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The Ring - CCxA


A miscellany of news and events

Shawn Watters, OALA, CSLA, is the recipient of the 2022 OALA President’s Award. The President’s Award is given in recognition of the contributions by an OALA Full Member who supports and advances initiatives and actions of the Association and promotes the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. It is given in recognition of dedicated volunteerism, generous service to the Association, and for leadership in the field of landscape architecture.

Joining OALA Council in 2021, Shawn Watters has played a pivotal role fostering public awareness of the OALA. Shawn said that he became a volunteer knowing he had a good understanding of the political landscape, and he would dedicate his skills to advance OALA’s strategic goals. Shawn did not waste any time keeping his word—he has contributed significant volunteer hours to the Practice Legislation Committee, Municipal Outreach Committee, as a moderator for the Summer 2022 Ground Round Table with a panel of city councillors, and currently chairs the Discipline Committee.

A Design Lead and Senior Landscape Architect at R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd., Shawn has over 25 years’ experience working on a wide range of projects ranging from high rises, streetscapes, and public spaces in both the private and public sector. His work reflects the imperative role landscape architects play within cities, along with a deep understanding of relationship building at the municipal level. Shawn is a five-time elected councillor in Wellington county. He is running for mayor this fall in Centre Wellington.

The President’s Award recognizes Shawn’s commitment as an OALA Councillor who has not only extended significant volunteer time and knowledge in assisting on Council, but also helping to advance the OALA government outreach efforts.

new members
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members
to the Association:
Jonathan Vandriel *
Stephanie Cheng
Melissa Coderre
Ashley Hosker
David Ibey
Devon Kleinjan
Michael Magnan
Guy Walter

Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.

oala awards
The OALA invites you to nominate your peers for the 2023 annual awards. The deadline for nominations is January 6th, so if you have someone in mind who deserves recognition, make sure to put their name forward. You can read about the various award categories and how to submit here.

The Alfred Bog lies 70 kilometres west of Ottawa. It is a whopping 3,000 hectares (that’s 4,200 soccer fields), and accessible by 273-metre boardwalk trail called the Bog Walk Trail. The bog is home to rare species of insects, birds, and reptiles, and at least nine rare plant species. It is the largest bog of its kind in Southern Ontario.

For that reason, the Province is proposing to designate Alfred Bog as a non-operational Provincial Park, with the aim of “ensuring the long-term protection and health of local wildlife of this unique and scientifically important area, while continuing to provide recreational opportunities for the public, including walking on the Bog Walk Trail, hunting and birdwatching,” according to a press release from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP 
 Stéphane Sarrazin (left) and Minister of 
 Environment, Conservation, and Parks 
 David Piccini (right) at Alfred Bog. IMAGE/ Courtesy of the Ministry of Environment, 
 Conservation, and Parks

A non-operating park generally has few facilities and staff. You bring in whatever you need and you leave nothing behind. The last time a habitat was designated a non-operating park was Brockville Long Swamp Fen Provincial Park in 2017.

In the same press release, Nature Conservancy of Canada Regional Vice President Mike Hendren supported the province’s goal:

“The provincial park designation will build on nearly 40 years of conservation efforts by NCC and partners in the region to ensure that this unique wetland habitat is protected and cared for over the long-term. In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation.”

Jason Berniqué, MPP Stéphane Sarrazin, 
 and Minister David Piccini at Alfred Bog. IMAGE/ Courtesy of the Ministry of Environment, 
 Conservation, and Parks

For many, fruit trees are a highly desirable feature for any greenspace. But they can be extremely difficult to grow successfully: they are slow to grow, high maintenance, and can take a long time before they start to bear any kind of harvest. Grow Fruit Trees Fast: a beginner’s guide to a healthy harvest in record time by Susan Poizner is a new book aimed to guide you through the process of establishing healthy and bountiful fruit trees, in the shortest possible time.

The book includes seven lessons, designed to teach you how to research faster-growing varieties of fruiting trees, how to keep pests away without using chemicals, and ways to improve soil health, among other things.

Poizner runs the website OrchardPeople.com, where you can find additional articles, podcasts, and resources for growing.

To purchase Grow Fruit Trees Fast, visit orchardpeople.com/shop.

Grow Fruit Trees Fast, cover IMAGE/ Suzane Poizner 

in memoriam

Martin Tavares, OALA, CSLA
The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Martin Tavares on April 15, 2022. Martin graduated from the Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) with a Bachelor of Architectural Science and had been a full member of the OALA since March 2008.

Before joining the City of Vaughan in 2002, Martin briefly worked for the City of Richmond Hill and in the private sector. In his 20-year career at the City, Martin started as a Landscape Technician, rising through the ranks until holding the position of Manager of Parks and Open Space Planning since 2014 within the Parks Infrastructure Planning and Development department. He was also Interim Director of Parks Planning in 2019 and 2020.

In a posthumous nomination for Vaughan’s City Manager’s 2022 Ignite Award by his colleagues, Martin was regarded by many as a respected and caring mentor and educator, excited to share his insights and expertise as he cultivated true connections with staff and the community over the last two decades. He enthusiastically participated in various committees and working groups over the past two decades, representing the City’s interest in advancing park and trail development. Through his outstanding work on numerous projects and initiatives, he left an indelible mark on the landscape of Vaughan, in creating, expanding, and enhancing parks and open spaces for generations to enjoy for many years to come.

In honour of Martin and his service to the City of Vaughan, on June 28, 2022, Vaughan Council unanimously voted to name a new district park as Martin Tavares Park. This new 7.7 hectares (19 acres) park is located in the heart of Vaughan in the vicinity of Peter Rupert Avenue and Rutherford Road, next to the newly expanded Rutherford GO station. Together with the abutting Cook Woodlot and network of trails and stormwater ponds, residents and visitors will have access to 28.5 hectares (70 acres) of greenspace that Martin was advocating for and working to secure through the years. The vision and final concept for the park is based on extensive public and stakeholder consultation which Martin was instrumental in guiding through. Phase 1 of the park is expected to be under construction in 2023 and complete in 2024.

Martin Tavares IMAGE/ Courtesy of the family of Martin Tavares

Rodger Todhunter, OALA, CSLA
The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Rodger Todhunter, on August 9th, 2022. Rodger had been a full member of the OALA since December 1982.

Rodger’s family announced his sudden passing with heavy hearts. Rodger is survived by his loving wife, Lynn; his children, Margot and Hilary; his step-children, Ashley (Dave) and Robyn; and his grandchildren, Jacob and Audrey. He will be missed by his brothers, Charles (Luanne), Richard (Brenda), and David (Carol); as well as many nieces and nephews.

Rodger was born in Sudbury. His early years were spent in Willisville, and then the family moved to Lively. Rodger’s love of nature led to a successful career as a landscape architect.

Rodger graduated from the University of Toronto in 1976 with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He had received the Hough Stanisbury Scholarship in 1974/75. He then completed a Master of Landscape Architecture in 1980 at the University of California, Berkeley. During his long career Rodger taught at the University of Toronto and worked at the Eikos Group (Vancouver), and Parks Canada (Atlantic Region), Moorhead Fleming Corban, Marshall Macklin Monaghan (now WSP), prior to starting Todhunter, Schollen & Associates. He then opened Todhunter Associates Inc. where he worked as a planner, urban designer, and landscape architect until his retirement in 2017.

Rodger’s work was varied and widespread, ranging from streetscape master plans, environmental and trails, park and playground design to quarry visual assessments and waterfront planning in Northern Ontario.

During his fulsome career, he received the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Regional Citation award for the Landscape Visual Assessment Report, Bruce to Milton Transmission Replacement Project (2020), the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Planning & Analysis Regional Merit Award (Rockcliffe Park Redevelopment Plan, National Capital Commission, 1998), the H. Leland Vaughan Memorial Scholarship (ASLA and Northern California Chapter of Landscape Architects, 1979), and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Student Award (1976).

Rodger was also active in the OALA. He acted as an OALA Advisor, and in 2019 he contributed to the Task Force on Membership Categories. Rodger will be missed by his peers and landscape architectural community.

Rodger Todhunter IMAGE/ Courtesy of the family of Rodger