Park improvement projects
When visiting Rouge National Urban Park, you may encounter one or more on-going projects. To help you plan your visit, please see below for a list of current and upcoming projects. For information call 416-264-2020 or email email@example.com
As part of the establishment of Rouge National Urban Park, Parks Canada is investing in new, sustainable park amenities and infrastructure as well as improvements to existing infrastructure throughout the park. Infrastructure projects are guided by the Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan (2019), which was developed through over seven years of strong public, Indigenous and community engagement. During the planning process for upcoming projects, we will continue to engage and work closely with local community stakeholders and partners.
Prior to a project proceeding, Parks Canada ensures that each project undergoes a rigorous impact assessment. This assessment considers environmental impacts such as effects on wildlife, species at risk, vegetation and aquatic habitat, as well as impacts on cultural resources. The impact assessment also identifies mitigation measures to reduce any potential impacts of the project.
Below is a list and brief explanation of some of the current improvement projects underway throughout Rouge National Urban Park.
Parks Canada is working towards the creation of a park-wide trail network linking Lake Ontario and the Oak Ridges Moraine – a longstanding goal of conservationists and community partners who have long advocated for a national park in the Rouge Valley. This trail network will allow visitors to explore the park’s unique natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes.
The first new trail in this network opened to the public in September 2019. This five-kilometre trail connects the 19th Avenue and Reesor Road day use areas and weaves through fields of crops, marshland, and shaded woodlots.
The next trail sections will continue southwest and southeast from the Reesor Road Day Use Area, with construction starting in late 2019. The southwest arm will follow the Katabokokonk Creek, featuring a lookout platform at a large restored wetland. The southeast arm will be the first section of a longer trail through the northeast part of the park. Eventually, this trail will connect to the Coyote Trail at the park’s northern boundary near the Town of Uxbridge.
Day Use Area and Washrooms
The new 19th Avenue and Reesor Road day use areas opened to the public in September 2019. Each area includes a parking lot, washrooms, connections to the new five-kilometre trail, a bike repair station and a picnic area. Over the next few years, Parks Canada plans to add washrooms and other improvements to several existing day use areas throughout the park.
Rouge National Urban Park Education and Welcome Centre
On August 27, 2019, Parks Canada and the Toronto Zoo announced a landmark agreement regarding the location of the future Rouge National Urban Park education and welcome centre. The centre will be built on lands formerly operated as the Zoo’s overflow parking lot 4, located on the east side of Meadowvale Road. The centre will serve as a learning and orientation facility where students, visitors and residents can gather and learn about the Rouge’s incredible natural, cultural, agricultural and Indigenous heritage, as well as Parks Canada’s places across the country. This project is currently in the planning stage. The public will have significant opportunities to provide feedback on the building concept and site plan in the coming months and years.
Markham Gateway Welcome Area
The Markham Gateway Welcome Area will be the primary welcome area in Markham area of Rouge National Urban Park. It will reflect an integrated gateway vision to and from the park with the future Cornell Centre community expansion. This project is currently in the planning stage.