They describe it as the “Oscars” of the landscape industry.
The 45th annual Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence welcomed more than 600 industry members to the award ceremony, held at the Delta Hotel by Marriott Toronto Airport on Jan. 9.
During the event, nearly 300 awards were presented for landscape construction, design, irrigation, lighting and maintenance projects.
“Generally, the public is not aware of the skill creativity and knowledge that goes into building magnificent landscapes,” said Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. “Anyone that experiences the work that people in this room perform, cannot help but realize that what you do is important. What you design is art, what you maintain is important and makes the world more beautiful.”
The event’s master of ceremonies Frank ‘Frankie Flower’ Ferragine described the 2018 award winners as “truly inspiring,” noting that Awards of Excellence are presented to projects that score top marks from a panel of industry judges.
“I’m really happy and pleased that people are investing in their landscapes and outdoor living spaces,” Ferragine said. “It is my mission and really the mission of everyone in this room to ensure that individuals and communities recognize the importance of spending time outside, and these awards are a testament to that goal.
Each year, Landscape Ontario members submit projects, designs and displays for the competition. The awards feature more than 40 categories of entries judged by a panel of respected horticulture industry experts. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the LO Congress trade show. Top scoring winners from the programs will go on to compete in the National Awards of Excellence program.
“What you build requires skill, talent and competency,” DiGiovanni said. “What you construct makes people happy, and what you do reminds people that the landscape is alive.”
3Casey van Maris Award
This year, the Casey van Maris Award went to Eastern Ontario based Roger Willis Contracting for its Indoor Illusions project.
According to the judges, the project “shows off a lot of skill,” and successfully combines the practicality of an indoor space for the benefit of the outdoor world.
The Casey van Maris Award is given to the project with the highest marks for execution of unique and innovative design.
2Don Salivan Grounds Management Award
Urban Garden, based in Toronto, won the Don Salivan Grounds Management Award for its work at High Park Terraces.
Urban Gardens work was selected for the award due to the complexity of maintenance involved in the project. Maintaining High Park Terraces required entering the work area through separate residential entrances and included a diverse mixture of plants at various elevations.
The Don Salivan Grounds Management Award is selected from all projects submitted in the maintenance program. It honours skills that protects or enhances the value of the original landscape investment.
The Greater Toronto Area based Landscape Plus Ltd. won the Dunington-Grubb Award, which is bestowed upon the project considered the most outstanding earning the highest overall score in various construction categories.
According to the judges, the company’s Old World Wonder project “blends the old with the new, and tastefully integrates rooftop plantings with an intimate courtyard.”
For a complete list of award winners click here.