1910 - 1981

J. Austin Floyd

Born in King’s County, New Brunswick, Floyd earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Manitoba in 1935, and completed his M.L.A. in landscape architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He moved to Toronto in 1948, entering practice there with H.B. Dunington-Grubb and J.V. Stensson from 1954 to 1955, before opening his own office in 1956.

Floyd was an early proponent of the Modernist style of landscape architecture in Canada, and the zigzag patterns and biomorphic forms of his gardens in the 1950s show the influence of Thomas Church and Garrett Eckbo.  He designed a series of cascading fountains for the city’s Allan Gardens, and his predilection for incorporating water in his plans is further evinced by a fountain in Queen’s Park, and the Waterfall Garden at the Sheraton Centre Hotel. Other notable commissions include the Enchanted Garden for the Ontario Crippled Children’s Center; The Inn on Park (his first large-scale work); and (along with Helen Kippax) the Fragrant Garden for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, where plants and environs accommodate heightened senses of smell, touch, and hearing. Floyd lectured on landscape architecture at the University of Toronto, and in the 1950s he penned a series of articles for the Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He was a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, and its president from 1952 to 1954. After he passed away in Toronto, his drawings, photographs, and correspondences were donated to the Public Archives of Canada.