Historic Timeline

Welcome to the CSLA's Historic Timeline

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Town Planners was founded in 1934 and became the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 1961. In the 1930s, landscape architects were becoming active in the design and planning of parks, open spaces, public institutions, roadways, neighbourhoods and communities across Canada. The historic timeline, below, aims to highlight important milestones in the profession.

Are we missing a milestone in the timeline? Feel free to suggest content to Michelle Legault at executive-director@csla-aapc.ca 

Historic information on the CSLA can also be referenced throughout its website. Learn more about:

The title “landscape architect” is first used in Canada by Frederick Gage Todd

National Capital Region Report

Frederick Gage Todd prepares the first comprehensive report for the National Capital Region.

Québec Architects' Act

Québec’s Architects’ Act is altered to allow landscape architects to use the word “architect” in their title. This achievement is largely credited to Frederick Gage Todd.

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, and Helen Kipax.

CSLA Bestows its Inaugural Honorary Membership on The Honourable T. B. McQuesten

In 1947, the Board of Directors of the CSLA bestowed honorary membership on The Honourable T. B. McQuesten. T.B. McQuesten was appointed chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission in 1934 and introduced a new wave of changes, many of which were led by landscape architects. McQuesten came from a political background but appreciated and understood the skills of landscape architects and involved them in realizing his goals of showcasing Canadian art, architecture and landscapes. The NPC and McQuesten worked together with Canadian landscape architecture pioneers Howard Dunnington-Grubb, Lorrie Alfreda Dunnington-Grubb and Carl Borgstrom to transform the parkway.

Learn more about CSLA's Honorary Members

Learn more about the Niagara Parks Commission in LP Magazine 

International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Founded

IFLA was founded at Cambridge, England, in 1948 with Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe as its first president, representing 15 countries from Europe and North America. Canada is a founding member.

Picture of IFLA Presidents, from left to right: Geoffrey Jellicoe (1948-1952); Walter Leder (1952-1956); René Pechère (1956-1958); Sidney Shurcuff (1958-1962); Francisco C. Cabral (1962-1966); Richard Schreiner (1966-1968). Source : Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Archival Collections, Frances Loeb Library.

Annual Dinner of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Town Planners

Niagara Falls, Ontario, and guests from the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (1956) 

Click to see details

First Schedule of Fees and Agreements Published

J. Austin Floyd prepares the profession’s first Schedule of Fees and Agreements between clients and landscape architects. 

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

CSLA introduces its first newsletter, entitled Land Design

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

“Town Planners” is dropped from the Society’s name: Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

The first class of CSLA Fellows was invested into the College of Fellows

The first class of CSLA Fellows was invested in 1964. They were: Otis Bishopric, Gordon Culham, Howard B. Dunnington-Grubb, Maurice H. Howitt and Edward I. Wood. Learn more about the Fellows.

The British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects (BCSLA) is Founded

In 1950, prior to the establishment of the first landscape architectural practices in British Columbia, ‘landscape architecture’ was practiced by individuals with diverse backgrounds in horticulture, contracting and nursery production.   In 1961 the B.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) was established.  In 1964 the decision was made by the B.C. Chapter of the AILA to incorporate a sister organization as the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects under the B.C. Societies Act.  The BCSLA was established with a constitution and bylaws modeled upon those of the AILA.  The charter for the new Society was granted on April 21st, 1964 with a total of 20 members. On April 6, 1968, the Act Respecting Landscape Architects was given Royal Assent.

First class of Fellows are invested to the College of Fellows

University of Guelph establishes a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) program

Founding of the Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec

The Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec (AAPQ) was founded in 1965. The first meeting was held at the Hélène de Champlain restaurant on Île Ste-Hélène, in Montréal. Read an article by Ron Williams published in the AAPQ's anniversary publication

University of Toronto Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)

University of Toronto adds a landscape architecture division (a four-year BLA) to its programs. The BLA will be phased out in 1999. History

Landscape architecture is recognized in the Canadian Civil Service as a distinct professional group

The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) is Founded

In 1968, the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects was founded as a self-regulating association with the goal of the improvement, advancement, and promotion of the profession of landscape architecture. The association maintained standards of professional practice and conduct to serve and protect the public interest, and, as of 1984, administered the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Act, 1984.

Ground magazine that includes a timeline of the history of the OALA

The School of Architecture at l’Université de Montréal offers courses in landscape architecture

Founding of the University of Manitoba landscape architecture program

The graduate program in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba was Canada's first of its kind. It resulted from the vision of the late Dean of Architecture, John A. Russell. Its establishment was facilitated by the appointment of Alexander Rattray as Head of the program in July 1969. The initial three-year graduate course of study was offered through the University's Natural Resource Institute in 1970. The Master of Landscape Architecture program was formally accepted by the Province of Manitoba in 1972. Program history

Inaugural Lifetime Membership Bestowed on Otis Bishopric, Frances V. Blue, Gordon Culham, Maurice Howitt and Edward I. Wood

In 1969, the CSLA introduced a program of Lifetime Membership, which recognizes highly respected, retired members no longer active in the field. Recipients of lifetime membership are no longer required to pay membership fees but continue to have all the rights and privileges of full membership. The first CSLA members to receive lifetime membership were:

CSLA Becomes a Federation

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

Ryerson Polytechnic Institute establishes a program in landscape architectural technology

The Alberta Association of Landscape Architects is Founded

The Alberta Association of Landscape Architects was registered with the Province of Alberta in 1970, after several years of lobbying and pursuit. The very first executive board included Hugh Knowles, Randy Mitchell, Ren Settle, John Burrows, Don Sigsby and Pat Butler. 

LA Bash Established

Students from the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto establish LA Bash, the annual international student conference.

First CSLA annual Congress is held in Vancouver

University of Manitoba Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program is established

University of Guelph Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program is established

The Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects is Founded

On April 28, 1973 the inaugural meeting of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects was held at the Westminster Motor Hotel in Winnipeg. This meeting was the result of several informal planning sessions at the home of Douglas Paterson, then Senior Design Planner with Lombard North. At the Westminster Hotel meeting an interim slate of officers was installed: Douglas Paterson, President; Jack Walker, Vice- President; Gunter A. Schoch, Vice-President; Kenneth Pugh, Secretary; and Garry Hilderman, Treasurer. The first annual general meeting took place on March 19, 1974 at the Granite Curling Club and was admitted as a Canadian Society of Landscape Architects component association the same year.

First Issue of Landscape Architecture in Canada

In March 1977, the CSLA creates a quarterly, bilingual publication entitled Landscape Architecture in Canada, edited by Moura Quayle.

École d’architecture de paysage is established at l’Université de Montréal

Visit l'École d’architecture de paysage's website and read an article on its history written by Nicole Valois and Ron Williams: Histoire de la formation en architecture de paysage à l’Université de Montréal (openedition.org)

University of British Columbia Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) program is established

National Awards of Excellence Program Established

The first indication of an awards program in the profession appears in the 1969 minutes of the CSLA Board of Directors. It mentions that at the October Annual Meeting in Ottawa, 3 Awards of Excellence and 4 Awards of Merit were presented. The committee that organized this “Design Competition” consisted of Norman P. Fodchuck (Chair), Donald W. Pettit, FCSLA and Henry Stengel, while the jury was made up of Otis Bishopric, FCSLA and Roderick Clack. Regional awards programs began to emerge in the early 1980s. The CSLA established its awards program in 1982, with the first awards being made at CSLA Congress ‘83 in Edmonton. Following the 1983 Awards, the decision was made to have a national awards program which would evaluate submissions for “Regional” merit and secondly for “National” merit. At the 1985 Board of Governors meeting in Saskatoon, approval was granted, formally incorporating all regional awards programs into one national CSLA program. From 1984 to 1986, Arnis Budrevics, OALA, FCSLA, served as Awards Chair. At the Board of Governors meeting held on March 19, 1986, in Halifax, he presented a 7-page report which clearly and comprehensively stated all the goals, objectives and operating procedures under which the Awards Committee would operate. The proposal was accepted and the necessary funds were included in CSLA’s annual budgets. The administration of the awards program was entrusted to the University of Manitoba’s Landscape Architecture Department to administer on behalf of the CSLA until 2022, when the administration reverted to the CSLA head office. An archive of award-winning projects can be viewed here.

Landscape Architectural 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.

CSLA Publishes Fifty Years of Landscape Architecture: The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects 1934-1984

The Landscape Architects’ Act (PR37) receives Royal Assent in Ontario

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

Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council is Established

The CSLA had developed an accreditation policy in the form of a 16-page brochure as early as 1979, when the accreditation of schools of landscape architecture at Canadian universities was provided exclusively by ASLA's Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). At the 1985 CSLA Congress in Saskatoon (July 4-6), Bradley R. Johnson, FCSLA was appointed the first Chair of the CSLA Accreditation Council and given the task of establishing the Council and accreditation program. In October 1985, the “Manual of Accreditation Standards and Procedures” was prepared. The first meeting was conducted on June 6, 1986, in Ottawa with Peter Jacobs, Brad Johnson, Don Pettit and Jim Stansbury in attendance and Doug Paterson present via telephone. The first Accreditation Team visit took place on November 23-24, 1987, at the University of Manitoba and accreditation of its program was approved in March 1988. This was followed by visits to the University of Toronto (in conjunction with the LAAB) on March 19-22, 1989, and the Université de Montréal on April 3-5, 1989. 

Landscape Architecture (LA) Review Published Bilingually

In January of 1985, the LA Review becomes a bilingual publication and is renamed Landscape Architecture Review/Revue d’architecture de paysage. It will be published until 1993.

Pierre Vachon becomes the first employee of the CSLA as Executive Director

Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) is established

"Portrait of a Profession" Published

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

The Northwest Territories Association of Landscape Architects is Incorporated

On September 14th, 1990, the Northwest Territories Association of Landscape Architects was incorporated and the following year, was accepted as a component of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, having participated in board meetings as an observer the previous year.

President’s Award of Excellence is Established and Bestowed on Donald W. Graham, Clive L. Justice, André Sauvé, and James R. Taylor

In 1992, the President's Award of Excellence (later renamed the President's Award) was established and presented at the 1992 Congress held in Waskesiu, Saskatchewan. It was intended for members of long standing who had provided exceptional meritorious services to the CSLA, as selected by the president. In 1992, the inaugural President's Award was bestowed on Donald W. Graham, Clive L. Justice, André Sauvé, and James R. Taylor. In 2020, it was combined with the Schwabenbauer Award and renamed the Schwabenbauer President's Award.


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

The Community Service Award is Established and Bestowed on the General Motors of Canada Ltd. Company

In 1994, the CSLA established the Community Service Award, to be presented to non-member individuals or agencies who had displayed an exceptional awareness of environmental issues and responsibility in their community. The inaugural award was bestowed on the General Motors of Canada Ltd. Company in recognition of their contribution to a stormwater management project in partnership with CSLA, the federal Department of Public Works, the National Research Council and the Canadian Stormwater Society.


University of British Columbia Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program established

"Glimpses of CSLA-AAPC History" Published

CSLA publishes "Changing the Face of Canada: Profiles of Landscape Architects"

University of Toronto Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program is established

LANDSCAPES | PAYSAGES 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.

Fran Pauzé Appointed CSLA Executive Director

Following a career in the arts in costume design and construction  with international theatre and ballet companies as well as positions as Director of Marketing and General Manager, Fran Pauzé worked with the CSLA for 8 years as Executive Director (2000-2009). She was pleased  to assist  the organization in  achieving financial stability and worked with the board to firmly establish Landscapes Paysages as the publication showcasing the profession in Canada .  The annual CSLA awards program was expanded and became a regular part of the benefits enjoyed by members.

Semi retirement followed as part time administrator for The Universities Art Association .  With UAAC the organization grew in numbers and in stature thanks in large part to her guidance.  Annual conferences in particular were highly successful and UAAC’s communication tools were digitised and became accessible to a much larger audience.

After 12 years with UAAC, retirement beckoned and Fran now enjoys spending time with her husband Alain at their Muskoka cottage and their  home in Victoria.

Nunavut Association of Landscape Architects (NuALA) is founded

In 2001, John Laird, Chris Grosset, Richard Wyma, and Heather Gosselin began discussing ways to promote the profession in Nunavut in a manner that recognized and reflected its unique cultural and natural environments; enhanced the knowledge, education, and skill in the art and science of landscape architecture throughout Nunavut by fostering public, government, and industry interests in landscape architecture; and provided a “voice” for Nunavut’s landscapes. This led to the Nunavut Association of Landscape Architects being granted association status in Nunavut and being recognized as a CSLA Component Association in 2002. From July 14th to 17th, 2011 NuALA hosted the CSLA Congress in Iqaluit. The theme was “On the Land”.

Catherine MacDonald authors Making a Place: A History of Landscape Architects and Landscape Architecture in Manitoba

CSLA Established the Schwabenbauer Award for Service to the CSLA, the Teaching Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2004, a proposal was discussed by the Board of Directors regarding enhanced awards to recognize CSLA members' contributions and accomplishments. In 2006, John Neill was awarded the inaugural Teaching Medal (later renamed the Teaching Award), Gunter Schoch was awarded the inaugural Schwabenbauer Award (later renamed the Schwabenbauer Presidents' Award) and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.


The Practice of Landscape Architecture in Canada Published

James R. Taylor publishes the first edition of The Practice of Landscape Architecture in Canada. The second edition is published in 2010.

Paulette Vinette appointed CSLA Executive Director

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

Elizabeth A. Sharpe Appointed Interim CSLA Executive Director

From May 2011 to March 2012, the CSLA approached Elizabeth Sharpe of the Association Management Company (AMC) to ask for support in the operations and governance of CSLA on an interim basis and to fill the role of Interim Executive Director.  The AMC team of specialists and association volunteers, led by Kip Sharpe, moved forward to organize and present the 2011 Annual General Meeting and Conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut for mid-July of that year and continued to support the day-to-day requirements over the following nine months.   

As a Certified Association Executive, Elizabeth founded and operated a nationally and internationally recognized association management company in Canada with offices in Ottawa and Calgary Alberta for 15 years.  She co-founded with her husband Kip, tAMc in 2006 and continues with a successful operation to the present, currently operating out of Invermere BC.

According to Elizabeth, "Serving the CSLA was an honour.  The professionalism shown and support given by so many members during this challenging time in the life of CSLA was exemplary. We hold lifelong fond memories of meeting so many world-renowned landscape architects still doing the important work of caring for our land and the people who benefit from it."

Michelle Legault appointed CSLA Executive Director

Michelle Legault is the Executive Director of both the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) and the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF). 

Following her graduation from Laurentian University in 1996 with a Master’s degree in history, Ms. Legault began her career administering a scholarly publishing program and yearly awards program at the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada’s Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme. In 1999, she accepted a position as an Information Officer with the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2003, she became Head of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Arts Services Unit and, from 2007 to 2012, was the Executive Secretary of the Public Lending Right Commission, where she managed the $10M national Public Lending Right Programme. Since 2012, she has been at the helm of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Ms. Legault brings key leadership strengths to the role of the CSLA’s Executive Director in the areas of communication, governance, project management, volunteer and member support and business and financial management. She is responsible for increasing the awareness and promoting CSLA’s goals and objectives, celebrating its members’ achievements, supporting education and research, developing policy, ensuring strong Board governance and enhancing the organization’s profile.

Reciprocity Agreement

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.

Emerging Professionals Award is Established and Awarded to Mike Teed

In 2014, the CSLA Board of Directors established the Emerging Professionals Award to recognize exceptional landscape architects in the early years of their careers. The inaugural award was bestowed on Mike Teed at the 2014 CSLA Congress in Ottawa.

CSLA certificate of continuance approved by the Government of Canada under the Not for Profit Act

Landscape Architecture in Canada

Ron Williams publishes Landscape Architecture in Canada and, with the LACF, the CSLA organizes and funds a cross-Canada book tour.

The University of Calgary Master of Landscape Architecture was established

The University of Calgary Master of Landscape Architecture was established in 2015 and received its accreditation in June 2018.  On April 1st, 2019, the name of the faculty where the program resides changed from the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) to the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape. (History)

CSLA establishes the Canadian Landscape Charter

Landscapes|Paysages magazine wins Excel awards

Administered by the Association Media and Publishing, the EXCEL awards are the largest and most prestigious award program that exclusively recognizes excellence and leadership in non-profit association media, publishing, marketing, and communications. The magazine will win the award again in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Canadian Landscape Standard is Published

In cooperation with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, the CSLA published the first edition of the Canadian Landscape Standard, based on the British Columbia Landscape Standard.

Inaugural Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture is awarded to Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Associates (interns) and students admitted as CSLA members

Katherine Velluso joins the CSLA as Communications Coordinator

Landscapes|Paysages magazine wins an Excel award

Administered by the Association Media and Publishing, the EXCEL awards are the largest and most prestigious award program that exclusively recognizes excellence and leadership in non-profit association media, publishing, marketing, and communications. The L|P Award was in the category of general excellence.

Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) Appoints Michelle Legault as Executive Director


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