History of the Park

It took decades for the valley to evolve and became National Urban Park. It all started back in 1975 when a group of local citizens, who were concerned about environmental protection, formed the organization called Save the Rouge Valley System. They were concern about the bad impact on nature by the Beare Road Landfill and other projects. SRVS promoted conservation against development projects in the region, and the face of the organization was Lois James, an American born homemaker who moved to Scarborough a decade before the organization was founded. His work on defending the nature of the Rouge Park made him a Member of the Order of Canada.

The next major event and notable year in Park’s history were 1988 when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney approved funds for conservation efforts. Two years later plans for the Park to become protected area were announced. In 1994, the Rouge Park Management Plan was released under NDP premier Bob Rae, and Park was open under the management of the Rouge Park Alliance that was formed by all levels of government and members of the SRVS.

In 2011 it was announced that the next step for the Park is to evolve into the first National Urban Park in Canada. Parks Canada created a new category for protected, nationally significant lands and waters by giving that title to the Rouge Park. The act came to force on May 15, 2015, and Rouge National Urban Park became an ecological top priority and under the demand for the strongest environmental protection.

There is a constant effort for the investment in the Park, and it was promised more than 140 million dollars over the next 10 years and an additional 7.5 million annually. Park is constantly renovated, and further expansions are planned. We are looking forward to seeing what the future of the Park will be, and we are especially looking forward to enjoy, and preserve such a hidden treasure for future generations.