The Thornhill Horticultural Society: 90 and Still Growing

As the Thornhill Garden and Horticultural Society celebrates its 90th anniversary, its members can look back and be proud of the contributions they have made to the community of Thornhill.

The society has always been dedicated to the beautification of our community. Over the years they have been responsible for garden and tree plantings in places such as Thornhill and Langstaff public schools, Oakbank Pond, Pomona Mills Park, The Arnold House, Thornhill Park and the Percy Bone Memorial Parkette.

In April 1914, the Thornhill and District and Horticultural Society was formed, when a few Thornhill residents met at the home of Mr. Francis Simpson. Mr. Simpson became the first president.

The following year the society received their charter from the Ontario Horticultural Association, and have ever since, been dedicated to "the promotion of good gardening and beautification of the community."

Over the years, the society has met in various different locations around Thornhill. The first flower and vegetable show was held in 1915, upstairs in the Victoria Hall, which stood on the west side of Yonge just north of Centre St. Other venues included the covered skating rink, which once stood on Centre St., and the Lawrence Memorial Hall, which later became Thornhill Baptist Church.Over the years the focus of the society has shifted. When it was formed in 1914, Thornhill was a rural community, where even those who were not farmers would have kept vegetables. The number of vegetable categories in the first show in 1915 is evidence of their predominance in local gardens. Since then, however, the contents of local gardens have changed considerably and flowers have prevailed. One thing that hasn't changed, however, is their dedication to the beautification of our community.

Information for this exhibit was taken from the "Thornhill Garden and Horticultural Society Yearbook and Show Guide for 2004", and "Thornhill: An Ontario Village", by Doris M. FitzGerald, 1963.