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The OALA Independent Course of Study List Updated

Independent Course of Study on Ontario Legislation and Professional Practice


Updated June 2021


All references in List A should be reviewed to complete the OALA Independent Course of Study.

These items are considered primary sources and are strongly recommended as essential reading.  Exam candidates should develop a thorough and fundamental understanding of their purpose, when, where and how they apply, and the role and responsibility of the landscape architect in each.

Note: When applying for Full Membership in the OALA, applicants may be requested to discuss items on the Primary Reference List with the Examining Board or to present a written summary to confirm an understanding of the main tenets of the information.

Hyperlinks are noted where the information is available online.
Please note that OALA Associate members are responsible for sourcing the most up to date information. 

Please contact the Registrar at the OALA to provide any updates to links or with any questions on the list.
Email: [email protected]

1. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Act, (Bill Pr37)

2. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. OALA Handbook. (All Sections) Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, 2018.

3. Taylor, James R., The Practice of Landscape Architecture in Canada (third edition). Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, 2006. To borrow a copy of this book from the OALA library, please email [email protected]

4. Government of Ontario. Planning Act.  Toronto, Ontario: Queen’s Printer for Ontario, (latest version): http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90p13_e.htm CA2ON YX74 P61 (University of Guelph Library)

5. Government of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Ministry of Housing, Provincial Policy Statement, (latest version):
Provincial Policy Statement 2020.

6. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Ministry of Housing, Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning https://www.ontario.ca/document/citizens-guide-land-use-planning
a. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 1. The Planning Act, (latest version)
b. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 2. Official Plans, (latest version)
c. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 3. Zoning By-laws, (latest version)
d. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 4. Subdivisions, (latest version)
e. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 5. Land Severances, (latest version)
f.  Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 6. Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, (latest version)
g. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 7. Northern Ontario, (latest version)
h. Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario. 8. Building Permits, (latest version)
i.  Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario.  9. The plan review and approval process (latest version)

7. As future landscape architects, understanding the land with which you work is fundamental to responsible practice. The history of the First Peoples, First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous groups and individuals must be understood and recognized. The following links are intended to introduce you to several resources but do not represent a comprehensive understanding of the diverse circumstances of Indigenous Peoples in Ontario.

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs documents (a, b, c):
a. https://www.ontario.ca/page/consulting-aboriginal-peoples
b. https://www.ontario.ca/page/treaties
c. https://www.ontario.ca/page/treaties

d. Map of Treaty landshttps://native-land.ca/
e. Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) Statement on Reconciliation signed by the OALA and other Canadian Jurisdictions (2018): https://www.csla-aapc.ca/sites/csla-aapc.ca/files/EN%20CSLA%20Statement%20on%20Reconciliation%20.pdf

8. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, Guides to Engaging a Landscape Architect

a. Part 1: OALA Guide to Landscape Architectural Services.
b. Part 2: OALA Fee Guide for Landscape Architectural Services
c. Part 3: OALA Guide to Standard Written Agreement (release July 2021)
d. Part 4: OALA Guide to Design Competitions

9. Ontario Building Code, (latest version)
Building Code Act, 1992 (amended most years – use latest version)

10. Government of Ontario, Laws and Statutes:

a. The Design of Public Spaces Standard (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. (latest version) https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/110191#BK92

b. Conservation Authorities Act. (latest version)

c. Environmental Assessment Act and Regulations. (latest version)

d. Aggregate Resource Act and Regulations. (latest version)

e. Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. (latest version)

f. Building Code Act. (latest version)

g. More Homes, More Choices Act. (latest version)

h. Construction Act and Regulations. (latest version)

i. Wilderness Areas Act and Regulations. (latest version)

11. Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Industry Guides:
The following reference pages come from the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) “Practice Advisory Knowledge Base”. https://oaa.on.ca/knowledge-and-resources/practice-advisory-knowledge-base?subcat=bad8cec7-3c42-4529-a9e5-805f550782aa

This catalogue includes a wide array of information related to the construction industry, and much of this is applicable to the professional practice of landscape architecture. The following represents a minimum selection of materials that should be reviewed as part of the Independent Course of Study.

a. Procedures at a Glance – Construction Contract Administration (and included links)

b. Procedures at a Glance – Procurement (and included links)

12. The RAIC (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada), CHOP (Canadian Handbook of Practice) for Architects: https://chop.raic.ca/
This online handbook may be a helpful reference for OALA members.  Members are not required to review these documents in detail but should be aware of this as a valuable resource in both landscape architecture and architecture practice.

13. Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), Recommended Reading list for LAREs (latest version):

NOTE: The OALA library holds copies of all available CLARB recommended readings.  Please visit the OALA library or contact the coordinator to check on availability ([email protected])




These items are secondary references.  They are recommended to candidates who wish to further develop and expand their knowledge and understanding of Reference List ‘A” topics.  At a minimum, candidates should be aware of the general purpose and usefulness of each item on this list.

  1. Government of Ontario. Development Charges Act and Regulations, 1997 (latest version)
  2. Government of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Projects Near Water, (latest version)
  3. Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. Materials Reference Guide https://www.ossga.com/page.php?id=294
  4. Ontario Provincial Standards for Roads and Public Works (OPS), Ontario Provincial Standards, http://www.ops.on.ca/ CA2ON DT O561 (University of Guelph Library)
  5. Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Drainage Management Information for highways, http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/publications/drainage-management.shtml
  6. Ontario Ministry of Transportation, R.A.Q.S., Qualification Forms, Guides & Procedures, https://www.raqs.merx.com/public/main/guideAndProcedures.jsf
  7. Various Sources: Soil Classifications and Information:
    1. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Soils Ontario:
    2. Ministry of Transportation and Communication, Soil Classification Manual (1983)
      Available at University of Toronto Libraries
    3. Agriculture Canada, NRC, The Canadian System of Soil Classification (1998):
    4. Ontario Government Information on Environment and Energy (used by various Ministries), Management of Excess Soil, Guide to Best Practices
  8. Meier, Hans W. Construction Specifications Handbook, 4th Edition.
    Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1996
    3 M24 1989  (Toronto Reference Library)
  9. Canadian Standards Association. Barrier-Free Design (CAN/CSA-B651-M90).
    Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Standards Association, 1990.
    NA2545 A1C35X 1990 (University of Waterloo Library)
  10. Ontario Accessibility (AODA), Accessibility Standards Resources: https://accessontario.com/aoda/resources/
    1. AODA, The Illustrated Technical Guide to the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces: http://gaates.org/DOPS/default.php
  11. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Ministry of Housing, Planning for Barrier-Free Municipalities (latest version): http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/10000/252061.pdf
  12. Canadian Standards Association. Technical Drawings – General Principles.  Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Standards Association, 1983.
  13. Canadian Standards Association. Abbreviations for Scientific and Engineering Terms.  Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Standards Association, 1983.
  14. Canadian Standards Association. Canadian Metric Practice Guide.  Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Standards Association, 1979.  CA6 SA 79C15 (University of Guelph Library)
  15. Canadian General Standards Board. CGSB Standards Services: https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/normes-standards/index-eng.html
  16. Landscape Canada / Canadian Nursery Trades Association.Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock.  Mississauga, Ontario:  Landscape Canada, 1992.: https://cnla.ca/training/cnss
  17. Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, Canadian Landscape Standard: http://www.csla-aapc.ca/standard
    Note: one copy available to review at OALA office – cannot be borrowed. Available online 2020.
  18. Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (latest version): http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90o01_e.htm
  19. The Ontario Aggregate Resources Commission. Various Pit & Quarry Rehabilitation PublicationsMarch 2010-03-25.
  20. Hilditch, Tom W. et al. Rehabilitation of Pits and Quarries for Forest Production.  Ministry of Natural Resources, 1988. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/forest.pdf
  21. Michalski, M. F. P. et al. Rehabilitation of Pits and Quarries for Fish and Wildlife.  Ministry of Natural Resources, 1987.: https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Rehab_of_P_Q.pdf
  22. Ontario Stone and Gravel Association, Rehabilitation of Pits and Quarries, (2010) https://www.ossga.com/multimedia/9/rehabilitation2010.pdf
  23. Yundt, S.E., Augaitis, D.B. From Pits to Playgrounds. Ministry of Natural Resources, 1992.: https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/P_to_P_Layout.pdf
  24. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Aggregate Resourceshttps://www.ontario.ca/page/aggregate-resources
  25. Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Preserving and Restoring Healthy Soil (2012)
    Available to download through CCVC website.
  26. Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Planning & Design Guidelines for Child Care Centres. January 2006.
    http://www.childcarecanada.org/documents/research-policy-practice/06/07/planning-and-design-guidelines-child-care-centres   or
  27. Children’s Services, City of Toronto, Child Care Design & Technical Guideline,
  28. Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Canadian Playground Standard:
  29. Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Greenbelt Plan.  The Queen’s Printer 2017.: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page189.aspx#greenbelt
  30. Niagara Escarpment Commission. Niagara Escarpment Plan.  Toronto, Ontario:  The Queen’s Printer, 2017.
  31. Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. Toronto, Ontario: The Queen’s Printer, 2017., https://files.ontario.ca/oak-ridges-moraine-conservation-plan-2017.pdf
  32. Environment Canada. Beyond Islands of Green; A Primer for Using Conservation Science to Select and Design Community-based Nature Reserves. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005
  33. Environment Canada. How Much Habitat is Enough? A Framework for Guiding Habitat Rehabilitation in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (Second Edition).  Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2013: https://www.ec.gc.ca/nature/default.asp?lang=En&n=E33B007C-1
  34. Environment Canada. Working around Wetlands? What you should know.  Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997: http://www.natureindeed.com/PDFs/Working_around_wetlands.pdf
  35. Environment Canada. Area-Sensitive Forest Birds in Urban Areas, a report of the Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario (2006): http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2009/ec/CW66-260-2006E.pdf
  36. Ministry of the Environment. Stormwater Management Practices Planning and Design Manual. Toronto, Ontario: The Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2003.
  37. Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Erosion and Sediment Control Guideline – (December 2006)
  38. Riley, John L. and Pat Mohr. The Natural Heritage of Southern Ontario’s Settled Landscapes.  Toronto, Ontario:  Ministry of Natural Resources / Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 1994. CA2ON NR 94N13 (University of Waterloo Library)
  39. Waterfront Toronto (public advocate and steward of waterfront revitalization) website: http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/nbe/portal/waterfront/Home
  40. Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Low Impact Development Stormwater Management Planning and Design Guide (latest version): http://www.creditvalleyca.ca/low-impact-development/low-impact-development-support/stormwater-management-lid-guidance-documents/low-impact-development-stormwater-management-planning-and-design-guide/
  41. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Species at Risk, list and other resources: https://www.ontario.ca/page/species-risk
  42. City of Toronto, City Planning Division, Biodiversity in the City Series: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/ravines-natural-parklands/biodiversity-in-the-city/

Note: PDFs available online. Hard copies available at Toronto Public Libraries.

  1. Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (new Ministry name 2018): Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Archived Resources, Government of Ontario Climate Change Action Plan (latest version)
  2. Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, information on various policies and programs, e.g. Great Lakes Protection, Environmental Assessments, source protection, brownfields, etc.: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-environment-conservation-parks
  3. City of Toronto, Green Roof Bylaw and Green Roof Construction Standards and Design Guidelines (latest version): ttps://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_492.pdf
  4. Conservation Ontario, Fact Sheets and Informationhttp://conservationontario.ca/library
  5. Article by Humbolt, E. Rehabilitating Legacy Pits and Quarries across Ontario. Canadian Reclamation (Spring/Summer 2017). https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Cdn-Reclam_Issue1-2017-Rehab-Legacy-Pits.pdf
  6. Miller, R. J., Mackintosh, E. E. Sand and Gravel Pit Rehabilitation in Northern Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources, 1987. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Pit_Quarry_Layout.pdf
  7. Lowe, S. B. Trees and Shrubs for the Improvement and Rehabilitation of Pits and Quarries in Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources, 1979. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Trees_Shrubs.pdf
  8. Great Lakes Alvars. Nature Conservancy of Canada.: https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/great_lakes_alvars.pdf
  9. Mackintosh, E. E., Hoffman, M. K. Rehabilitation of Sand and Gravel Pits for Fruit Production in Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources, 1985. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/RSGPFPLayout.pdf
  10. Yundt, S. E., et al. Outstanding Rehabilitation and Reclamation Sites. 2010. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Outstanding_REHAB_RECLAIM_July2010_.pdf
  11. Mackintosh, E. E., Mozuraitus, E. J. Agriculture and the Aggregate Industry. Ministry of Natural Resources, 1982. https://toarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Agri_Aggre.pdf