Photostory #003: Niagara Gardening School
National Film Board Photos by Chris Lund
June 1, 1955
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archive
In the only school of its kind in North America, the Niagara Parks Commission School of Gardening, twenty-four apprentices are learning the "Art, Trade or Mystery" of planting, soil culture and landscaping. With the greenery of Niagara Falls' parks as their outdoor classrooms, these hand-picked students receive three years of theoretical training in floriculture, horticulture and allied sciences. Apprentices receive room, board and tuition free, and are paid a subsistence allowance varying with their seniority as students. Basic purpose of the 100-acre school, which was opened in 1936, was to turn out qualified gardeners to work for the Parks Commission. Since then, school policy has broadened, and while some graduates now accept positions in Niagara Falls, the majority work elsewhere. So great is the demand for skilled gardeners, that grads are snapped up eagerly by landscape-minded industries, universities and civic corporations.