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  • 20 Aug 2017
  • Toronto Zoo



BRANCH: Horticulture

HOURS OF WORK: 40 hours per week 

SALARY RANGE: Start Rate: $27.23/hr. - 3 month: $29.04/hr. - 6 month: $30.25/hr. 

Basic Function: Reporting to the Manager of Horticulture this position is responsible for the day to day maintenance and care of the plant collection. In addition, the incumbent will, under direction, identify; label, catalogue, accession and track plant material as it is enlisted for use throughout the Zoo, assists in training gardeners and volunteers. This position is also responsible for assisting and providing support in implementing the Strategic Plan. 


  • Prepares and maintains nursery and planting areas. Maintains organization and labeling system in greenhouses. 
  • Identifies, labels, accessions, and catalogues plant specimens in an acceptable manner on a daily basis. 
  • Gives general guidance and direction to Gardeners 1, 2 and 3, and seasonal staff, and non-gardening staff that may be required to work in close proximity to plants and planted areas. 
  • May be required to carry and use a radio. 
  • Attends appropriate training courses as required. 
  • Maintains tools and equipment in good repair and orders and stores away supplies. 
  • Operates a variety of trucks and other motorized vehicles or equipment used in cultivation, propagation and maintenance of plants and planted areas. 
  • Assists in snow and ice removal. 
  • Studies and observes collection for signs of disease. 
  • Notes needed collection maintenance and reports same to his/her Supervisor.
  • Provides Manager with verbal or written reports, regarding horticulture and curatorial matters as requested. 
  • Answers queries from Zoo visitors. 
  • In consultation with other staff, assists in establishing policies and procedures to improve the care of the plant collection.
  • Assists in exhibit design and renovation. 
  • Directs and trains staff in exhibit design, exhibition preparation and the requirements of the plant collection. 
  • Develops and conducts Gardener and Volunteer training programs and participates in educational activities, presentations and tours related to the plant collection. 
  • Assists in developing long term collection and conservation programs. 
  • Undertakes and assists with research projects.
  • Assists with the collation and maintenance of monthly reports and records.
  • Assists in litter removal from Zoo property and maintains turf areas per instruction. 
  • Works in a safe manner at all times in compliance with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, WHMIS legislation and Toronto Zoo Safety Policy. Immediately reports all accidents and hazards to his/her Supervisor.
  • Other related duties as requested by the Manager or Supervisor. 
  • Degree or diploma in horticulture, botany, or related field or equivalent training and experience. 
  • Minimum of 7 years practical experience in horticulture or curatorial horticulture. 
  • Must possess extensive technical knowledge of all types plants and their care and display. 
  • Previous experience with herbarium or museum records systems preferred. 
  • Familiarity in the use of a computerized record systems for plant collections. 
  • Must have an excellent understanding of Zoo operations, operating procedures, exhibit design and collection management, staff training needs and techniques, equipment and its upkeep. plant care, ecology and conservation. 
  • Must possess good organizational skills, be a self starter and have the ability to work with minimal supervision. 
  • Must be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing and be fluent in the English language. 
  • Must have the ability to produce accurate, complete and comprehensive written reports. 
  • Must be able, and possess the confidence to, make verbal presentations to staff and public.
  • Must be capable of meeting physical demands of the job: ability to lift and carry 23 to 44 lbs. (10.5 to 20 kilo) on a recurring basis, lift and carry 60+ lbs. (27 kilo) ability to bend, walk, push, lift, pull, twist, kneel, climb, crouch, grip, and reach. 
  • Must be able and willing to work shifts, weekends and holidays. Must possess full class G driver’s license, along with a good driving record. (e.g. driving to various locations onsite in a Zoo vehicle). 

If interested in this position, please submit your resume and cover letter no later than Sunday August 20th, 2017 to: hr@torontozoo.ca 

*Please state "Curatorial Gardener" in the subject line of your application. 

While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Toronto Zoo provides accommodations for individuals with disabilities, as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If contacted for an interview, and you require specific accommodation for the interview process because of a disability or a medical need, then please advise the person contacting you of your requirements, so that arrangements can be made for the appropriate accommodations to be in place before you begin the interview process.

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