James was born and raised on the potato farm in Mount Albert Ontario, where he gained a love of the land, literally by getting his hands dirty. James started his career in 1977 at Braun Nursery and landscape company after graduating from University with a focus in ornamental horticulture, landscape design, interior design and modern creative jazz dance. He moved on to operate a successful design/build landscape company, now and it's 39th year. J Garfield Thompson Landscape Ltd. focusses on large, medium and small residential landscapes from King City to Caledon, Toronto to Oakville and from Guelph to Gananoque. James and his partner Vanessa Shand started Water Arts Inc. Fountain Company in Etobicoke in 1986. Both companies have been recipients of many awards, including the Dunnington-Grubb award and the CNLA Caterpillar award, as well as being active supporters and award winners at Canada Blooms for more than 20 years. James manages to maintain a physical involvement on a daily basis in the landscape company; which really means he still likes to get his hands dirty.