The recent announcement by Parks Canada regarding the transfer of 22.8 km2 of land from the Province of Ontario marks another important milestone towards the creation of the much anticipated Rouge National Urban Park.
Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) celebrates this achievement and salutes the collaborative efforts of the federal and provincial governments to bring Canada’s only urban national park closer to complete establishment.
Since 1994, TRCA has been an active land manager and park advocate (as a founding member of the former Rouge Alliance), bringing expertise and leadership in the issues of urban watershed ecology and restoration to this nationally significant landscape.
This recent development sets the stage for the finalization of TRCA’s own land transfer of 5,600 acres within its jurisdiction to Parks Canada for Rouge National Urban Park.
The deal, expected to be finalized within a matter of months, will be a major accomplishment for TRCA and will help to define the significant future role TRCA will play in the development and management of this unique urban park.
“TRCA is deeply invested and involved in the protection and preservation of our natural world,” said Mike Bender, TRCA’s Associate Director, Master Planning and Greenspace Conservation.
“We’re delighted to join the provincial and federal governments and municipalities in ensuring the health and function of the Rouge watershed, its natural and cultural heritage, as well as agricultural prosperity and diversity. We remain committed to working closely with our partner, Parks Canada, in the preservation, protection and enhancement of this ecologically significant natural area.”
Rouge National Urban Park is the first of its kind – a national park in a city. The 79.1 km2 park protects nature, culture and agriculture, stretching across the cities of Toronto, Markham, Pickering and the Township of Uxbridge from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The park is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, and 10,000 years of human history and cultural heritage. The soil found in this area is considered the rarest and most fertile in Ontario.
TRCA staff are working at present to manage the portion of the park that has yet to be transferred, collect property survey information, and prepare the necessary documentation and legal descriptions that will facilitate the transfer.
Included in the plan is the intention by TRCA to continue to act as a service provider in the development and management of the park.
Map of Rouge National Urban Park