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Our History

The Beaverton Horticultural Society (now the Beaverton "Garden Club"), founded in 1922, is an affiliate member of the Ontario Horticultural Society (OHA) and part of District 17.  The OHA was organized in 1905, established in 1906, and incorporated by the Government of Ontario in 1924 via an Act in the Ontario Legislature. Its founding motto was "Keeping Ontario Beautiful".

It was the spring, 1922, when Joe J. Cave offered a prize for the best lawn in the Village of Beaverton.  Interest was shown and so grew the Beaverton Horticultural Society (BHS).  In addition to Joe, three other men – Cass Cameron, Frank McRae, and Bud Tisdale –started the BHS, inviting Olive Westlake to be secretary-treasurer.  Olive held that position for 17 years in spite of the fact that she had to walk 2 miles to each meeting.  She received the BHS’s first service award in 1950 for her outstanding work in the advancement of horticulture and in the pursuance of the aims of the BHS.  The first BHS flower show was held September 11, 1922 in the Town Hall.  In 1971 vegetables were added to the show schedule.


Over the years, the BHS members have been involved in the beautification of Beaverton with many special projects.  Trees have been planted and civic flower beds created and tended.  Some of these projects included:

  • Planting three peony plants at the Long Cabin on Simcoe Street, given by the Prince of Wales (1930); five Royal Oaks at the Beaverton Public School (1956); two Royalty Crab trees  at the Town Hall (1966); and three Alemey flowering crab trees at Lakeview Manor (1967).

  • Creating a new flower bed at the cenotaph beside the Town Hall (1965).

  • Designing and building a special "Living Sign" and garden on the green space at the Beaverton Town Hall (2000).  Referred to as the Point bed, it was improved in 2011 with the addition of a retaining wall and redeveloped in 2019 by Vievenn's Nursery in memory of Gale Vievenn.

  • Creating a low maintenance bed of perennials, shrubs and grasses for the Mill Gate (2011).

  • Reviving the gardens at the Beaverton Thorah Health Centre with the addition of pollinator plants and grasses (2020).


In 1993 Mary Winifred Fowler bequeathed $25,000 to the BHS to be used to benefit the community of Beaverton.  Funds from her bequest continue to be used to develop and maintain public gardens in Beaverton and for a bursary.  A commemorative plaque honouring Mary's generosity was erected at the Mill Gate in 2016.

The Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium), which grows in abundance in the area, was picked as the BHS emblem in 1989.  Legend has it that the Scotch Thistle represents endurance, unity and strength. 

Over the decades BHS meetings have always been very much social events. In the mid 1960’s, the BHS also had a Junior Club.  While some activities have changed at the BHS, our vision has not changed and the social aspect still remains an important part of the BHS, now nicknamed as the Beaverton Garden Club (BGC).

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