Toronto Area

Here is a letter to Calgarians from Rob Brunnhofer, the owner of Roborganic, a company providing natural lawn care services to residential customers within several cities and towns in Ontario, Canada. He has over 28 years of experience in the field of organic lawn, garden & tree care.

Simon Wilkins, the Integrated Pest Management Coordinator for the Parks Department of the City of Calgary made these comments in a May 10, 2007 Calgary Herald article on the need to use pesticides in Calgary:

"We always want to use the least toxic tools, but it also has to work,"  Wilkins said. "There will always be situations where we have to use pesticides."

Last year, Wilkins visited several eastern Canadian cities, including  Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, to examine the effectiveness of their [pesticide] bylaws.

He learned that each municipality must weigh the risks presented by its climate. In Halifax, for instance, while herbicides are banned, Wilkins said insecticides are allowed to address pests that flourish in the more humid environment."

I understand the concerns and apprehensions homeowners, service providers, as well as whole cities alike have when faced with change, I have dealt with such issues for many years, however countless lawns not only in Canada but all over the world are progressing from chemical lawn maintenance to more friendly lawn care methods and proving that it can and in fact is being done.

In Canadian cities where pesticide bylaws for cosmetic reasons have taken effect such as in Toronto for example, residents, homeowners and service providers in most cases have discovered that a pesticide bylaw is quite doable, and to date they are able to maintain their properties within acceptable standards.

Calgary by no means whatsoever needs to be an exception to other cities which are already progressing forward with their own pesticide laws; to date I have not yet heard an acceptable excuse why a suitable bylaw for private & public land to either restrict or ban pesticides for cosmetic use cannot be implemented for the benefit of public health and their environment.


Rob Brunnhofer


Ontario, Canada