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Studying effects of development adjacent to the Rouge National Urban Park

At nearly 80 km2 in size, Rouge National Urban Park is the largest urban park in Canada and one of the best-protected urban parks in the world. Its connection to the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve provides a seamless protected landscape from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine in the most populated area of Canada. Rouge National Urban Park protects natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes, which include large tracts of Class-1 farmland, the rarest and most fertile soil in Canada.

Minister of Environment Steve Guilbeault has announced the launch of a study on the potential effects of development projects adjacent to the Park. The minister requested that the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada conduct the study in collaboration with Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“Our government is extremely proud of creating Rouge National Urban Park, as a key piece of our work to protect nature, build healthy communities, and make sure people in Canada’s largest urban centre have access to an ecologically healthy green space,” Guilbeault said. “The participation of the public and Indigenous communities in this study is crucial and most welcome.”

The objectives of the study are to understand the potential effects, including cumulative effects, of past, ongoing, and potential future development on the integrity of the Park and on the Park’s management objectives. This includes protecting biodiversity, natural resources, and natural processes; ecological connectivity throughout the Park and with adjacent natural areas; maintaining important working relationships with Indigenous communities; and supporting a vibrant park farming community.

The study will involve working with Indigenous groups and interested parties to collect data. The information will be accessible to the public and there will be opportunities for the public and Indigenous communities to provide feedback.

Over the next three months, the agency will work with Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to determine and draft the terms and scope for how this study will be undertaken. The proposed approach will be provided to the minister by the end of June 2023 with the goal to complete the study as soon as possible.

 

Photo: Minister of Environment Steve Guilbeault has announced the launch of a study on the potential effects of development projects adjacent to the Park. (Rebecca Simkin photo)

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