City of Pickering transfers land to Parks Canada for Rouge National Urban Park

News release

Latest milestone in the completion of Canada’s first national urban park


May 4, 2018                             Pickering, Ontario                     Parks Canada Agency

Rouge National Urban Park – a first of its kind in Canada – continues to grow. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna and Dave Ryan, Mayor of the City of Pickering, announced that the City of Pickering has transferred 10 parcels of land totaling 8.22 hectares (20.3 acres) to Parks Canada to help complete Rouge National Urban Park.

The lands being transferred today were initially committed to Parks Canada in 2014 by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and area municipalities, including the City of Pickering.

Rouge National Urban Park protects nature, culture, and agriculture in an integrated way, and stretches from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine across the cities of Toronto, Markham, and Pickering and the Township of Uxbridge.

In 2017, the Government of Canada passed amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act to prioritize ecological integrity in the management of the park, while also providing long-term certainty for park farmers. These amendments ensure the park will have the strongest ecological protections, while affirming the role of park farmers, so they can continue carrying out their important agricultural activities.

Quotes

“Our Government is committed to protecting the important ecosystems and heritage of Rouge National Urban Park. And today, we are extremely pleased that the City of Pickering is transferring lands to help make the Rouge one of the world's largest protected areas in an urban setting.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada

“Today, we are one step closer to the dream of a complete Rouge National Urban Park. I applaud the City of Pickering for transferring this valuable land to the national urban park. Located within a one hour’s drive of 20 per cent of Canada’s population, the Rouge provides unprecedented opportunities to experience nature and connect with our rich cultural and agricultural heritage. I invite Canadians to visit our country’s first national urban park this summer.”


Jennifer O'Connell
Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge 

“The City of Pickering is both proud and privileged to help strengthen and grow Rouge National Urban Park, one of our nation’s most valued natural assets. By helping to protect its vibrant ecosystem and pristine spaces, we are connecting visitors and users to a wealth of natural, agricultural and cultural opportunities.”


Dave Ryan
Mayor, City of Pickering

Quick facts

  • Once completed, Rouge National Urban Park will span an area 79 km2 in size, making it one of the world's largest protected areas in an urban setting – 19 times larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and 23 times bigger than New York’s Central Park.

  • Parks Canada now directly manages or has an interest in more than 80% of the lands identified for Rouge National Urban Park by all levels of government.

  • Within one hour’s drive of seven million people, Rouge National Urban Park provides unprecedented opportunities to experience nature and connect with Canada’s rich cultural and agricultural heritage.

  • Rouge National Urban Park is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, over 10,000 years of human history and cultural heritage, and some of the rarest and most fertile farmland in Canada.

  • Parks Canada is planning to expand the park’s trail network and link up with trails outside the park located in the cities of Toronto, Markham and Pickering, and in the Township of Uxbridge.

Associated links

Contacts

Caroline Thériault
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-938-3813
caroline.theriault2@canada.ca


Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca


Shauna Muir
Coordinator, Corporate Communications and Community Engagement
City of Pickering
905-420-4660 ext. 2134
smuir@pickering.ca


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