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Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes - DTAH, Toronto, ON

Cecelia Paine (President 1988-1989)

Look what we have accomplished in 50 years!

Encouraged by passage of our title act of 1984 a few years before, in 1988 OALA and its members were buoyed by the potential opportunities arising from official recognition.  Today, landscape architects across Ontario are leaders in creating memorable places and contributing to the design of healthy, resilient communities.

The number of OALA members doubled during my years on OALA Council, resulting in an increase in our budget and the need to expand delivery of services to our 600+ members. The most lasting action of my presidency in 1988 was to hire our first professional executive director, Dr. Arthur Timms, FCSAE. Arthur brought many years of organizational experience to OALA. He was an excellent communicator and helped us become more efficient in our organizational processes, as well as establishing stronger bonds with CSLA and our sister professions. Arthur also increased our external visibility and influence, involving members in government policy reviews and keeping us abreast of legislative matters relevant to the profession. In total, Arthur brought a more visible professional stature to the OALA. His impact was significant and led to greater support of the OALA from its members.

As a private practitioner in Ottawa in the 1980s, I had the good fortune to have the National Capital Commission, the City of Ottawa and other government bodies as regular clients.  My firm was engaged in exciting projects of varying scales. The biggest challenge was being recognized by other professionals – notably architects and engineers. Based on what I read today in Ground and Landscape Paysages and from what I hear from former University of Guelph students, landscape architecture in Ontario has continued to grow in stature and influence. Equally important, our sister professions have expanded their awareness of our profession and many now work with landscape architects as partners and employees. It is obvious that landscape architects are in demand.

When the OALA was formed in 1968, there were only fledgling academic programs in Canada. Today in Ontario we have three accredited professional programs with approximately 120 graduates a year. Former students are in positions that range from being leaders in municipal departments to forming multi-disciplinary companies with international clientele. Some graduates have dedicated their skills and knowledge to serving not-for-profit organizations while others have tailored their knowledge to improving environmental quality through small-scale design. Nurtured by highly regarded educational programs and supported by the OALA’s Mandatory Continuing Education Program, the expertise of landscape architects continues to expand, placing many OALA members at the forefront of solving social and environmental problems.

As members of OALA, we can take pride in what we have achieved as individuals over the past five decades. We can also take pride in what we have accomplished together through the continuing dedication of our members and staff in advancing the status of the OALA.

Cecelia Paine, OALA, FCSLA