Canadian Gardening magazine to close

Michael Fox

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Canadian Gardening

TVA Inc. closed Canadian Gardening magazine, after its Spring 2016 issue. According to a news report on, the company closed the magazine in order to “concentrate on its strongest brands.” It is expected that the remaining portion of Canadian Gardening subscriptions will be transferred to another TVA magazine, such as Canadian Living or Style at Home.

The news about Canadian Gardening makes us sad here at Garden Making. Yes, we are competitors who publish an independent gardening magazine, but we know how hard it is to create and grow a magazine. We know that magazines become part of some readers’ lives because they connect them with other people with similar interests. Also, we have connections and friendships that go back to the founding of Canadian Gardening.

My business partner and wife, Beckie Fox, worked on Canadian Gardening for its first decade.  At a company called Camar Publications that later became Avid Media Inc., Beckie worked with Editorial Director Bob Pennycook in 1990 and with Editor Liz Primeau over the years to establish Canadian Gardening. It was launched at a time when many baby boomers were moving into their first homes, but most of the gardening magazines available in Canada came from the U.S. or England. Beckie was editor of Canadian Gardening from 1999 to 2001.

Eventually, Canadian Gardening became part of a large consumer magazine company with multiple titles when Avid was purchased by Transcontinental Media in 2004. Then in 2014, when Transcontinental decided to focus only on printing, its magazines were bought by TVA, the magazine publishing arm of Quebecor.

Letter sent with last issue of Canadian Gardening, received March 15, 2016.
Letter sent with last issue of Canadian Gardening, received March 2016.
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11 thoughts on “Canadian Gardening magazine to close”

  1. Thank you so much for producing such a wonderful gardening magazine. I have enjoyed and kept every one of your editions and re read them often. I also have enjoyed Canadian Gardening and am truly saddened, but like other readers not surprised. When one changes the tried and true format and thinks they know more than previous successful writers and creators, they lose the best part of the magazine. Garden Making has continued the true gardening ethic. Gardeners are caretakers of the many beautiful flowers that we all care for and for us the earth between our fingers, the smell of the flowers and the birds and insects that call our gardens home is a testament to our hard work. Thank you Garden Making for continuing to inform us and help us create a slice of paradise in our own gardens. Please continue on and do not lose the Gardening Spirit.
    Diane Hebner..Stoney Creek, Ontario

  2. I was not surprised to see Canadian Gardening Magazine stop its publications. I too subscribed many years to Canadian Garden magazine, and enjoyed it cover to cover but noticed a change when Aldona left and a new editor took charge. The magazine seemed to be more focused on fashion and overpriced home décor items. Simple gardens vanished. I hope Garden Making does not go that way…..

  3. My reasons for letting my subscription to Canadian Gardening end were also the same as stated by Lorna. I hated to. I was a subscriber from the beginning issue, and used to devour that magazine. It inspired me to try new ideas and plants. But unfortunately, [that all changed] for me too. Sad to see it go.

  4. [Canadian Gardening] is rampant with useless ads and products for sale way above the normal person’s spending curve. Fortunately for the gardening world, Garden Making is a masterpiece of a magazine, thoroughly wonderful in every way, far superior to Canadian Gardening, right out of the gate. I will not miss that cheapened other magazine.

  5. In the days of on-line everything it is sad to see another print publication go under. However, as I discovered from the very first issue, Garden Making is a first class magazine with excellent in-depth articles by experienced and talented writers. Your photographic essays of gardens include practical details – and do not make me wish to go out and plough under my entire property in disgust! Rather the whole magazine is encouraging to both experienced and beginner gardeners. In addition to all this the magazine well produced and edited and a pleasure to receive.
    Long live Garden Making Jennifer W Richmond Hill ON

  6. I’m not very surprised that Canadian Gardening is folding. I too had a subscription and let it lapse when the content sadly diminished. The golden days of the magazine were when Beckie, Liz and Aldona were working there. Garden Making is an excellent magazine, perfect for beginners as well as more seasoned gardeners.

  7. I am surprised in a way too. I agree that Canadian Gardening is no longer the magazine it was. I really enjoy Garden Making – do not change. My prediction of the next magazine that will go belly up is Canadian Geographic. Due to new staff and editor, it has become nothing but a collection of info pamphlets and full page ads.
    I try to promote Garden Making to everyone I know.

  8. I am not surprised by this announcement. I subscribed to Canadian Gardening for many years and enjoyed it very much, but with the advent of an editor in chief who apparently knew little about gardening, the magazine took a direction that had little relevance for me as a gardener, focusing more on style than substance. Added to that, most of my favourite columnists were no longer there, and I missed them. I let my subscription lapse for those reasons
    It is sad to see yet another Canadian gardening magazine close, especially one that used to be so entertaining and useful.

    • Exactly my thoughts as well, Lorna. When Aldona Satterthwaite was replaced … that was the beginning of the end. [It became] all style, no substance & tried to make the mag more about ads, gloss & home decor than gardening. Very bad business decision & it cost them. I hope GardenMaking doesn’t become that way (I haven’t seen any signs that point that way, thankfully…)

  9. I am very surprised and saddened about the loss of a wonderful gardening magazine. I subscribe to both the Canadian Gardening and Garden Making. I look forward and expect a great deal from my garden magazines to inspire and educate me. As a novice gardener, I have gained a great deal from each magazine and have kept every issue since I started receiving my issues.
    I am very disappointed – another corporate economic decision. myroslawa


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