The History of Solty Garden Centre.

     A third generation business, Leslie L Solty & Sons limited was started by Leslie L. Solty Sr. in 1951.  A house on Washington Avenue in Toronto was the company’s first location, with only one pick-up truck to service a growing client base. The business soon moved to Kingston Road in Scarborough, when ten acres of land was purchased, in the mid 1950’s. Nine of those ten acres were quickly sold off to finance the growth of the business which employed one hundred and twenty people during the summer months.

     In 1956, Leslie L. Solty Jr. came to Canada from Hungary to join his father in the business. Two years later, the purchase of three hundred and thirty-five acres in Cookstown allowed for a horizontal expansion into sod production and nursery stock. In 1961 a small retail yard was opened at both the Scarborough and Cookstown locations. The mid 1960’s saw greater expansion as work commenced on the “Expo ’67” site in Montreal in 1964.

     In 1965, Leslie L. Solty Sr. passed away, leaving the business in the capable hands of Leslie Jr. In 1967 a new retail centre and office was opened at the Scarborough location. Under the leadership of Leslie Jr. the company continued to expand. Land hold increased to 1000 acres in the Cookstown area, to handle an increase in sod and nursery production.

     The third generation was welcomed in 1981, when Nick Solty joined the company as a full-time carpenter on the construction crew after working for Banff Trail Nurseries and Tobias Construction in Calgary, Alberta. Frank Solty joined the company a year later after finishing his studies at the University of Guelph. Frank soon took on the management of the nursery farm while Nick was promoted to general manager of the construction department.

     In early 1990’s the retail division in Scarborough was closed to free up space for the commercial construction division. In 1994, as the last crop of sod was harvested, a further shift in focus resulted in the downsizing of the construction division and a more concentrated effort on the wholesale department. 1994 also saw the death of Leslie Solty Jr.

     In 1995 the commercial landscape department was phased out and the Scarborough property was sold.  1996 saw the construction of a new office and Garden Centre on the Highway 27 property.

     Today we continue to grow and supply a wide variety of plant material to both the home owner and the landscape professional.