are a part of this great association that we call Landscape Ontario.

P.S. Watch for details of an Open House celebration scheduled for the new LO facility in Milton on Oct. 23.
Warren Patterson
LO President