November 15, 2013
Wally Zomer
Wally Zomer
Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations
Denis FlanaganFor the past number of years, Landscape Ontario has maintained In Memoriam page on our website for industry members who have passed on. The following person is another we will be adding to that archive.

Just over a year ago Wally and Dianne Zomer came into my office in Milton, because they felt as long-time members of Landscape Ontario they wanted to explain in person that due to health reasons they would be closing their nursery in the near future.

Sadly, Wally passed away this past September. I thought I would share some history about Wally, as I am sure the story of how his business and an industry developed will resonate with many other long-time members.

Born to Roel and Albert Zomer in Holland on June 21, 1943, the middle of five boys, Walter Zomer always had a spirit of adventure. As a boy, he learned his lessons of hard work. This work ethic was later magnified with the necessity of financially helping the family in 1956, after they arrived at Pier 21 in Halifax along with countless other Dutch immigrants to Canada.

Initially settling in Shedden, Ont., just west of St. Thomas, Wally started his Canadian education in a one-room school house. It was here in south-western Ontario where hard work reached a new level.

The memories of working in the tobacco fields were, over the years, topics of stories among the Zomer brothers. Eventually the family settled in Oakville, where Wally’s dad Albert and older brothers worked hard pruning apple trees, followed by raising chickens. Within a couple of years, the family was able to purchase property on 8th Line, where Albert maintained orchards.

Walter married Dianne Van Ast in 1966. They had four children over the next nine years. The family took a big risk when Wally left his secure job with the City of Mississauga to buy a property on Walkers Line, outside of Burlington, to start a wholesale nursery business.

The family has now decided to close the business. As a service to one of our members, we have been providing advice to Wally’s son Jamie. If you have any interest in purchasing nursery stock, please contact me at, and I will pass your message along to him.
Denis Flanagan can be reached at or at 905-875-1805, ext. 2303.