Position: Director of Horticulture
Organization: Toronto Botanical Garden
Location: 777 Lawrence Avenue East, North Toronto
Botanical gardens play an increasingly important role in the 21st century: they are public institutions best positioned to provide knowledge and understanding of the world of plants and the importance of plants and healthy ecosystems to all other life on earth.
Located adjacent to Toronto’s extensive urban ravine system, Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) is embarking on an exciting landmark capital expansion to achieve world-class excellence in education, conservation, research and horticultural display across a 35-acre footprint that will serve over 1 million visitors a year.
Toronto Botanical Garden is a registered charitable organization, governed by a Board of Directors.
Toronto Botanical Garden will be renowned for its display of nature’s beauty and as a dynamic hub for plant-centred learning, conservation and research.
Toronto Botanical Garden connects people to plants, inspiring us to live in harmony with nature.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Horticulture will support TBG’s mission and vision by curating and maintaining TBG’s living collections, gardens and landscapes to high professional standards. S/he will lead a team of horticultural professionals, seasonal gardeners and volunteers responsible for the curation, design and maintenance of four acres of cultivated lands surrounding a vibrant visitor centre.
The Capital Expansion campaign will also require the Director to liaise with a multidisciplinary team of design consultants to ensure that the expanded garden serves TBG’s mission, vision, strategic and practical needs. The Director will collaborate with other senior TBG staff on strategic decisions as well as day-to-day operations.
TBG is committed to environmental sustainability education and action. All TBG employees and volunteers are expected to learn about and contribute to greening initiatives. Information about these initiatives can be found at torontobotanicalgarden.ca/green.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Oversee all horticultural activities and projects at TBG: hire, train and supervise full-time and seasonal gardeners, plant documentation staff, interns and volunteers to effectively maintain TBG’s cultivated gardens, natural areas, treescape, water features and exterior hardscape to the highest aesthetic and horticultural standards
- Devise effective work schedules and supervise timekeeping to prioritize appropriate coverage and attention given to all garden areas and seasonality of operations
- Foster teamwork and mentor staff, interns and volunteers as appropriate; oversee outside/outsourced contractors as needed
- Ensure a safe and respectful work environment for staff, interns, volunteers and visitors, adhering to Ontario Occupational Health and Safety regulations
- Align horticultural maintenance and procurement practices to the American Public Gardens Association “Public Gardens Sustainability Index” and TBG environmental policies
- Manage TBG’s living collections through approved curatorial policies and practices and plant documentation software that will allow staff, visitors, other botanical gardens and outside researchers to access horticultural and conservation data/information at TBG
- Plan and oversee ongoing plant sales throughout the season, while implementing cost-effective ways to propagate and obtain plants for use at TBG
- Design and install temporary horticultural displays in support of events and other activities
- Collaborate with senior staff and liaise with detail design consultants to assist in the design and implementation of the approved “Master Plan and Management Plan” garden expansion
- Liaise with TBG’s Knowledge Resources Manager and other Education staff to assist in developing interesting and accurate interpretive signage
- Collaborate with senior staff to find creative and effective ways to inspire and educate staff, members, volunteers and visitors
- Consult with and assist the Marketing and Communications department on the creation of newsletter content, collateral materials and website content regarding horticulture
- Establish and cultivate professional connections in the public garden and broader horticulture communities to ensure TBG identifies relevant and exciting speakers for its programs, significant and appropriate plants for its collections and up-to-date information for its visitors
- Serve as TBG’s public face of horticulture to media, industry, professional organizations, garden and plant societies, TBG members, volunteers and donors
- Make presentations of an informative and educational nature to groups at education events, garden tours, speaking engagements, media interviews and professional conferences
- Plan and oversee the annual Horticulture departmental budget and any capital project budgets with the Chief Executive Officer; report on the department’s activities to relevant Board committees as well as the TBG Board of Directors
- Help to cultivate TBG’s members, volunteers and donors through numerous year-round, community-building outreach programs and special events
- Participate in TBG’s donor identification, cultivation and stewardship efforts
Education and Professional Qualifications
- Bachelor and/or Master’s degree in horticulture, botany, landscape design or garden management, or a related relevant area of study
- A minimum of 3 years of experience in a horticultural management/supervisory role at a public or private garden
- A minimum of 7 years of experience in horticultural design and maintenance
- Familiarity with plant records databases; BG-BASE or IrisBG
- Must have a thorough understanding of horticultural and landscape maintenance practices, curatorial practices and the educational purpose of botanical gardens
- Must have excellent plant identification skills and a good understanding of plant taxonomy
- Prior experience implementing new garden designs or garden master plans helpful
- Must be comfortable with technology tools, including working in Windows PC computer environments, and using Microsoft and Google programs and applications; an ability to efficiently collaborate with other staff via electronic means is essential
- Must be physically fit to carry out occasional hands-on garden and event-related tasks and work outdoors in challenging weather conditions
- Must be able to safely handle power equipment and hand tools
- A valid driver’s licence is required; occasional irregular work hours will be required
Personality and Attributes
- Good interpersonal and communication skills, and enthusiasm in sharing horticultural knowledge both one-on-one and through public speaking, are all essential for the position
- Excellent interpersonal relationship and strong collaboration skills with all key stakeholders which include staff, members and volunteers
- Attention to detail, responsive and adherent to deadlines; excellent time management, organization and planning skills
- Strong sense of accountability, commitment towards measuring outcomes and ability to work in a results-oriented culture
- Demonstrated initiative and autonomy
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically and manage competing priorities
- Maintains and communicates a positive attitude, exercising diplomacy, confidentiality and good judgement
777 Lawrence Avenue East, North Toronto
Application for consideration
Please send your resume and covering letter outlining your interest in this role to:
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