Rouge National Urban Park Milestones
The creation of Rouge National Urban Park is the culmination of more than 30 years of hard work and efforts by community leaders and organizations to protect this land in perpetuity.
· June 2011 – The Government of Canada commits to establishing Canada’s first national urban park.
· May 2012 – Parks Canada and its provincial and municipal partners identify proposed park boundaries.
· June 2014 – Parks Canada, the Toronto Zoo and partners begin an annual reintroduction of baby Blanding’s turtles in the Rouge. This provincially and nationally threatened species has inhabited the Rouge for thousands of years. To date, Parks Canada and the Zoo have reintroduced 165 juvenile Blanding’s turtles into Rouge National Urban Park in an effort to save the species.
· December 2014 – Parks Canada signs a land assembly agreement for Rouge National Urban Park with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the cities of Toronto, Markham and Pickering, and the municipalities of York and Durham.
· April 2015 – The Government of Canada announces the transfer of 19.1 km2 of Transport Canada lands to Parks Canada – the very first lands for Rouge National Urban Park.
· May 15, 2015 – The national urban park is officially established when the Rouge National Urban Park Act comes into force.
· July 2015 – The Government of Canada announces it will contribute additional Transport Canada lands to Rouge National Urban Park.
· August 22, 2015 – Parks Canada hosts its inaugural Taste of the Trail agricultural heritage celebration event in Rouge National Urban Park. This popular annual event highlights the national urban park’s rich natural, cultural, and agricultural heritage through food, education and family-friendly activities.
· April 2017 – Transport Canada transfers an additional 21 km2 of lands to Parks Canada for Rouge National Urban Park. Parks Canada now manages more than half of the lands committed for Rouge National Urban Park.
· June 2017 – Amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act receive Royal Assent. These amendments legislate the Government of Canada to protect the Rouge’s natural, cultural, and agricultural heritage; to make ecological integrity the first priority when managing the park; to provide greater certainty for farmers; to promote a vibrant farming community; and to facilitate engaging experiences for visitors.
· June 24, 2017 – Rouge National Urban Park hosts BioBlitz Canada 150 in the GTA, one of several Signature events taking place across the country to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The event is presented in partnership with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Royal Ontario Museum, Parks Canada, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation, and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph.
· October 21, 2017 - The Province of Ontario transfers and releases its interest in 22.8 km2 of lands to Parks Canada for inclusion in Rouge National Urban Park.
· May 4, 2018 – The City of Pickering transfers 10 parcels of land totalling 8.22 hectares (20.3 acres) to Parks Canada for Rouge National Urban Park.
· September 29, 2018 – Parks Canada and the Rouge National Urban Park First Nations Advisory Circle host the inaugural Earth Run in the Rouge trail race, which includes an Indigenous Arts Celebration featuring Indigenous art, cultural performances and more.
· November 1, 2018 – The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority transfers more than 190 hectares (470 acres) of land in Bob Hunter Memorial Park to Parks Canada to help complete Rouge National Urban Park.
· January 16, 2019 – Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan is tabled in Parliament. Since 2011, Parks Canada has engaged more than 20,000 Canadians and has worked closely with Indigenous peoples, all levels of government, community and conservation groups, park farmers, residents, volunteers, and many others to establish the park and complete its first management plan.
· June 15, 2019 – The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority transfers 18.5 km2 to Parks Canada, including the majority of the original regional Rouge Park, to become part of Rouge National Urban Park.
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