Nature is central to our identity as Canadians. For millions of Canadians living in the Greater Toronto Area, Rouge National Urban Park puts nature within easy reach, which has been more important than ever throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced the launch of the public engagement phase on concepts for Rouge National Urban Park’s visitor, learning and community centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada.
Located across the street from the Toronto Zoo, on the east side of Meadowvale Road, the centre will serve as an orientation and learning hub where visitors and residents can gather and learn about the park’s incredible natural, cultural, agricultural and Indigenous heritage, as well as about Parks Canada administered places across the country, through integrated interpretive installations and design. It will welcome park visitors, volunteers, youth groups and community members and anchor Parks Canada’s presence in Canada’s largest metropolitan area.
The draft conceptual designs for the centre feature an aesthetically and environmentally progressive, universally accessible building with visitor amenities that include indoor and outdoor multi-purpose gathering spaces, and a viewing platform.
These designs are the result of significant collaboration with Indigenous partners, park farmers and community leaders who helped protect the Rouge Valley from development and make the area into a national park. Between February and July 2021, Parks Canada engaged with these partners to gather ideas and stories to shape the form and content of the centre’s conceptual designs for public engagement.
Parks Canada would like to hear people’s opinions and ideas regarding three design concepts for the centre, which will be available for viewing online. Each design concept has a building and site plan with architectural, landscaping, and interpretive components for consideration.