Find out what our partners and stakeholders are saying about the project:


We want to hear from you!

Feedback received during the engagement phase will help inform the design and development of the Rouge Beach Improvements Project. A What We Heard Report covering the full public engagement period since February 2020 will be made available online in summer 2021.

For more information on this project, and to comment, receive project updates or hear about opportunities to volunteer or be a steward of Rouge National Urban Park, please contact pc.projetsrouge-rougeprojects.pc@canada.ca.

"The TRCA is proud to support and work with Parks Canada on the Rouge Beach Improvements Project,"..

The TRCA is proud to work in partnership with Parks Canada on all aspects of establishing Rouge National Urban Park and, since 2015, our two organizations have collaborated to plant over 100,000 trees and shrubs and to complete over 60 ecosystem restoration projects in the park. Through this work we have confidence in Parks Canada’s ability to deliver projects of the highest environmental standards that provide a net ecological and social benefit to neighbouring communities.

The TRCA is proud to support and work with Parks Canada on the Rouge Beach Improvements Project, a project that will mitigate climate change, flooding and erosion; enhance ecological integrity; implement the TRCA Trails Strategy for the Greater Toronto Region; and improve community and visitor safety and connections.

Parks Canada is a world leader in sustainable trail development and has committed to completing a detailed impact analysis – the highest standard of federal environmental impact analysis in the country. Parks Canada has also committed to a voluntary external review of the project by the TRCA experts.

Through our review and involvement in the Rouge Beach Improvements Project TRCA looks forward to working closely with Parks Canada to ensure the best possible outcome.

John MacKenzie
Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

"... Design expertise and commitment to the ecology are reflected in Rouge Beach Improvements Project..."

Finally! The Rouge Beach Improvements Project is a major step towards restoring the potential of this beautiful valley and marsh. The Rouge Valley sits between two major urban centres. It is minor miracle that so much of the Valley is intact. Thanks to decades of persistent community advocacy, the Valley is now protected as Canada’s First Urban Park and will take a place among our National Park treasures. With this comes an opportunity to restore ecological processes, protect its natural beauty and celebrate its rich cultural heritage.

Parks Canada’s work with communities and stakeholders, their design expertise and commitment to the ecology are reflected in Rouge Beach Improvements Project.

The project fixes long-standing inadequate amenities such as aging washrooms. It finally offers dedicated facilities for canoes, kayaks and fishing. The beautiful marsh will no longer serve as a parking lot. Instead the marshlands will be integrated into the new day-use area with the beach.

Beach shoreline erosion controls will protect this beloved section of the 3600 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, which has seen terrible damage in recent years due to flooding caused by climate change.

The elevated boardwalk and pier offer a distinctive and memorable way to take in the beauty of the river valley. It will replace the plethora of informal social trails that zigzag along the riverbank, reduce habitat disturbance and define public space from private property.

The Boardwalk trail provides a long-awaited, family-friendly connection north from the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Glen Rouge Campground and to the headwaters in the Oak Ridges Moraine.

The pandemic has reminded us that we need to maximize our green, natural spaces, connect them to our neighbourhoods and to each other not only for the sake of the environment but for our own physical and mental well-being too.

The Rouge Beach Improvements Project capitalizes on the area's tremendous potential while protecting it for many generations to come. Hundreds of people have played significant roles to get us here—Ron Christie, David Crombie, Pauline Browes and Keith Laushway are among those I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I know the list is much longer and I’m grateful to every person for their contribution. Now its Parks Canada turn to build on this incredible opportunity—the Rouge Beach Improvements Project demonstrates they are up to the task!

Marlaine Koehler
Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

"...Nature in the city and city in the nature"..

It's not often that one project can restore ecological integrity while improving community access and at the same time set the stage for telling the stunning story of nature in the city and the city in nature. The Rouge Park Boardwalk does that.

David Crombie
Founder and Board Member, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

"The Rouge Beach Improvements Project accomplishes so much for the ecology and community..."

Neglected for years before Parks Canada stepped in, the Rouge Valley is finally receiving the investment and attention it deserves. The Rouge Beach Improvements Project accomplishes so much for the ecology and community. One exciting contribution is that it closes the final gap between the headwaters and Lake Ontario. It will connect Canada’s first National Urban Park from the north to the south with a raised boardwalk that protects the sensitive ecology of the valley and marsh for generations to come. It also creates an excellent way to manage the area’s popularity so that adjacent neighbourhoods and residents are respected. It has taken 30 years to get here but what an arrival!

Pauline Browes
Founder and Chair, Friends of Rouge National Urban Park

"Pickering’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is pleased to have been consulted by representatives of the Rouge National Urban Park"...

Pickering’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is pleased to have been consulted by representatives of the Rouge National Urban Park with respect to plans for the Rouge Beach Improvement Project with a view to ensuring exemplary inclusion and accessibility practices consistent with the core principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity.

Timothy J. Higgins
Chair, Pickering Accessibility Advisory Committee

"It will be an exciting day when the Rouge Beach Improvements Project is completed"...

It will be an exciting day when the Rouge Beach Improvements Project is completed and the accessibility community will finally have equal access to the Rouge River from the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Rouge Beach. This will provide southern access to the Mast Trail and Glen Rouge Campground areas and other trails to the north in Rouge National Urban Park. It will improve safety in not having to cross Highway 401. Accessible washrooms at Rouge Beach will further enhance the experience, and the entire project will improve the environment by restoring fragile ecosystems.

Peter Bashaw
Member, Pickering Accessibility Advisory Committee

"...Finally our dreams are coming true!..."

I used to lead nature walks in the Rouge over 30 years ago and said back then that someday we would create a National Park in the Rouge and that someday we would create a boardwalk that would allow people to walk from the Rouge beach to the Glen Rouge Campground. It took us 30 years, but finally our dreams are coming true! The new boardwalk will be spectacular. It will be great for people and great for nature as well. The board walk will allow people access to the Rouge's beauty, but it will not allow them to go wandering all over the place and it will keep them away from the most sensitive parts of the marsh. Access for people and protection for nature at the same time. Amazing. Thank you Parks Canada!

Glenn De Baeremaeker
Member, Friends of Rouge National Urban Park.
Co-founder of the Save the Rouge System in the 1980s
Life-long Scarborough resident
One of the original proponents of the Rouge National Urban Park
Former Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto

"What an exciting project!..."

What an exciting project! Having a national park so close to our communities is a real asset. Parks Canada, in their plans for the Rouge Beach Improvements Project, has in my opinion fully considered the key components of any improvements along the Lake Ontario Waterfront and up a significant river valley with conservation as their 1st priority. The planned improvements will allow for this National Urban Park to be enjoyed as a destination for visitors as well as a significant node along the Great Lake Waterfront Trail.

Vicki Barron
Community Member

“The proposal for an elevated walkway in the river is extremely exciting to us.”

Our family has lived in West Rouge for over 20 years. The long-awaited formation of the park was a welcoming opportunity to improve and protect the Rouge River and surrounding area. We have visited other national parks and have seen what can be achieved under the stewardship of Parks Canada. Now the opportunity to experience Rouge Park and all it has to offer are there for the local community and fellow citizens in the GTHA who live within a short transit ride of the new park.

The proposal for an elevated walkway in the river is extremely exciting to us. We have experienced such walkways in other parts of Canada and welcome the opportunity to get close to Rouge Valley nature without causing damage or interfering with the natural habitat and eco-systems.

We welcome both the improvements that have already been made, the proposed Welcome Centre and the new river walkway.

Well done Parks Canada!

Martin Bugden and Tammy Browes-Bugden
Community Members

“Toronto Wildlife Centre believes the Rouge Beach Improvement Project will help to promote peaceful coexistence between people and wildlife.”

Ideally, Toronto Wildlife Centre would love to see all greenspaces untouched by development and undisturbed by people, but in the largest National Urban Park in the largest city in the country, clearly this will never be feasible – and there is great value in enabling people of all abilities, groups of schoolchildren and others to experience this beautiful area via the new boardwalk

The proposal for an elevated walkway in the river is extremely exciting to us. We have experienced such walkways in other parts of Canada and welcome the opportunity to get close to Rouge Valley nature without causing damage or interfering with the natural habitat and eco-systems.

With more and more traffic to the area, several adverse environmental consequences are arising causing harm to wild animals, their habitats, and food sources. This carefully researched project put forward by Parks Canada will deliver a net benefit to the Rouge Marsh and its wild inhabitants by mitigating the negative effects caused by the current, unregulated use of the area.

We have trust that [the] proposed changes are thoroughly curated and based in scientific findings. Toronto Wildlife Centre believes the Rouge Beach Improvement Project will help to promote peaceful coexistence between people and wildlife.

Nathalie Karvonen
Founder and Executive Director
Toronto Wildlife Centre


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