After graduating from Swanley Horticultural College in England, Lorrie Dunington began her career as head gardener of an Irish estate. She became acquainted with the gardener H. Selfe-Leonard and the pair formed a business partnership designing gardens throughout Great Britain. Pursuing her interest in the formal study of landscape architecture, Dunington took lessons from an architect at a technical college before opening her own landscape architecture practice in London. In 1911, she married landscape architect Howard Grubb and the pair immigrated to Canada, combining their surnames and establishing the firm H.B. & L.A. Dunington-Grubb, Landscape Architects, in Toronto. Two years later, they founded Sheridan Nurseries on 100 acres southwest of the city.
Likely influenced by Gertrude Jekyll, Dunington-Grubb’s designs regularly included perennials and herbaceous borders. She collaborated with her husband, and their Beaux-Arts landscapes often incorporated sculpture. Among their early projects in Toronto are Government House at Chorley Park and Lawrence Park Estates, a suburb that seamlessly integrated architecture and landscape. Other projects include Gage Park and McMaster University Entrance Park, in Hamilton, Ontario.
Tuberculosis cut short Dunington-Grubb’s career in 1928; yet she was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Town Planners (now the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects) in 1934 and its president in 1944. She lectured at the University of Toronto on town planning and published widely on landscape design in several journals, including the Canadian Home Journal and Canadian Homes and Gardens. She was among the first practicing woman landscape architects in Canada.