September 15, 2019
J.C. Bakker & Sons (Bakkers) of St. Catharines, Ont., is celebrating 70 years with an open house during the second week of September. “We look forward to hosting many customers and industry partners,” said general manager John Bakker III. “We are also delighted to concurrently host this year’s Landscape Ontario Industry Auction on Sept. 12.”

Founded in 1949, with horticultural roots as far back as the early 1900s, Bakkers began with John Bakker Sr., an immigrant from the Netherlands, who settled his family in the Niagara Region in 1948. John Bakker Sr. brought with him over 25 years’ experience as a grower in the Netherlands. The first 10 years in Canada were difficult – a few teenage boys, a few spades and hoes, an old cultivating horse, and $300 in the bank.

Brothers, Dave Bakker Sr. and John Bakker Jr. (d. 2012) continued growing the business, working closely with government, universities, the International Plant Propagators’ Society and crews in the field, supervising all aspects of the work to grow some of Canada’s finest nursery stock. Today, third and fourth generations of family from both brothers are involved in the nursery’s daily operations. Bakkers began as a wholesale operation, but also catered to local consumers through an award-winning retail garden centre from 1971 to 1987. Now, Bakkers delivers nursery stock to garden centres and select mass merchants across North America.