From real estate listings to spas, the term “oasis in the city” has been used (and overused) to sell based on tranquility. When it comes to Rouge National Urban Park, however, the term doesn’t even begin to do the land justice.
We’re talking one of the largest, most protected parks in the world (22 times the size of Central Park!), with 79 square kilometre acres of wetlands, working farms, beaches and woods just made for hiking. All those wonderful, natural components supply fresh forest air that you simply can’t replicate. The park also provides a home to wildlife (and although the zoo is right across the way, those aren’t the animals we mean).
In honour of the big 1-5-0 for Canada this year, the park is playing host to a bunch of great events that also happen to be free. On the Canada Day weekend (July 1-3), there will be six Canada 150 stations throughout the park, from beachfront to the Welcome Area, featuring Canadian-style trivia and a ton of self-guided and drop-in activities. You might find us hunting for Parka, the park’s mighty mascot, winning prizes for discovering new bugs and animals, and joining in a rousing chorus of O Canada.
We can also snag our free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass for free admission to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas for all of 2017 – bonus!
Later in the month the park continues to celebrate with a series of free “Learn to Camp” workshops, complete with instruction on campfire cooking, pitching a tent, and starting a fire. There are also Butterfly Day, Moth Night, Parks Day and National Historic Sites Day – what a great way to fill the summer.
Rouge National Urban Park is a national treasure, and we’re lucky enough to have it situated right in or backyard. This summer we’re not going to be escaping the city – we’ll be escaping within the city – with glowing hearts, of course.
1749 Meadowvale Rd
Being such a large park, the Rouge has many points of entry. From central Toronto use highway 401. Toronto public transit and Go trains also access the park. It’s also possible to cycle to the Rouge.