Government of Canada announces new education and visitor center for Rouge National Urban Park



Parks Canada and Toronto Zoo reach agreement to enhance visitor experiences at the Rouge while supporting the zoo’s endangered species breeding facilities

GREATER TORONTO AREA, TO, August 27, 2019 / CNW / – Nature is at the heart of who we are as Canadians. For millions of Canadians living in Greater Toronto Area, Rouge National Urban Park puts nature at your fingertips.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, and the CEO of the Toronto Zoo, Dolf DeJong, announced a historic agreement for the location of the future education and visitor center for Rouge National Urban Park. The government will also continue to support the zoo’s endangered species breeding facilities.

For today’s announcement, Minister McKenna and Mr. DeJong were joined by MPs Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough — Rouge Park) and John McKay (Scarborough — Guildwood); John tory, City of Toronto Mayor; Jennifer mckelviecity ​​councilor for Ward 25 of Toronto and member of the zoo board of directors; as well as indigenous and community partners.

The future Rouge National Urban Park Education and Visitor Center, which will be built on the land currently operated as the zoo’s overflow parking lot 4, will be a learning and orientation center where students, visitors and residents will be able to come together and experience the incredible natural, cultural, agricultural and Indigenous heritage, as well as Parks Canada places across the country.

In addition, visitors will be able to access a new five-kilometer trail and two reception areas from September 23, 2019. The new family trail, which includes lookouts and rest areas, winds through marshes, shady woodlands and agricultural fields.

“Our parks play a crucial role in shaping our national identity, protecting nature and wildlife, and fighting climate change. Rouge National Urban Park makes it easy to connect to the wilderness for the more than seven million Canadians who live in the region. With today’s announcement, it is clear that the new education and reception center will serve as a gathering place for Greater Toronto Area residents.”

Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“This year marked many incredible milestones for Rouge National Urban Park, including the filing of the park’s first master plan, a significant land transfer bringing the park to almost 95% completion, and now the location of the park lighthouse. Toronto education and reception area! I would like to thank the Toronto Zoo, the City of Toronto, the Toronto and the Region Conservation Authority, our Indigenous partners, and many other stakeholders consulted on this initiative, for making today’s announcement possible. ”

Gary Anandasangaree,
Member of Parliament for Scarborough — Rouge Park

“I want to thank the federal government for working with us to move forward with this major initiative for Rouge National Urban Park. Today’s announcement is another important milestone for the future of Rouge National Urban Park and for ongoing conservation efforts in Toronto. Zoo. This is another example of the continued cooperation between governments and our precious institutions leading to real results for our residents. ”

Toronto Mayor John tory

“The Toronto Zoo plays a vital role in connecting people and the natural world. Surrounded by Rouge National Urban Park, we look forward to the opportunities this new education and visitor center offers to engage people in our important wildlife conservation initiatives alongside important partners like Parks Canada. . The Blanding’s Turtle Breeding and Release Program is a perfect example of a successful collaboration in the conservation and protection of species found in Rouge National Urban Park. We look forward to working with Parks Canada to create a world-class conservation network in Rouge National Urban Park and build on our successes with captive breeding and release programs for endangered Canadian species. extinct and endangered, such as the Blanding’s Turtle, native to the Rouge Valley.

Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo

Fast facts

  • Covering an area of ​​nearly 80 km2, Rouge National Urban Park is the largest urban park in the North America.
  • Rouge National Urban Park is within an hour’s drive of a 20 percent from Canada population and accessible by public transit, providing Canadians with unprecedented opportunities to connect with nature.
  • The location of the new visitor and education center is well connected to public transit, trails and currently houses temporary Parks Canada facilities for visitors.
  • Since 2014, the zoo and Parks Canada have released more than 200 endangered Blanding’s Turtles in Rouge National Urban Park. Prior to this program, it is believed that only seven Blanding’s Turtles remained in the RNUP. This highly successful partnership to breed and release turtles will continue until 2022.
  • Rouge National Urban Park, now almost 95% complete thanks to a land transfer from TRCA earlier this year, is within a 20% hour drive of from Canada population and accessible by public transit, providing unprecedented opportunities for Canadians, including many young and newcomers, to experience and connect with nature.

Related document
Backgrounder – Rouge National Urban Park Milestones

Related links

SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: Contacts: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Parks Canada, Rouge National Urban Park, 647-271-8189, [email protected]; Katie Gray, Toronto Zoo, 416-392-5941, [email protected]; Sabrina Kim, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9413, [email protected]; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, [email protected]

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