Ontario Completes Land Transfer for Creation of Rouge National Urban Park
Province Fulfills Commitment to Protect 1,600 Acres in the Rouge Valley
Ontario has formally transferred more than 1,600 acres of lands to Parks Canada for inclusion in Rouge National Urban Park - the first urban park of its kind in Canada, right in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area.
Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, on behalf of Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, was joined by Jane Philpott, federal Minister of Indigenous Services, at Rouge National Urban Park, today to make the announcement.
The province's lands make up the critical central section of the park, which stretches from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The transfer of lands will allow Parks Canada to complete the park and means people will be able to continue enjoying its many benefits - such as paddling, swimming, hiking, cycling and even camping overnight. Farming will also continue to be an important and protected activity in the park.
Ontario has always fought for ecological protections in the park, and will continue to advocate for any decisions about the park to be made with environmental sustainability at the forefront.
The province has also handed over its interest in lands managed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the City of Markham, ensuring these lands will remain protected for generations to come.
- When Rouge National Urban Park is complete, it will cover 79.1 square kilometres, making it 23 times bigger than New York’s Central Park and 19 times bigger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
- The park has 1,700 species of plants and animals, and some of the best wetlands, forests and agricultural lands in the region.
- It has evidence of human history dating back more than 10,000 years including some of Canada’s oldest known Indigenous historic sites and villages.
“Protecting valuable green space in the Rouge Valley is essential to supporting strong, sustainable communities. Our large land contribution to Parks Canada means people from across Ontario and beyond will always be able to enjoy many recreational activities, right in the heart of a big city.”
“Ontario’s handover of more than 1,600 acres for the expansion of Rouge National Urban Park permanently protects green space in the Greater Toronto Area. Our lands provide a critical link that ensures the park stretches from the Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Ontario.”
“This transfer of land to help complete Rouge National Urban Park is a wonderful gift to all Canadians. I am pleased that ecological integrity has been identified as the first priority in managing Rouge National Urban Park while providing long-term certainty for the park’s farmers.”