Rouge National Urban Park Taking Shape with Strong Commitments from Governments of Canada and Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, June 11, 2013 –– The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, announced Canada’s first national urban park took a giant leap forward following the provincial government’s commitment to transfer lands to the Government of Canada towards the creation of Rouge National Urban Park.
“The Ontario government is proud to contribute lands to create Rouge National Urban Park for families across Canada and visitors to enjoy for years to come,” said Minister Murray. “This is about working together to create a national urban park while also protecting valuable green space.”
The commitment by the provincial government builds on today’s announcement by Transport Canada to transfer nearly 5,000 acres to Parks Canada towards the creation of Rouge National Urban Park. This will fulfill the dream of the Rouge Park Alliance to create a park from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.
“As announced in the 2011 Speech from the Throne and Economic Action Plan 2012, our Government is working with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal and community partners towards the creation of a national urban park in the Rouge Valley,” said Minister Peter Kent. “With this federal and provincial commitment for these lands, we are not one, but two, steps closer to creating a truly ‘Canadian first’ with Rouge National Urban Park; a place where nature, culture and agriculture can be protected, appreciated, experienced and supported.”
Through efforts made by the Government of Ontario, approximately two thirds of the existing land area for the proposed Rouge National Urban Park has been brought into public ownership over the past few decades. In total, the Government of Ontario intends to contribute more than 5,300 acres toward the park. This includes transferring more than 1,600 acres to the Government of Canada and relinquishing reversionary rights to approximately 3,700 acres originally purchased by the province and currently managed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
The new park will be more than 13 times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver. Rouge National Urban Park will be created, managed and administered in a way to ensure protection of the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage, while at the same time offering a park for the people in Canada’s largest city to have outstanding experiences for generations to come. Rouge National Urban Park will also provide Parks Canada the opportunity to better engage with residents in the GTA and help build more meaningful connections to Canada’s network of parks and iconic landscapes.