Horticultural Industries

The Horticultural Industries program at Algonquin College is designed for individuals who are interested in landscape design from conception to implementation. Students learn key aspects of the evolving horticultural industries including sustainable urban agriculture, green roof and living wall technology, nursery production and management and urban and rural landscape design, installation and maintenance.

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at http://algonquincollege.com/byod

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Ontario College Diploma
2 Year(s)

Program Code: 1406X03FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program delivered in a compressed format over 16 months incorporates key aspects of the evolving horticultural industries including sustainable urban agriculture, green roof and living wall technology, nursery production and management and urban and rural landscape design, installation and maintenance. This program prepares students to challenge sections of or an entire Landscape Industry Certification Designation at the technician level as provided by the Landscape Ontario - Ottawa Chapter, depending on students` interests and competencies.

The continuous delivery program model facilitates hands-on training during the industry`s prime production period of spring/summer/fall. Training takes place in the extensive Campus gardens, as well as through a paid 12 week cooperative education placement with horticultural industry partners. After Level 02 students are placed in two groups with alternating Level 03 and co-op placement. All students rejoin in mid-October for the final Level 04.

This program includes one mandatory cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term(s). Qualified students who meet minimum program progression requirements will be required to apply for paid co-op employment to gain valuable work experience and networks within industry. *See Additional Information for more details.

Graduates may find employment in urban food production, nurseries and garden centres, park systems, landscape design, construction and maintenance firms, the tree care industry, sales and service, consulting and teaching.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at http://algonquincollege.com/byod. Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:
  • Place a high personal priority on enhancing the environment.
  • Have an affinity for plants.
  • Enjoy physical activity and working outdoors.
  • Work well in a team environment.
  • Are interested in landscape design from conception to implementation.
  • Are concerned about the safety of the environment and food source sustainability
  • Enjoy problem solving.
  • Appreciate working in a professional environment.
  • Are able to identify various plants, memorize plant names and ideal growing requirements.

Your Career

Graduates may find employment in urban food production; nurseries and garden centres; park systems; landscape design, construction and maintenance firms; the tree care industry; sales and service and consulting.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Design, estimate, install and maintain sustainable and ecologically sound green infrastructures in the urban and rural environments.
  2. Install and maintain green roofs and living walls.
  3. Grow food crops employing the principles of sustainable urban agriculture.
  4. Plan and implement personal, site and equipment safety procedures.
  5. Complete all work in accordance with professional and industry guidelines.
  6. Identify, propagate, produce and market plant material.
  7. Participate in applied research that contributes to the advancement of the urban agriculture, nursery and landscape industries field.
  8. Manage urban agriculture, nursery and landscape industry projects and small divisions of a business.
  9. Handle plant material competently, utilizing knowledge of plant culture, anatomy, physiology and integrated pest management practices.
  10. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
CON0007 Hardscape Installation I Site surveying, grading, drainage and material installation techniques are key elements. Students study the theory of backfill and compaction and installation specifications for various hard surfaces currently used in the industry. Estimation of materials and labour is also an integral part of the course. Safe and efficient operation of all related compaction and stone cutting equipment is practised as students install the hard surface materials on the campus grounds.

Co-requisites: HOR7028
ENL1813M Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
HOR7000 Nursery and Garden Centre Operations I The propagation and cultivation of nursery stock is a key part of plant production. Students establish a solid foundation in plant nomenclature and hardiness and then learn basic plant anatomy. Elements essential for plant growth, woody plant identification, and culture and pest control are also covered. Pruning of nursery stock and retail handling complete the course. Students apply theory and practise plant identification in the gardens and retail nursery on campus. 60.0
HOR7005 Urban Agriculture I Students study how to effectively deal with the challenges of producing edible crops in the urban environment. Introduction to the propagation, cultivation and harvesting of edible crops is covered. Selection of suitable seed strains for the local environs, growth monitoring and final evaluation methodologies prepare students for applied research. Students receive hands-on training in the campus food production gardens, as well as through field trips to the related industry sectors. 45.0
HOR7028 Safety and Professionalism Safety orientation and training include OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act), WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), and jobsite safety and risk. Students learn how corporate safety programs are structured, along with the employee's roles and responsibilities within those programs. Students must complete the incorporated standard first-aid and CPR-C and Fall prevention certification to pass this course. A well organized, disciplined employee group enhances the financial, marketing and project management aspects of a company. Career planning and development is enhanced by alumni lectures on careers from the various segments of the industry. 45.0
HOR7030 Landscape Maintenance I: Theory Landscape maintenance involves the installation and maintenance of turf, planting beds, and herbaceous and woody plant material. Students apply theory and practise plant identification and nomenclature. Students also learn safe purchasing principles that assure the selection and operation of efficient, safe, ergonomic and environmentally safe equipment. Design principles, installation, adjustment and repair of irrigation systems are included. Smart About Salt Certification training is also covered. Students learn about snow and ice removal products, application techniques and equipment operation and maintenance.

Co-requisites: HOR7031
HOR7031 Landscape Maintenance I: Applied Group activities include installation and maintenance of turf, planting beds, and herbaceous and woody plant material. Students learn efficient and ergonomically safe use of hand tools and safe operation and maintenance of small engine equipment commonly used in the industry. Students apply theory and practise plant identification and nomenclature during their work in the demonstration gardens.

Co-requisites: HOR7028 and HOR7030
Level: 02 Hours
CON7007 Hardscape Installation II: Theory To make intelligent and environmentally-sound decisions on material selection, students explore manufactured and natural material specifications. Students are introduced to the construction of retaining walls, decks, arbors, fences and water features. The load stresses that these construction features are subject to and how they are counteracted through sound engineering specifications is emphasized.

Prerequisites: CON0007

Co-requisites: CON7008
CON7008 Hardscape Installation II: Applied Utilizing the woodwork construction lab and the indoor hard surface construction lab, students get hands-on experience in working with the various manufactured and natural materials available to meet project specifications. Students gain competency in all of the related hand and power tools utilized currently in the industry.

Prerequisites: CON0007

Co-requisites: CON7007
ENL1949 Business Communications for Horticulture Students create a hypothetical horticulture business to serve as a real-life context for a variety of professional communication activities. They learn to write information and promotional materials for both web and print and a variety of job search materials, as well as standard business documents. They also learn how to present their businesses effectively to clients and how to present themselves professionally in job interviews. Students have an opportunity to develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development.

Prerequisites: ENL1813M
HOR7007 Interiorscaping,Living Walls and Green Roofs Interior plantscaping involves lighting, containers, soils, watering, nutrition and basic interior plantscaping design. Living wall technology and maintenance is explored both theoretically and practically. Visiting functioning installations in green roof technology prepares students to both install and maintain living roofs.

Prerequisites: HOR7028
HOR7008 Urban Agriculture II Organic and Bio-Dynamic gardening techniques introduce students to the diversity of plant growth philosophies. Students study what is involved in the preparation and management of soils for organic certification. The value of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations in the local sustainable food chain supply is discussed. Studies of plant characteristics that generate potentially successful crop production in the local environ further the student's preparation to participate in applied research. Successful business management practices for these operations are also explored.

Prerequisites: HOR7005
HOR7011 Green Infrastructure Design I Basic design theory is essential in the composition of functional and aesthetically pleasing landscapes. Basic design theory includes usage area composition, access flow analysis, surfacing mediums and layout, balance in the perspective field, creating visual width and depth of field, and the selection and application of colour, form and texture. Students learn how to distribute focal emphasis in the perspective field, as well as maintaining unity throughout the design. Plant material selection and plant grouping composition complete the course. Using a current CAD-based design system students produce a functional and aesthetically pleasing design.

Prerequisites: HOR7000 and HOR7030
MKT7009 Nursery and Garden Centre Operations II Identification of plant material is a crucial part of Nursery production and Garden Centre activities. Students learn the identification of deciduous plant material from buds and twigs and continue with the study of conifers. Studies in plant physiology, integrated pest management, plant nutrition and fertilizer use, expand the student's knowledge of base for the varied needs of the Nursery and Garden Centre. The propagation of plants in a greenhouse setting is introduced, with emphasis on seed propagation of perennials and annuals. Students visit greenhouse growing operations and engage in practical exercises in the department.

Prerequisites: HOR7000
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED1406 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2009 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or PSI1702 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED6022 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003
Co-op: 01 Hours
HOR7014 Co-Op Placement Students apply and interview for co-op positions with the program's various industry partners. The work term provides students with the opportunity to consolidate and apply acquired knowledge and skills and further develop their competencies within an industry sector of their choice. This is a unique opportunity to relate to the industry and start their professional networking. Students prepare by developing effective resumes, job search techniques, career plans and practice job interview skills. Students develop personal learning objectives, enhancing their self-directed learning, and conclude the learning outcomes in the final work term report.

Prerequisites: CON0007 and CON7007 and CON7008 and HOR7000 and HOR7005 and HOR7028 and HOR7030 and HOR7031
Level: 03 Hours
CON7018 Hardscape Installation III Hard surface construction requires sound knowledge of surfacing materials and specifications. Students learn hard surface design specifications. Students also generate construction detail drawings using current CAD based systems.

Prerequisites: CON7007 and HOR7011

Co-requisites: CON7020
CON7020 Landscape Installation and Maintenance Applied skills are essential for employees to be efficient and accurate in the maintenance of ornamentals, turf areas, nurseries and green spaces. Skills in hardscaping installation, living wall and green roof maintenance are covered. Students also receive experience operating related equipment on the campus grounds.

Prerequisites: CON7008 and HOR7031

Co-requisites: CON7018 and HOR7017
GEN2007M Community Service Volunteerism not only benefits a community, but it can broaden the world view of the volunteer. Students who give their time and energy to a particular cause, in return, gain an opportunity to reflect on the value of the volunteer in contemporary society. Students consider different types of volunteer settings, trace the history of volunteer organizations, examine the various roles volunteers play within society and reflect on ethical issues. 45.0
HOR7017 Landscape Maintenance II The theory behind the installation and maintenance of commercial turf, planting beds, herbaceous and woody plants is essential knowledge for green space maintenance. Students practise safe and efficient operation of all related maintenance and installation equipment.

Prerequisites: HOR7030 and HOR7031 and MKT7009

Co-requisites: CON7020 and HOR7029
HOR7019 Urban Agriculture III The propagation, cultivation and harvesting of soft fruits and vegetable crops are explored. Students receive hands-on training in the campus food production gardens and complement their growing knowledge of this industry through field trips.

Prerequisites: HOR7008

Co-requisites: HOR7029
HOR7027 Culture and Nature: Changing Perspectives Students trace the relationship human beings have with the natural world in which they live, and how, over the course of history, that relationship has changed in ways we can observe through art, literature and physical changes in the landscape. The green movement is an expression of current changes in that relationship. Students have an opportunity to reflect on the way human values have affected the natural world and how social change invariably involves changes in the value system. 45.0
HOR7029 Nursery and Garden Centre Operations III The identification of plant material is a crucial part of Nursery Production and Garden Centre activities. Students continue with the study of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Essential activities of plant handling, merchandising and customer service are addressed in a Garden Centre context. Practical aspects are covered by field trips to Garden Centres and marketing and selling operations in the department nursery.

Prerequisites: MKT7009

Co-requisites: HOR7019
Level: 04 Hours
HOR7021 Professional Landscape Operations Leadership, risk management, sales and marketing, exterior production, strategic planning, human resources management and financial management are important aspects of landscape operations. Students are set on the lifelong path of learning that ensures personal and professional success. Application of theory is achieved through a case study linked to HOR7023, HOR7024 and MGT0091. A case study evaluation is undertaken by an Industry panel.

Prerequisites: CON7018 and ENL1949 and HOR7028 and HOR7029 and MKT7009

Co-requisites: HOR7023 and HOR7024 and MGT0091
HOR7022 Urban Aboricultural Practices Utilizing the arborist's certification study guide, students study the following areas of urban arboriculture: winter twig identification, tree anatomy, and physiology, tree/soil relations, water management, nutrition and fertilization techniques, problem diagnosis and management, safe tree pruning and storm damage repair and construction management. Students identify hazardous tree characteristics in the field, as well as apply the principles for tree evaluation set out by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Prerequisites: HOR7029
HOR7023 Green Infrastructure Design II Students learn to develop client and context-based concepts to implement a relevant, functional and sustainable green infrastructure design, including residential green roof and living wall applications. Students also learn the value of form and spatial and material composition in the design process. Design estimating, presentation and marketing are also covered. Students generate designs and estimates, employing current CAD-based systems.

Prerequisites: CON7018 and HOR7011
HOR7024 Urban Agriculture IV Students expand on harvest timing and techniques along with legislation and guidelines for safe food handling and storage. Students learn marketing techniques current to the local area. An introduction to orchard establishment and maintenance familiarizes students with that sector of the industry.

Prerequisites: HOR7019
MGT0091 Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Setting up and managing divisions within a small business are required as experience is gained in the industry. Some of the topic areas include the legal structure, budgets, government resources, marketing and financial planning. Students also learn how new innovative research can expand or initiate new business opportunities. Practical business skills include developing a business plan, creating a strategic plan based on mission and vision, complying with federal and provincial regulations and managing employees.

Prerequisites: ENL1949

Co-requisites: HOR7021

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $5,503.50. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $15,029.54. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit algonquincollege.com/ro/pay/tuition-and-expenses

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/etexts

Books, software, personal safety equipment and other supplies cost approximately $1,600 for the full program. At the start of each term students are advised as to what books and software to purchase.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:

    IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.


    TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each component: Reading: 20; Listening: 20; Speaking: 20; Writing: 20.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at www.ontariocolleges.ca

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Additional Information

*Co-op is a real-world job search process requiring students to apply, interview, and earn jobs rather than being placed by the College. In the term prior to the co-operative education (Co-op) Work Term, students are required to independently complete online modules that assist with résumé an cover letter writing, and interview technique preparation. Students must actively conduct a self-directed job search and are responsible to secure approved program related paid co-op employment. Students compete for co-op positions alongside students from Algonquin and other Canadian and international colleges and universities. Algonquin College`s Co-op Office provides assistance in developing co-op opportunities and facilitates the overall process but does not guarantee that a student will obtain employment in a co-operative education (Co-op) Work Term. Co-op employment opportunities requiring relocation may be considered, and are subject to departmental approval with the understanding that all associated expenses are incurred by students e.g., travel, work permits/visa applications, accommodation, etc.

Cooperative education (Co-op) Work Terms are typically four months in duration and are completed during a term when students are currently not studying on campus. For details on study-work progressions for specific programs, please visit www.algonquincollege.com/coop.

Successful completion of all courses, including the mandatory cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term(s) is a requirement for graduation.

For more information, please contact Tommy Wingreen, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 7138 or wingret@algonquincollege.com, or Steve Neumann at 613-7274723 ext. 7034 or neumans@algonquincollege.com.

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time