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 includes large tracts of Class-1 farmland, the rarest and most fertile soil in Canada.
Today, the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 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.
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 a goal to complete the study as soon as possible.