Collection - Canadian Horticultural Societies Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Canadian Horticultural Societies Collection

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1857-2011 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

104.4 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Custodial history

Horticultural societies have played an important role in the beautification movement, which aimed at making towns and cities tidier and more aesthetically pleasing as a means of fostering good citizenship, social remedy, and morality.

From the late 1880s to the 1920s, Canada was characterized by rapid industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. Existing social welfare institutions, often municipal in scope, were unable to cope with the social ills that these changes elicited. In response, Canadians, especially those of the middle class, became engaged in social reform. Horticultural societies were a product of this reforming zeal with the earliest founded in Toronto in 1834.

Societies were organized by men who were interested in amateur and commercial growing of fruit, vegetables, and ornamentals. Women were society members but did not hold official positions until the 1920s.

Several provinces have adopted a Horticultural Society Act, which outlines criteria that groups must meet in order to be considered a society. In return, authorized societies are given funding from the provincial government.

Horticultural societies still exist today; its members continue to beautify cities and towns for all to enjoy.

Scope and content

This collection consists of yearbooks; annual reports; newsletters, handbooks; prize lists; constitutions and by-laws; board of director information; lists of presidents; correspondence; a newspaper clipping; programmes; show announcements; booklets; emblems; publications; hand-written notes; a petition; rules and regulations; proceedings of an annual convention; show books; bulletins; pamphlets; articles; a presentation; and member lists.

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