Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve

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Location

Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve Richmond Hill, ON Get Directions

Activities

The Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve (ORCCR) is an important ecological linkage on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Located in Richmond Hill, this 175-plus hectare property is dominated by mature forests, wetlands, meadows, kettle lakes, and a significant network of recreational trails.

Local residents and visitors can use ORCCR’s extensive trail system to enjoy the natural beauty of the area while protecting the integrity of the surrounding ecosystem.

Macleod Estate Trail Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the City of Richmond Hill are working in partnership to construct the Macleod Estate Trail Project, a new 800-metre multi-use trail connection from the ORCCR spine trail to the Macleod’s Landing neighbourhood, located near Yonge Street and Jefferson Sideroad.

This new trail will enhance active transportation and recreation opportunities for the Macleod’s Landing neighourhood and provide an important connection from surrounding streets to ORCCR. The project will also include new signage and restoration plantings.

Following a comprehensive public planning and consultation process in 2018-2019, the TRCA Board of Directors approved the project and trail alignment on May 24, 2019.

Additionally, the trail alignment has been endorsed by the City of Richmond Hill and the Province of Ontario.

The Macleod Estate Trail project is also made possible through the support of Gordon and Patricia Gray.

Construction Timeline:

  • Fall 2021 – Spring 2022

Project Information:

Project Contact:

Marnie Shepley
Project Manager, Trail Design & Development
Professional Services | Restoration & Infrastructure
marnie.shepley@trca.ca

Oak Ridges Lake to Lake Trail Project

TRCA, in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, is constructing a 630-metre multi-use trail connection between Stouffville Road and existing ORCCR trail.

The proposed trail is part of the Lake to Lake active transportation network that aims to connect key trails and destinations like transit hubs, community centres, and parks, between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. Once complete, the trail will provide improved access to ORCCR and recreational opportunities in the area.

For more information, please click here.

Construction Timeline:

  • Late-August – December 2021*

*Timeline is subject to change.

Project Information:

Construction Updates:

Week of August 23, 2021: Pre-construction activities such as utility locating, surveying, and vegetation removal are currently taking place on site.

Construction will begin on August 30, 2021.

For your safety, please respect all posted construction signs and stay clear of work areas and equipment. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Project Contact:

Adam Dembe
Project Manager, Trail Design & Development
Professional Services | Restoration & Infrastructure
adam.dembe@trca.ca

Notes for Visitors

  • No washrooms on site. Please plan ahead.
  • Limited or no waste receptacles. Please carry out litter.
  • Public access is not permitted to the Chabad Lubavitch area at the Bond Lake trail head. Please obey signs about these restrictions.

THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT PERMITTED:

  • Boating / canoeing
  • Fires and BBQs
  • Swimming
  • Fishing or ice fishing
  • Harvesting / foraging
  • Motorized vehicles / ATVs
  • Picnicking
  • Skating*

*To find safe local outdoor skating locations, visit the City of Richmond Hill online.

Community Parking Locations

  • Bathurst Glen Golf Course -12481 Bathurst Street
  • Grovewood Park – 0 Grovewood Street
  • Bond Lake Trailhead – 12611 Yonge Street
  • Ozark Park – 24 Antique Drive
  • Old Colony Road Trailhead – 363-365 Old Colony Road
  • Oak Ridges Community Centre – 12895 Bayview Avenue
  • Lake Wilcox Water Park – Bethesda Side Road, West of Bayview Avenue
  • Lake Wilcox Park – Olde Bayview Avenue
  • Bethesda Side Road Trailhead – 999 Bethesda Side Road

VIEW PARKING LOCATIONS MAP

Learn More About the Property

STAY SAFE! Stay on the trails you see on the map.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

VIDEO – Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve: Cultural History

MORE VIDEOS:

NATIVE WILDLIFE

MANAGEMENT PLANS

Two management plans guide TRCA’s management of the ORCCR and what uses are permitted:

CONSERVATION PROJECTS

Meadow Restoration

Within the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve, this meadow restoration project is creating habitat for local wildlife such as birds and pollinators, while also expanding on the recreational wildlife viewing for the local community.

a meadow habitat in the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve prior to restoration
asters bloom in meadow area of the Oak Ridges Conservation Reserve
TRCA staff use heavy machinery to perform meadow restoration work in the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve

Meadow restoration will be achieved here by converting 12 ha of old pasture (dominated by Reed Canary Grass, or Phalaris arundinacea), into a vibrant and diverse vegetation community that will provide nectar, wildflower seed, and insects for feeding, as well as taller grass areas for resting and nesting needs.

removal of old wooden fencing during meadow restoration work in the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve
aster blooms in meadow area of Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve Oak Ridges
restored meadow area in the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve

Areas of milkweed will help enhance Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) habitat, while perching poles and woody habitat structures offer more habitat diversity for raptors and small mammals.

Bayview Wetlands

In January 2021, TRCA completed a habitat restoration project in ORCCR to increase wetland cover and provide essential habitat opportunities for amphibians (salamanders, toads, and frogs), reptiles (turtles and snakes), and birds (songbirds and raptors).

The project included four distinct wetland locations to capitalize on seasonal flows and existing drainage patterns. Due to the soil and flow patterns, these wetlands are designed and anticipated to dry up in mid to late summer, which is an important factor for breeding to many amphibians.

restoration of Bayview wetlands area underway in Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve
restoration of Bayview wetlands area underway in Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve
addition of woody habitat features to Bayview wetlands area of Oak Ridges Conservation Reserve

Woody habitat features were included throughout the sites to provide cover and additional habitat for small mammals such as foxes, voles, chipmunks, rabbits and more.

Jefferson Salamander Conservation

The Jefferson salamander is an endangered amphibian, and the ORCCR provides vital habitat for a breeding population — one of the last known populations in York Region.

In spring 2021, TRCA partnered with York Region to implement nightly road closures along Stouffville Road to protect the salamander. In the past, Jefferson salamanders had experienced significant road mortality, as the population moved from one side of the road to the other during the mating season.

Learn more about this unique project.