2015 Alumna of Honour Award, Karl Stensson, BLA ’73 | Alumni | University of Guelph

2015 Alumna of Honour Award, Karl Stensson, BLA ’73

Judy Maddren

Karl Stensson
BLA '73

Mr. Karl Stensson, BLA ’73, is an innovative leader and respected ambassador of the Canadian horticulture industry. As CEO and President of Sheridan Nurseries, Mr. Stensson leads one of the most successful  garden centre and nursery businesses in the country.  

After graduating with his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in 1973, Mr. Stensson worked for the City of Toronto as a parks planner, followed by two years as the Coordinator of Planning and Design for the City of North York. In 1976 he began working for the family business, Sheridan Nurseries, managing the Wholesale Sales Division. In 1984 he took over management of all Sheridan Garden Centres, landscape supply yards, as well as the landscape design department. In 2009, Mr. Stensson was named President of Sheridan Nurseries becoming CEO and President in April 2015.

Mr. Stensson has been at the forefront of the nursery and garden centre sector for more than 35 years, committing his time and expertise to develop professionalism and excellence within the industry. He has served as both Board Member and President of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, President of the Canadian Nursery Trades Association, Board Member of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, and President of the Canadian Garden Council. In addition to these prestigious appointments, Mr. Stensson is highly sought after for professional consultation, advice, and mentorship.

Mr. Stensson has received numerous awards recognizing his important contributions to the horticulture industry. These include the Frank Ewald Jr. Award (for outstanding industry contributions from someone under 30 years of age), the Trillium Award (for outstanding support of the horticultural industry and Landscape Ontario), and the President’s award from the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Mr. Stensson was also recognized with an honorary lifetime membership from Landscape Ontario. He holds the distinction of being the only person to receive every major award bestowed by the Canadian horticulture industry.

As a generous philanthropist, volunteer and community partner, Mr. Stensson organized the ‘Round Up at The Cash’ campaign at Sheridan Nurseries, with proceeds supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation.  Sheridan Nurseries also supports the Kids’ Health Links Foundation, which connects hospitalized sick children to the outside world through safe internet technology. Mr. Stensson spearheaded the Michael Campbell Fund, a fundraising initiative that raised more than $140,000 to provide extensive medical care for a 14-year-old boy from Jamaica. Mr. Stensson is described by his peers as a passionate, dedicated and approachable industry leader, who is also an exceptional communicator and gifted speaker. Mr. Stensson’s remarkable professional achievements have influenced the prosperity of an entire industry and his influence will carry on for generations.


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