Founding of the CSLA

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects was founded in 1934. The founding members of the Society were:

By the 1930s, landscape architects were active in all major centres across Canada in the design and planning of parks, open spaces, public institutions, roadways, neighbourhoods and communities. Landscape architect Frederick Todd, for example, was instrumental in the early 1900s in the design of Mount Royal Park in Montreal and the design of Ottawa's scenic driveways and urban green spaces. Later he designed the neighbourhood of Mount Royal in Montreal.

Following World War II, landscape architects became involved in the design and planning of new communities, national and provincial parks, tourism facilities, institutions and corporate sites. Landscape architects played lead roles in the design of Expo 67 in Montreal.

In the mid-1960's, professional programs in landscape architecture were initiated at the Universities of Guelph, Manitoba, and Toronto. A few years later, programs were established at the University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal, and a program in landscape architectural technology was initiated at Ryerson Polytechnical University.

Demand for the services of landscape architects has grown steadily in Canada, particularly over the past two decades. Landscape architects today are engaged in the design, planning and management of urban, rural and natural environments in all Canadian provinces and territories and in many countries worldwide. Canadian landscape architects are well-regarded for their creativity, their sensitivity and their practicality in all aspects of professional practice.

Historic Timeline of the CSLA

1934 - CSLA is founded

In March, at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Town Planners is formed with Gordon Culham (President), Howard Dunington-Grubb (Vice president), Frances Steinhoff (Secretary-Treasurer) and Carl Borgstron and Edwin Kay (Councilors). Also present: Laurie Dunington-Grubb, Humphrey Carver, J.V. Stensson, Helen Kipax and Frances Blue.

1956 - Annual Dinner of the CSLA and Town Planners

Held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with guests from the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects


1. Graham, Secretary, secrétaire, U.N.Y. Chapter, 2. R.A. Fisher, architect, architecte, Toronto, 3. Gordon Culham, President, CSLA&TP, 4. Mrs. Bunnell, 5. David Mansur, guest speaker, formerly with CMHC, 6. Louis Perron, Past President CSLA&TP, 7. Mrs. Mansur, 8. Norede Rotunno, professor, Syracuse University, 9. Mrs. Perron, 10. A.E.K. Bunnell, Honourary member CSLA&TP, 11. Lotta Dempsey (Mrs. R.A. Fisher), columnist, Globe and Mail, 12. Nelson Welles, President U.N.Y. Chapter, head of N.Y. Highways, 13. Donald Pettit, Toronto, 14. Wilhelm Stensson, Sheridan Nurseries, 15. Macklin Hancock, Toronto, 16. C.E. Robinson, Toronto, 17. Edward I. Wood, FDC, Ottawa, 18. Jim Secord, St. Catharines, 19. Austin Floyd, Toronto, 20. Mrs. C.E. Robinson, 21. Mrs. Floyd, 22. Mrs. Secord, 23. Mrs. Thomas McCabe, Toronto, 24. Edwin Kay, Toronto, 25. Edwin Kay’s friend from Hungary, 26. Mrs. Kay, 27. Wife of Mr. Kay’s friend from Hungary, 28. Frances Blue, Aurora, 29. Katharine Wilson Rahn, Rochester, 30. Helen Kippax, Toronto, 31. Professor Albrecht, Syracuse, 32. Mr. Griever, Syracuse

1959 - The Canadian Landscape Architect

CSLA introduces its first national landscape architectural publication, The Canadian Landscape Architect.

1960 - Chapters Formed, Newsletter Established

Three CSLA chapters are created: Montreal/Ottawa, Central Canada and the Prairie/Pacific Coast.

CSLA introduces its first newsletter, entitled Land Design.

1964 - College of Fellows

First class of Fellows are invested to the College of Fellows.

1969 - A Federation

CSLA is restructured into a federation of provincial and regional component associations. Edwin Skapsts, Jack Walker and Clive Justice lead the restructuring.

1972 - First Congress

First CSLA annual Congress is held in Vancouver

1977 -First Issue of Landscape Architecture in Canada

In March, the CSLA creates a quarterly, bilingual publication entitled Landscape Architecture in Canada, edited by Moura Quayle.

1980 - Governance Structure Established

CSLA governance structure of regional representatives led by a nationally elected president is established.

1981 - Last Issue of Landscape Architecture in Canada

In April, the last issue of Landscape Architecture in Canada is published.

1982 - LA Review Published

In November, the CSLA publishes the Landscape Architectural Review (LA Review) “to provide a forum for the presentation and promotion of landscape architecture” under the CSLA aegis and every CSLA member receives a copy.

1983 - Professional Awards 

The Professional Awards Program is launched and awarded in 1984, under the leadership of Arnis Budrevics, based on the OALA's awards. Categories include design, planning and research. The design category includes recreational, residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and historical divisions as well as urban design and transport.

1984 - Bulletin and Membership Roster

CSLA introduces a bilingual news bulletin and Lombard North Group develops the first computerized CSLA membership roster.

1985 - LA Review Published Bilingually

In January, LA Review becomes a bilingual publication and is renamed Landscape Architecture Review/Revue d’architecture de paysage. It will be published until 1993.

Ron Williams and others build on the work of Peter Jacobs, Jack Milliken and John Consolati to create a CSLA accreditation system for Canadian universities. University of Guelph is the first school accredited (1986).

1986 - First Executive Director

In July, Pierre Vachon becomes the first employee of the CSLA as Executive Director.

1987 - LACF Founded

Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) is established.

1989 - "Portrait of a Profession" Published

CSLA publishes "Portrait of a Profession: Landscape Architecture in 1988" by Moura Quayle, Neil Guppy and Luc Roberge

1992 - A plaque recognizing Frederick Law Olmsted's contribution to Mount Royal Park in Montreal is installed

View the plaque

1996 - "Glimpses of CSLA-AAPC History" Published

CSLA publishes "Glimpses of CSLA-AAPC History" written by Gunter A. Schoch 

1999 - L|P Magazine Published

In the Fall, the first Issue of LANDSCAPES | PAYSAGES, magazine, edited by Cecilia Paine, is published, with the help of funds from the LACF.

1998 - "Changing the Face of Canada" Published

CSLA publishes "Changing the Face of Canada: Profiles of Landscape Architects" (Volume 1) (Volume 2) written by Linda M. Le Geyt

2000 - New Executive Director

Fran Pauzé joins the CSLA as Executive Director.

2009 - New Executive Director,  "A Pocket History" Published

Paulette Vinette appointed CSLA Executive Director

Doug Clark compiles "A Pocket History", a 180-year journey through time for Landscapes | Paysages Magazine

2011 - New Executive Director

Elizabeth Sharpe appointed CSLA Executive Director.

2012 - New Executive Director

Michelle Legault appointed CSLA Executive Director.

2013 - Changes to Congress

CSLA adopts a proactive congress planning model working in partnership with component associations.

CSLA brokers a Reciprocity Agreement which is signed by 8 or 9 component associations; that agreement is renewed in 2020 with all component associations as signatories.

2014 - Committee on Climate Adaptation & Certificate of Continuance

Established the CSLA Climate Change Task Force, which became the Committee on Climate Adaptation.

CSLA certificate of continuance approved by the Government of Canada under the Not for Profit Act
Ron Williams pubishes Landscape Architecture in Canada and, with the LACF, the CSLA organizes and funds a cross-Canada book tour.

2015 - Canadian Landscape Charter, Compensation and Benefits Study & Component Association Terms of Reference

Launched a compensation and benefits study of the profession, which was renewed in 2019.

CSLA and component associations sign a terms of reference which guides the roles and responsibilities of the organizations.

CSLA establishes the Canadian Landscape Charter.

2016 - Canadian Landscape Standard Published, Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture & Reconciliation Advisory Committee

In cooperation with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, published the Canadian Landscape Standard, and published a second edition in 2020.

Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture, approved in 2014, is awarded to Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.

Indigenous Issues Task Force is established, which became the Reconciliation Advisory Committee.

2018 - New Membership Categories

Associates (interns) and students admitted as CSLA members.

2020 - Communications Coordinator & LACF Executive Director

Katherine Velluso joins the CSLA team as Communications Coordinator.

Service agreement with LACF is concluded whereby the CSLA Executive Director becomes LACF Executive Director.

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