TORONTO, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - 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
The commitment by the provincial government build's 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
For additional information on today's announcement, please see the
accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room or visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/rouge.
Federal - Provincial Commitment Respecting the Establishment
of the future Rouge National Urban Park
The Government of Canada announced, as part of Budget 2012, the creation
of Rouge National Urban Park and committed $143.7M over ten years for
park development and interim operations, and $7.6 million annually
thereafter for continuing operations.
Following this federal commitment, Parks Canada initiated a robust and
inclusive planning process for the future Rouge National Urban Park.
Working with more than 100 organizations, including provincial,
municipal, Aboriginal and community stakeholders, the guiding
principles and approach for the national urban park were established.
Parks Canada then publicly presented a high level concept through a
broad public engagement program over the summer and fall of 2012.
Thousands of comments from Canadians were received, with respondents
expressing a passionate interest in and support for the establishment
of Rouge National Urban Park.
The study area identified in the Rouge National Urban Park concept was
included in the proposal set out in the Rouge Park Alliance governance
report and was confirmed through collaboration between Parks Canada and
public landholders including: the Government of Canada; the Government
of Ontario; the City of Toronto; the City of Pickering; the City of
Markham; the Regional Municipalities of York and Durham; and the
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The collective lands being
assembled for the future national urban park will significantly
increase the size of the current Rouge Park, making it more than 13
times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver.
Appreciating the unique social, economic and environmental opportunity
that will help transform a key area of the Greater Toronto Area, both
Transport Canada and the Ontario government have now officially
confirmed their respective intentions to transfer lands to Parks
Canada. These vital steps formalize the federal and provincial
commitments to the future Rouge National Urban Park and outline the
processes to complete the transfer of these lands to Parks Canada at
nominal value. The final description of the parcels of land to be
transferred will be agreed to after the required due diligence is
complete. This work will begin immediately.
Transport Canada will transfer approximately 5,000 acres to Parks
Canada, illustrating the Government of Canada's desire to protect and
responsibly manage these lands. Representing the northern part of the
Rouge National Urban Park Study Area and much of the region's
agricultural base, the addition of these lands will fulfill the vision
for a contiguous network of natural lands and open space in the Rouge
Valley from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Through the Ontario government's foresight and leadership, and at
significant expense, 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. The Government of Canada
recognizes Ontario's work in protecting green space and agricultural
lands in the existing Rouge Park and will continue to work with the
province in the development of federal policies and plans in respect to
the creation, management and administration of the national urban park.
The Ontario government intends to transfer an estimated 1,600 acres of
land to Parks Canada as well as relinquish reversionary rights to
approximately 3,700 acres of additional lands that were originally
purchased by Ontario and subsequently transferred to the Toronto and
Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
Parks Canada can now work towards finalizing the land assembly agreement
with the TRCA and municipal and regional landholders, while focusing on
the next steps in the establishment process, including the development
of the first strategic management plan for Rouge National Urban Park.
Throughout this establishment process, the TRCA continues to be the
managing authority for the current Rouge Park. The TRCA keeps Parks
Canada abreast of all park discussions and activities, and regularly
seeks input from the Agency to ensure decisions during this transition
period are made in the best interests of the future national urban
The opportunity to establish Rouge National Urban Park under the
stewardship of Parks Canada, builds on the legacy of the agency as
international leader in conservation, visitor experience and education.
It is also well aligned with the agency's priority to meaningfully
reach Canada's youth and our country's increasingly diverse urban
population. Parks Canada is excited to have the opportunity to
establish Rouge National Urban Park as a place where nature, culture
and agriculture can all be protected, appreciated, experienced and
supported by Canadians.
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/11/20130611_C7134_DOC_EN_27860.pdf
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information:
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment
and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and
Minister of Transportation for Ontario