Seasonal Gardener (temporary up to 6 months)

The City of Guelph is a vibrant community with over 120,000 people located in the heart of Southern Ontario, just one hours driving distance from Toronto.  Set in a picturesque natural setting, Guelph is known for its rich architectural heritage, growing economy and excellent quality of life – all good reasons to consider a career in this beautiful city.

Job summary

Applications are being accepted for the temporary positions of Seasonal Gardener within the Parks and Recreation Department.  Reporting to the Supervisor, Infrastructure and Horticulture, the successful candidate will perform functions in accordance with established standard operating procedures, departmental and corporate policies, sound horticultural & construction principles and practices, and applicable codes, with a focus on quality customer service and continuous improvement processes. Guided by the goals and objectives of the City of Guelph Strategic Plan and committed to the Corporate Values of integrity, service, inclusion, learning, and wellness, the candidate will aid in the achievement of the Community Vision – an inclusive, connected, prosperous city where we look after each other and our environment.


  • Perform horticultural duties, including but not limited to designing, planting and maintaining annual, perennial, shrub and tree beds to current industry standards, to enhance the horticultural environment of the City of Guelph.
  • Perform watering duties including but not limited to downtown planters and hanging baskets.
  • Propagate, grow and maintain various horticultural crops by various cultivation techniques.
  • Prepare various growing media prior to transplanting; gather, clean, and store stock plants.
  • Assist with monitoring and determining the correct temperature, humidity, ventilation control and control of pests, using an Integrated Pest Management approach.
  • Maintain turf in selected locations.
  • Prepare all planting beds for summer including amending soil and planting annuals and perennials.
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding and utilize all job related tools and equipment including, but not limited to, line trimmers, rototillers, brush chippers, agricultural tractors, chain saws, rotary mowers, post pounders, leaf blowers, sod cutters, rakes, shovels etc., in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Carry out all necessary maintenance and adjustments while keeping the equipment in a safe, clean, and tidy condition, and perform daily circle checks and report defects and, if necessary, small repairs in a prescribed manner.
  • Lead and instruct all support staff in the safe and efficient use, care and maintenance of tools and equipment, and horticultural practices.
  • Remove and/or flag obstacles hazardous to employees or the public or that interfere with the safe operation of vehicles or equipment, and duly note and report such conditions to a Lead hand or Supervisor.
  • Comply with requirements of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, The Highway Traffic Act, all Federal, Provincial and City regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Complete daily activity time sheets; report on variances in daily work plans.
  • Immediately report vandalism, mechanical difficulties and damage.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • Experience related to the duties listed above, normally acquired through the completion of a 2 year post-secondary certificate or diploma in Horticulture or a closely related field of study and 1 – 2 years of relevant gardening experience. Candidates with equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Must possess a Class D-Z licence with a good driving record. Successful candidates will be required to provide a current driver’s abstract prior to their start date to confirm their licence is held in good standing and that it has not been suspended or revoked under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) or Criminal Code of Canada in the last 5 years. The City of Guelph will take into consideration the number of demerit points and/or nature of the infractions to determine if it meets our requirements.
  • Demonstrated experience, knowledge, and understanding of tools, equipment, and procedures relevant to gardening/horticultural activities.
  • Thorough knowledge in currently accepted industry practices for plant health care including propagation techniques, greenhouse environmental controls, insect and disease identification, and Integrated Pest Management controls.
  • Valid Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Land Class licences for Landscape and Industrial Vegetation to perform land extermination would be an asset.
  • A Structural Class licence for greenhouse rodent control would be an asset.
  • Certifications in Forklift and/or Chainsaw would be an asset.
  • Effective communication skills, customer service, and problem solving skills.
  • Proficient time management and record keeping skills, and flexibility in adjusting within a variety of duties.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and as part of a team.
  • Must be a reliable self-starter and undertake all aspects of the job thoroughly and willingly.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office software, including Word and Excel.
  • Ability to perform a variety of physical activities including lifting, digging, shoveling, raking and climbing ladders and be able to actively participate in daily activities, working within live traffic conditions and adverse weather conditions.
  • Must obtain First Aid and CPR C certification prior to start date.
  • Must possess an understanding of the OTM Book 7 for Temporary Conditions, and proven knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other applicable legislation.
  • Candidates will be required to pass a written technical examination relevant to the position as part of the recruitment process.


$29.71 per hour

How to apply

Qualified applicants are invited to apply using our online application system by Monday February 17, 2020. Please note all applicants must complete the online questionnaire specific to this position at the time they submit their resume and cover letter in order to be considered. Proof of qualifications will be requested at the interview stage.

Please click on the “Apply for this job” button. Instructions will follow.

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The City of Guelph is an equal opportunity employer which values diversity in the workplace. We are therefore happy to accommodate any individual needs in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the hiring process, please contact us to make your needs known in advance.

Personal information collected through the recruitment process will be used solely to determine eligibility for employment. We thank all candidates in advance; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.