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Calendar of Events

Click here to see the full list of courses OPA offers.


For your convenience and to help stretch your budget dollars, OPA will bring any of the courses listed here to your municipality or organization. We encourage you to let us know if you are interested even if you can only send one or two staff. We will combine your training with neighbouring organizations. Not only will this provide valuable training, but also foster and facilitate communication and experience sharing among your local and neighboring organizations. Call today to register and we will assist you through the process. 

Please click here to view OPA’s Registration Policies including:

· Cancellation / Substitution and Transfer Policy

· Privacy Statement

· Waiver / Disclaimer

Upcoming events

    • 23 Aug 2018
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Guelph Turfgrass Institute - 328 Victoria Road South, Guelph, ON N1H 6H8


    People in the garden
    Join the expedition!
    The University of Guelph and Landscape Ontario invite you to:

    2018 Trial Garden Tours
    Thursday, August 23, 2018

    The program will start in the morning
    at the Guelph trial garden site and continue in the afternoon at the Landscape Ontario site in Milton.

    Enjoy a profile on turf, guest speakers, garden tours and more!

    The day will feature:
    • Fiesta demonstration plots
    • Bio-solids fertilizer research
    • Prairie turfgrass restoration
    • Nematodes and alternative grub control
    • All-American Selection judging trial
    • Annual, perennial, rose and shrub beds
    • and more!
    8:30 a.m. Refreshments at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute,
    328 Victoria Road South. Guelph
    9:00 a.m. Speaker series (Community Gardens and Turfgrass Update)
    10:00 a.m. to Noon Tours at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute
    1:00-3:00 p.m. Tours at the Milton Trial Gardens at Landscape Ontario,
    7856 Fifth Line South, Milton

    Complete the day. Register to attend the Summerfest BBQ at Sheridan Nurseries in Georgetown.

    Everyone is welcome! Be sure to bring your staff. (Adults only please).

    To RSVP for the Trial Garden Tours, please contact Kathleen Pugliese,kpugliese@landscapeontario.com1-800-265-5656, ext. 2309.

    Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, Ontario L9T 2X8 905-875-1805

    To access Landscape Ontario property - Please note that 5th Line South is closed below the 401 so the Landscape Ontario premises can only be accessed via Steeles Avenue.

    • 18 Sep 2018
    • 8:30 AM
    • 19 Sep 2018
    • 4:30 PM
    • Milton Sports Centre ~ 605 Santa Maria Blvd., Milton, ON L9T 6H7
    • 12


    With the increasing demand for spray pads in communities are you prepared to deal with the choices (and possibly trade-offs) that will need to be made when dealing with the installation of this type of equipment? Once through or recirculated, type of features required, type of surface, materials, location, understanding the context of the Health Act, responsibilities of owners, and water treatment and testing, all these options, questions and the need for a basic understanding of operations come to light with the installation of a spray pad.

    With these things in mind, Ontario Parks Association has developed a new spray pad operations course that will help prepare participants to be able to confidently respond to these questions and more. This session is the first of its kind in North America, and promises to be an exciting addition to the training program line up currently offered by OPA. This two day Spray Pad Practitioner program will include both theory and practical, with a visit to a local spray pad being part of the training.

    Following is an overview of the items that will be addressed during this training:

    • Design philosophy
      • Considerations (ie. ages, collaborative play, inclusive play, sensory stimulation, motor skills, etc.)
      • Selecting colours, location, patterns
      • Types of fixtures – fiberglass, stainless, aluminum, fixed and removable
      • Determining shape/size
      • Sequencing and determining flow pattern
      • Surfacing options
    • Considerations for construction
    • Water treatment and testing
    • Flow through, re-circulation and retain and reuse systems
    • Equipment (ie. pumps, strainers, UV)
    • Inspections (daily, pre-opening,  pre-season)
    • Signage
    • Winterizing
    • Ministry Guidelines

    Whether you are an operator, supervisor, manager, or health official, you will want to attend this exciting course to gain a stronger understanding of this increasingly popular equipment. 

    DATE: September 18 & 19, 2018

    TIME: 8:30am - 4:30pm


    Milton Sports Centre - Room 4
    605 Santa Maria Blvd.
    Milton, ON L9T 6J5

    Milton Community Sports Park ( 1 minute Drive - behind the Sports Centre)
    805 Santa Maria Blvd.
    Milton, ON L9T 6J5

    Course Costing:
    OPA Member Price: $403.80 
    Potential Member Price: $633.90

    ***Please wear closed toe shoes to the training session***

    Please note that lunch is NOT provided at this location – please bring a lunch for this session.

    To attend this training please register online. Payment can be made online, via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing (905-864-6182, ext. 6710).

    • 15 Oct 2018
    • 8:00 AM
    • 19 Oct 2018
    • Whitby Hydro Building ~ 98 Taunton Road East, Whitby, ON L1R 3L5
    • 17


    The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) has developed the Registered Playground Practitioner Program to meet the needs of those involved and responsible for the hands-on inspections and maintenance of public playspaces and playground facilities.


    Safe Play - A High Priority

    The Ontario Parks Association places a high priority and commitment on the provision of safe play structures in our public spaces. We want to help ensure that they are safe and accessible. OPA also emphasizes the strong need to educate caregivers, supervisors and others about the benefits of positive and safe play experiences for our children.


    What You Will Learn

    Attending this course will teach you about significantly lowering the risk of injuries in play areas by providing a safe outdoor learning experience for all. This course uses the CAN/CSA-Z614-14, Children's Playspaces and Equipment, as a base document for the three independent sections of the course.


    Intensive 4 1/2-Day Program

    The Ontario Parks Association instructors include experts from the industry including an architect, liability expert, lawyer, representative of the CSA Standards Association and others to give in-depth training on the following topics and includes an on-site demonstration at a local playground structure:

    Playspace Strategies Playspace Evaluation Playspace Management
    space requirements playvalue and hazard identification liability and insurance
    playability inspection and maintenance due diligence
    access/egress requirements surfacing evaluation contractual obligations
    playspace design record keeping risk management
    age appropriate issues CSA overview owner/operator responsibilities
    playspace materials corrective actions employee/manager responsibilities
    playspace construction   playvalue and practical choices


    Principal Instructor Peter Kells

    Industrial Designer involved with the design of playground and recreation equipment since 1984. Involved with the writing of both the CSA playground standard and other international Standards. Executive member of IPA Canada (International Association for the Child's Right to Play). Playground Inspector since 2000.


    Upon completion of the program and achievement of a passing grade in the written examination(s) the participant will be registered by the Ontario Parks Association as a "Playground Practitioner" and is qualified to inspect playgrounds.


    The OPA Registered Playground Practitioner Program is recognized as a playground safety course for inspectors by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

    Attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614-14 Standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy (sharing books is not permitted). Attendees can choose to either use the PDF version and bring it on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade) or the hard copy of the book. Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop ( http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/injury-prevention/z614-14/invt/27019532014 )



    October 15-19, 2018


    Monday - Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm 

    Friday 8am -3:30pm

    The course will start promptly at 8:00am each day.


    Whitby Hydro Building - please use South Entrance ( a door will be opened for you) ~ you will need to sign in daily as an off site visitor
    98 Taunton Road East
    Whitby, ON L1R 3L5 

    Practical site: McKinney Park ~ 600 metres to the North of the classroom
    Map from class room to park (10 minute walk) ~ https://goo.gl/maps/5YU7sZC2RM82

    Parking is available at the Town of Whitby Employee parking lot across the street 333 McKinney Drive ~ Map from Employee parking lot to Hydro Building ~ https://goo.gl/maps/NyxvpsyZrr52

    Please note: meals are not provided at this training session. Attendees will be required to bring or buy their own lunch, coffee and snacks. 

    OPA Members: $1,268.00
    Non-Members: $1,498.00

    • 22 Oct 2018
    • 8:30 AM
    • 23 Oct 2018
    • 4:30 PM
    • Downsview Park Operations Shop Unit 3B - 60 Carl Hall Road, Toronto, ON M3K 2C1
    • 9


    This two day course is an introduction to understand professional trail development and how it relates to trail maintenance. You will receive instruction on how to observe, detect, document and mitigate potential risk resulting from poor trail design, construction and maintenance. This workshop combines in classroom theory and hands-on experiences. Participants will leave the course with a tool kit on how to create and implement a successful trail maintenance program. This course will cover all types of trails from natural surface single track to 3 metre wide crushed aggregate. 

    This course will cover:

    • Overview of Professional Trail Development
    • The Science and Art of Trail Building
    • Maintenance of Trails
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Liability Issues
    • Handwork and Trail Construction Techniques

    DATE: October 22 & 23, 2018
    TIME: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm both days
    Downsview Park Operations Shop - Unit 3B
    60 Carl Hall Road
    Toronto, ON M3K 2C1

    Outdoor location to be determined.


    OPA Member: $403.80

    Potential Member: $633.90

    Participants are required to have a CSA approved hard hat, safety glasses, closed toe safety shoes/boots, and gloves. 

    It is recommended that the participant bring with them the following equipment: 
    • pin flags
    • clinometer 
    • pulaski
    • mcleod rake
    And/or any other trail building tools/equipment the organization, government agency or participant intends to use for trail design, building and maintenance. The idea behind having your own tools/equipment onsite is to allow the opportunity for it to be integrated into the course and suit the specific needs/wants and desires of the participants.

    Please note: A bagged lunch is required at this course
    This course is an Ontario Trails Council approved training program.

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