Larry Harder

Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 52406
Landscape Architecture, Room 115
Landscape Architecture, PhD Rural Studies

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  • BES (Manitoba)
  • MLA (Harvard)


Trained at the University of Manitoba and Harvard, Larry Harder has many years experience in Canada, the U.S. and Britain. Prior to coming to Guelph, Larry worked in Winnipeg, Toronto and Waterloo doing design and planning at all scales from details to the continental scale, including community planning. Larry contributed to the industrial landscape reclamation of a still active chemical plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario that resulted in a Niagara Region Environmental Award for CYTEC Canada. Recently he advised the City of Charlottetown, PEI on matters of brownfield redevelopment and urban planning. Over the years Larry has split his time between teaching, consulting for a variety of firms, and practising as an independent landscape architect and researcher.

Larry has taught a variety of courses at the diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels, having now taught 26 different courses in his 16-year association with Guelph. His typical approach to the teaching of design at the undergraduate level is a process by which (1) the practical aspects of site planning are first introduced, followed by (2) an introduction to urban design, and finally (3) a progression into investigating meaning and symbolism in the landscape. Past practical site planning projects have included Markdale Hospital and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church located in downtown Guelph. Previous urban design projects included a sacred garden for the Guelph campus, an urban park in Uptown Waterloo, and St. George's Square in downtown Guelph.

At the graduate level, Larry has most recently focused on professional practice and the technical aspects of design. Previous graduate studio projects have included master plans, management plans, and detailed design proposals for an Environmental Learning Centre in Hillsburgh, Ontario, the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, and the Toronto Zoo. Many of Larry’s interests are reflected in a number of graduate theses he has been involved with, with topics such as: design of spiritual landscapes, planning process for aboriginal communities, urban park design, urban storm water management, Islamic identity in the North American landscape, and others with a cultural or environmental focus. Further interests include ecological restoration, industrial land reclamation, and landscape issues in the Middle East (with a special emphasis on Palestine & Israel). To all his work, Larry brings an understanding of the ways in which the landscape evolves through the interaction of physical and cultural forces through the passage of time.