MG Concept

The Master Gardener concept was originally created in Washington State (USA) in 1972. Ontario’s first pilot sites began in Brigden, Englehart and London with 39 participants. The next year, Brantford, Stratford, Ottawa, Windsor, Algoma West, Burlington and St. Catharines joined and brought with them another 154 new volunteers.



Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. is an organization dedicated to providing horticultural information to the public. It began in 1985 as a program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) but it is now an independent nonprofit organization.


Becoming a Master Gardener Today

Go to the Become a Master Gardener page and we'll help you find the closest local Master Gardener group. You can also contact a group directly. After you attend a meeting or orientation session, you can decide if being a Master Gardener is right for you. Some groups ask potential new members to complete a short eligibility/knowledge test and take part in an interview to clarify the volunteer commitment. Once you join, you can choose an educational path for certification, e.g. designated online courses (University of Guelph or Dalhousie University) or the self-study program leading to a Certification Exam. see Education.


What MGs Do

In return, participants provide horticultural information to the public via garden clinics, telephone, letters, displays, workshops, television, radio, the web and newspaper articles.