Is it worth it? Up to you: maybe it's essential to your job, or a skill you want to offer as a consultant. If you’re not sure if this course is for you, borrow or buy the field guide, and then think about it.
“...in response to a growing demand for a standardized method of classifying the range of habitats found across southern
…for ecologists, planners, biologists, geographers, foresters, land managers or land owners who assess and manage natural resources. ...[ELC's] provides a tool to identify, describe, name, map, and monitor landscape patterns and communities in a consistent manner." (OMNR) Ontario
A friend of mine -- a U of T Botany grad -- took the training last fall. Out of 20 participants, 18 had their costs covered by their employers (e.g. conservation authorities, municipalities) and most of them were on paid leave to be there too: talk to your employer about covering or subsidizing your costs! My friend however had just graduated, was between jobs and had to pay the whole shot herself (ouch! -- made me wish there were subsidies). Her verdict? She learned a lot and she thinks it was and will be worth it for her. (She also said that they spent most of their time studying soils, including how soils can help you interpret previous plant communities on a site. Cool).
Me? Much as I truly would love to go to sleep-away ELC field camp (last year they stayed in cabins north of Kingston), instead, I'm sticking with the field guide. I bought it a couple of springs ago for $30. I like it. :) It shows me plant communities and land+vegetation associations I would never figure out on my own. Although it is for southern Ontario, it's been useful for me around North Bay & Temagami (alongside the Central, North Eastern and North Western Ontario Forest Type Descriptions too), and even on the other side of the Ottawa river. Before I bought it, I was afraid it might be too technical, but it's well written, it explains itself, and it's well designed as a reference book too.