It will soon be a little easier for visitors to access and learn more about Rouge National Urban Park.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has announced that her government will build a new education and visitor center for the sprawling park on land just off Meadowvale Road which currently houses an overflow parking lot for the zoo from Toronto.
The facility should be operational in three years.
âMany thanks to the Toronto Zoo and the TRCA (Toronto Region Conservation Authority) for transferring this land so that we can build a visitor center that educates Canadians, young and old, about the beauty of this park. McKenna said. âThis park is by public transit and is less than an hour away from seven million Ontarians. It’s amazing because some of our parks are very far away. This park provides a gateway for people to get a taste of nature, get out of their homes, get away from their phones, and just enjoy what is so beautiful.
Rouge National Urban Park covers an area of ââ80 square kilometers and includes parts of Toronto, Markham, Pickering and the Township of Uxbridge.
McKenna said the park is an “extraordinary and incredible place” that is home to 1,700 species of plants and animals, 23 of which are currently considered endangered. Nonetheless, she said it hasn’t always been as well-known as it probably should be.
âI’m from Hamilton and didn’t really know the Rouge, but I think we now have the opportunity, thanks to today’s announcement, to really let people know how they can get there. She said. “I really hope people come because it’s only by logging on and seeing the parks that you realize how much we need to take care of nature.”
Rouge National Urban Park was established in 2015; However, it was not until June of this year that the Toronto Region Conservation Authority transferred to Parks Canada the 1,847 hectares of land that formed a large part of Rouge d ‘Park. origin.
Speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s announcement, Mayor John Tory said he hoped the creation of a visitor center will bring more Torontonians to visit the National Urban Park.
“It’s still a relatively new thing, the park is coming together, and I think if you asked a lot of Torontonians they would know, but they would probably say how to get you there?” Where is the entrance? Where can I go by public transport or elsewhere by bike or car? This reception center, this education center, will provide a focal point for that, âhe said.