George Tanaka (1912-1982), born in Vancouver to Japanese parents, was largely self-taught. He apprenticed with a Nisei gardener, and then studied architecture and landscape architecture on his own, reading books and periodicals in the public library, and eventually developing a unique blend of his oriental heritage with the raw naturalism of the Canadian landscape. In a speech to students and faculty of Humber College, Toronto in 1981, Tanaka said: "the materials of Nature - the rocks, the stones, the trees, the plants, the water and the earth itself - are used as the 'Design-Tools' by which the landscape-forms take shape. The use of Tension in design as between diverse elements: the hard element against the soft; the rugged rock against the flowing curve of a pathway, for example, gives the design a spirit of tension and an aesthetic quality. Whatever the qualification of the design problem, the results are to find a happy Balance and Harmony in all of the elements. Nothing is left to casual chance or to irresponsible placement."
"All of the hopes and dreams, and even the fears, that played a part in my total experience, has influenced me."
from the special collections at the University of Guelph; repository of the archives of Canadian landscape architects.