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St. Lawrence Lowlands

Natural Region 29


Three national parks and one national park reserve represent this region. Point Pelee National Park (15 km2), a Ramsar site (wetland of international significance), is renowned as Canada's finest bird-watching site. A sandspit at the southernmost tip of Canada's mainland, Point Pelee is a unique blend of marsh, forest, fields and beach, which combined with its southern extension into Lake Erie, attracts thousands of birds and monarch butterflies on their biannual migrations. The forests of Point Pelee are jungle-like in appearance and harbour an unusually large variety of trees typical of the Carolinean zone. Point Pelee was established in 1918 from Naval Reserve lands after resolutions were submitted to the federal government recommending the preservation of Point Pelee as a wildlife sanctuary.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is the subject of a 1987 federal-provincial agreement with the Government of Ontario that involved the transfer of Cyprus Lake Provincial Park and the acquisition of private lands on a "willing buyer-willing seller" basis.

Niapiskau Island, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Niapiskau Island,
Mingan Archipelago National
Park Reserve

© Parks Canada

The area is a spectacular yet fragile land of rare orchids, limestone cliffs, ancient forest and intricate underground drainage. The popular Bruce Trail hugs the edge of the Niagara Escarpment as it passes through the park to its northern terminus in Tobermory.

Together, Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park form the Core Area of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. This park will be proclaimed under the National Parks Act once all lands within the park boundary are formally transferred to the Crown, and any outstanding land claims are settled. Since 1994 the park has acquired approximately 2,000 acres from private land holdings.

Fathom Five National Marine Park is Canada's first marine park - a diver's mecca where transparent waters and more than 20 shipwrecks beckon intrepid divers. The park consists of the water and 20 islands at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, and these islands add to the representation of this natural region. Flowerpot Island, the most famous of these islands, (formerly part of Georgian Bay Islands National Park), is named for unusual "flowerpot" rock formations, the result of receding water levels and constant wave action which have eroded the soft limestone bedrock. Similar to the situation with Bruce Peninsula National Park, there are still some private landholdings within the park boundaries that will be acquired on a "willing seller-willing buyer" basis before it will be proclaimed under legislation.

Oddly shaped rock pillars sculpted by wind and sea create the unique island-scape of Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve (151 km2). Puffins and other seabirds nest on these limestone islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while porpoises, seals and whales feed in the fertile waters offshore. Mingan was set aside as a national park reserve in 1984, pending the resolution of the comprehensive land claims of the Atikamekw and the Montagnais.

Natural Region 29
Natural Region 29
© Parks Canada

National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition

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