Parks Canada is excited to work towards the establishment of Canada’s first national urban park – Rouge National Urban Park – in the Greater Toronto Area.
Once fully established, Rouge National Urban Park will be one of the largest and best protected urban parks of its kind in the world, spanning 79.5 square kilometres in the heart of Canada's largest and most diverse metropolitan area, overlapping the cities of Toronto, Markham and Pickering. Indeed, Rouge National Urban Park will be 22 times larger than Central Park in New York.
Rouge National Urban Park is comprised of a rich assembly of natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes with many remarkable features, including: amazing biodiversity with over 1,700 species of plants and animals; some of the last remaining working farms in the Greater Toronto Area; Carolinian forests; Toronto’s only campground; one of the region’s largest marshes; unspoiled beaches; amazing hiking opportunities; and human history dating back over 10,000 years, including some of Canada's oldest known Aboriginal sites and villages.
Children enjoying Rouge Park at the mouth of Lake Ontario.© Parks Canada
Rouge National Urban Park’s close proximity to Canada's largest city and metropolitan area – and 20 percent of our nation's population – provides Parks Canada with an excellent opportunity to engage current and future generations of stewards to connect with and protect the Rouge for the benefit, education and enjoyment of Canadians now and for countless future generations.
Parks Canada first committed to work towards the creation of Rouge National Urban Park in 2011, following a review of the former regional Rouge Park’s governance, organization and finance, which recommended the creation of a national urban park.
For the past four years, Parks Canada has consulted with over 15,000 Canadians and has been working closely with First Nations, all levels of government, community groups, conservationists, farmers and residents to realize the dream of creating Canada’s first national urban park. Throughout this time, there have been many noteworthy project milestones.