Feature Products


We offer a large selection of pansies.

Pansies

Hours of Operation:

Feb 21 through May 12:
Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm
Sat-Sun 10am - 4pm

May 13 through June 24:
Mon-Sat 8am - 7pm
Sunday  9am - 6pm

June 25 through Oct 30:
Mon-Sat 9am - 6pm
Sunday 9am - 5pm

July 1st - Canada Day 10-4

Aug 1st - Civic Holiday 10-4

Oct 31 through Dec 24:
Mon-Sat 9am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm

705.472.6414

lori@laportesnursery.ca

About Us

Celebrating Over 65 Years
Seeds of Love
From Generation to Generation

Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre
Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre
Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre Laporte's Garden & Gift Centre

Laporte's Nursery

Most area residents have plants from Laporte’s Nursery in their yard. The business has been around for over 60 years and gardeners have learned to depend on the four generation family business for solid advice and healthy plants.

Aldege (Alec) and Christina (Tine) Laporte had a wonderful garden. Grandma worked very hard tending to all the beautiful tomatoes and vegetables. Alec (Grandpa to me), worked at Butti’s Grocery store which sat where the new TD Canada Trust is now located in downtown North Bay. When the grocery store closed down, grandpa opened Alec’s Meat Market and operated that for the next few years. The small deli was located where The Joke Shop called home for some 40 years after.

My grandmother while still tending to the garden would have people from the area come and ask to buy some produce from her massive garden. She would dig up or pick what the person wanted and wrap it in newspaper and put elastic around it. By this time grandpa was older so his duties were limited to the seeding of the plants and the collecting of the money. But, you might still remember my grandfather as the bus driver for the North Bay to Temiscaming and North Bay to Callander. (We used to call it the Callandar Stage.) Customers would say to him “Your tomatoes and vegetables are really wonderful; do you think we could buy the plants from you and try growing them ourselves?” And so Laporte’s Nursery was born. Trees, shrubs and evergreens were planted in the ground until being sold. A customer would purchase a Mugho Pine for example and the family would go out in the field and dig it, bag it and load it in the customer’s vehicle.

Prior to my father; James Laporte taking over the business in 1971 when I was nine; he worked for Fred Culin at Arnstein Equipment as the parts and service manager. Lots of men still come into the nursery and talk to my dad about tractor and truck parts.

With the increasing demand for the plant paraphernalia, Laporte’s Nursery evolved into a fully fledged garden nursery. As the business expanded and the demand for their plants outgrew the size of the garden and amount of greenhouses and taking into account our short northern growing season, we had to find a grower in Southern Ontario that could supply us with any excess product that needed to be grown. Brownridge Greenhouses in Milton, Ontario has been growing for us for the last 45 years. With the demand for newer and more unique plants we have now expanded our growers to four in Southern Ontario.

The nursery was located for 49 years on Toronto Street in Nipissing Junction, with all the generations living in the area at some point in time. Eighteen years ago the operation was moved to 1054 Lakeshore Drive. Business was rapidly expanding so we had to move to a much larger and more exposed location.

Through the years the full time staff has remained the same. Heading the list is Lea Laporte Bale, my dad’s sister. She has worked at the nursery since its inception, looking after the annuals and special orders for customers. Her kind and gentle nature make her a customer favourite. Mary Lawrence has looked after the perennial area since I was a little girl. Her plant knowledge is invaluable. Steve Claridge works in trees, shrubs and evergreens. He is a fun loving guy and always willing to help the customer. I have known him most of my life, he is like a brother to me. Mark Claridge works in the yard loading soil and aggregate. You can always count on his smiling friendly face to greet you! Linda Baxter can be found in the shop on cash. Linda and I can always be found doubled over in laughter over something silly being said. Lyndy Krause and Dianne Barber Murdoch round out the full time staff. They are beautiful, wonderful ladies always willing to lend a hand. I would like to make a special mention of a wonderful person, Dalton Hazzard; who helped out at the nursery since I was a little girl. Dalton turned 85 years young this spring. Never could you find a more helpful person than him. Steve and I always say that if we can be in as good a shape as Dalton at that age, we will be laughing! And then there is me, Lori. You can always find me somewhere in the yard or shop or on cash. With the telephone attached to my ear. For a good portion of the season we work seven days a week; some of us working 12-13 hours a day.

It is important to my father, James Laporte, that our customers know that we are here for them. Our family will not sell plants that are not proven to be northern climate cold hardy.

I often talk about my sister, Keely Laporte. She was only 10 months older than I so we were not only sisters and co-workers, we were friends. We both had our children at the same time. She named her kids Tara and Eric and I named mine Ashley and Kelsey. They grew up being as close as Keely and I. Keely truly inherited the green thumb from grandpa and grandma Laporte (just like Aunt Lea) She definitely had a passion for plants. She passed away from cancer June 4, 2005 at the age of 43. It was one of the busiest days of the year and the nursery was so important to her, that she didn’t want us to close. Each year we only get one shot at the busy season, so we waited a month to have her funeral. The saying; “Make hay while the sun shines” is so true. Six months prior to Keely’s death we lost another beloved staff member, Aldean Dowdall. Aldean worked in the houseplant and geranium greenhouse for many years. Her sense of humor always had us in stitches. Terry Dawn Hamilton who worked in trees, shrubs and evergreens for around 20 years has since passed away also. When you are a small family operated business and you lose some of your key people, it is like losing a part of yourself.

Both my daughters; Ashley Champion and Kelsey McMullen work with us as well during the busy season and have for the last 17 or 18 years. That makes us a four generation family business. My mother Beverlee Laporte passed away April 3, 2007. The following year Dale Generoux and I celebrated the birth of our first beautiful grandchild; Arthur James Champion and in 2013, we welcomed our second grandchild; Arielle Sophia McMullen with a third grandchild along the way. My sister Keely would have been a grandmother as well with four wonderful grandchildren; Jacob, Angel, William and Alexander. Maybe the garden centre will be in the hands of a fifth generation. Wouldn’t that be great?

I think Grandpa and Grandma Laporte would be very proud of Laporte’s Nursery as it is today!

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