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Walk with a good friend, Ville de Mont-Royal (QC)
The Canadian Landscape Portfolio initiative (CLPI) consists of web-based digital photographic collection intended to illustrate Canada’s diversity of landscapes by provinces and territories. Compiled from CSLA members’ submissions from around the country, the editions 1 & 2 highlight the various meaningful “Significant Landscapes” or preferred “Designed Landscapes” mentioned in the Canadian Landscape Charter, including the ones too often forgotten because of their apparent unimportance. The goal of the initiative is not necessarily about finding the most picturesque, rare or exhilarating place but more about capturing those significant moments experienced in a specific landscape, deigned or not.

The first edition of the CLP could then be considered as an illustrated addition to the Canadian Landscape Charter as seen through the eyes of landscape architects from across the country, an expression of a vision where all landscapes become important, meaningful, and worth taking time to admire, because they are part of our lives.

If the “Significant Landscapes” edition is the beginning of the Initiative, the following editions will aim to draw pan-Canadian portraits of “’Designed Landscapes” and, ultimately, of “Dreamed Landscapes” that is to invite the general public and landscape from around the world with the participation of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

For professionals whose “job” is to intervene on “landscapes”, it is therefore a progression through the “landscape that we experience” and the landscape “that we design”, to that where “we would dream to live”.

The Canadian Landscape Portfolio, following the CLC, is based on the precepts that landscapes are:
  • Of public interest, entailing various dimensions ranging from culture to ecology and economy.
  • Favourable to viable economic activities with appropriate means of interventions.
  • Integral to the Canadian identity and its diverse cultures.
  • Naturally in constant change, with many under economic stresses.
  • A major contributor to the quality of life for all people living in all types of settings

But, as mentioned in 2012 by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), those precepts are not always perceived as applicable to all landscapes. How can a specific site or open space be valued if its impact on our everyday life is not seen because it is not categorized as sufficiently “cultural”, “historical”, “natural” or “aesthetic”.

The reality is that many landscapes are just perceived as “filling empty areas between buildings, housing developments, highways and urban centres, or being vague sectors capable of managing themselves”. In other words, they are often described as vacant areas with little value, just waiting to be developed, to be rendered useful with some identifiable (mostly economic or functional) functions.

If the Canadian Landscape Charter intent is to connect a larger diversity of landscapes to our quality of life, even the vernacular ones, then the Canadian Landscape Portfolio is to create an easily accessible collection of images from across Canada that illustrates how and why those landscapes are of some significance. And it only seems natural to propose this exercise to Canadian and international landscape architects who spend their career intervening on all types of landscapes and to the general public who experience first hand those same landscapes.

To illustrate the CLC focus on Canada’s rich landscape diversity, the Canadian Landscape Portfolio initiative seeks to compile a digital Gallery of ten (10) Collections representing rsch province or territory. It will then be possible to produce some kind of portrait illustrating "how and what" landscapes touch the Canadian landscape architects having participated in the Initiative.

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architectects (CSLA) is:

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) is a professional organization with over 1,980 landscape architects as members. As the voice of the profession in Canada, the CSLA is an advocate for its members on issues such as urban design, urban renewal, sustainable development and cultural heritage.

The CSLA delivers programs and services for its members that:
  • increase public awareness and promote the profession - the CSLA communication tools include the website (, the membership directory, a monthly bulletin, social media sites and LANDSCAPES|PAYSAGES, the national magazine;
  • provide opportunities for professional development - the CSLA holds an Annual General Meeting and Congress, provides information year round to members about industry and professional learning opportunities and coordinates continuing education programs and opportunities nationally;
  • recognize members and celebrate member achievements within the profession through the CSLA Awards of Excellence, the Recognition Awards Programs, the College of Fellows and by administering the Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture;
  • support education and research through the accreditation of undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs, recognition of student achievement and provision of scholarships.

For the CLP, landscape architecture is :

At the crossroads of development and design, landscape architecture specializes in the planning and development of new landscapes, and in the management, enhancement, protection and restoration of existing landscapes, ranging from the smallest local area to regional planning. Landscape architecture intervention’s scale and diversity drive the landscape architects toward the cultural, heritage, social, aesthetic, economic and environmental interconnecting perspectives. Depending on the context, these are realized with stakeholders’ involvement and/or multidisciplinary collaboration, and they could include all steps relating to the completion of a landscape project, from its planning to its execution and supervision, from its estimation to the invitation to bid, etc.

The Canadian Landscapes Portfolio Editions

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Dreamed Landscapes Portfolio

The Portfolio third edition, "Dreamed Landscapes" seeks to be a conclusion permitting all future participants to fix digitally any landsapce that would be perceived as EXCEPTIONAL - natural and untouched or artificial and the result of human intervention…


You are looking for more information on the 2016 Portfolio?
Or 2017?

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Lac des castors… Parc du Mont Royal (QC)
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Coordination team - Jean Landry
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