How to enjoy Rouge National Park in Toronto safely and with respect

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Labor Day weekend could get busy at Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough, and Parks Canada asks guests to treat the natural environment and each other with respect.

The park is located near the Toronto Zoo and stretches all the way to Lake Ontario. It contains hiking opportunities, Toronto’s only campsite, and waterfront areas for paddling and fishing.

The beach is very peaceful and Parc Canada reminds visitors that alcohol is prohibited, as are barbecues, fireworks or bonfires.

Swimming in the water is also strongly discouraged at this time as the water quality is poor near the river outlet. Storms can also occasionally cause reverse currents, and there are no lifeguards on duty at this time.

“Parks Canada and the City of Toronto are working together to restore a supervised swimming program,” Parks Canada said in a statement, but it’s not ready yet.

Boating and fishing might be better activities on the water at Rouge Park, and Parks Canada has provided a map of where each is allowed.

Red card

Parking during peak hours can be difficult in the park, and rangers remind people to park only in designated areas. Car pooling or public transport are also encouraged.

The parking barriers close at 9 p.m. every day, and anyone who leaves their car inside the car park will have to wait until 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. the next day to pick it up.

Forest rangers also ask customers to throw their waste in the bins provided to reduce waste.

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