Parks Canada announces Advisory Committee for Rouge National Urban Park.

August 6, 2021                              Toronto, ON                          Parks Canada Agency

Urban parks help protect biodiversity, support climate resilience, connect people to nature, improve mental health and wellness, and increase social inclusion. Located within a one hour’s drive of 20 per cent of Canada’s population and accessible by public transit, Rouge National Urban Park provides unprecedented opportunities for Canadians to connect with nature.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the members of the Minister’s Multi-Stakeholder and Public Advisory Committee for Rouge National Urban Park.

The Advisory Committee is established to provide recommendations, knowledge, guidance and wisdom to the Minister regarding the responsible management of the park and the implementation of its Management Plan. The committee also provides a forum for ongoing collaboration and strong relationships between Parks Canada and Indigenous and other partners, local governments and jurisdictions, and the public.

The Advisory Committee includes members from the Rouge National Urban Park First Nations Advisory Circle, the City of Toronto, the City of Markham, the City of Pickering, the Regional Municipality of York, the Regional Municipality of Durham, the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, the Township of Uxbridge, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and the Province of Ontario.

The Committee’s six public members have been confirmed as: Dr. Marc Cadotte, Kim Empringham, Sumaira Munir, Larry Noonan, Janet Sumner (chair), and Mark Yearwood. Each member will serve a four-year term and represents a plurality of communities, interests and knowledge areas including park ecology and restoration, species at risk, Indigenous perspectives, agricultural heritage, nature-based education, volunteerism, conservation, cultural heritage, and diversity and equity.


“Today’s announcement signals that public engagement and collaboration continue to be key elements in shaping the future direction of Rouge National Urban Park. The breadth and diversity of the knowledge, experience and interests demonstrated by the park’s newly chosen Advisory Committee will ensure that the Rouge becomes a model for how urban parks can be essential places for conservation, recreation, learning and our mental and physical wellbeing.”

-Jonathan Wilkinson,

Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada

“Rouge National Urban Park was created by an inspirational citizen’s movement resulting in the first park of its kind in Canada. I am excited that an exceptionally talented group of people have stepped forward and been appointed to the Advisory Board. As Chair, we will benefit from Janet Sumner’s visionary leadership and strident determination to protect nature and connect it to all Canadians. As Parks Canada embarks on developing a series of urban national parks, the Rouge will serve as the model and standard bearer for urban park management and it will do so with an extraordinary group of Canadians we have appointed to the Advisory Committee today.”

Gary Anandasangaree,

Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

At nearly 80 km2 in size, Rouge National Urban Park is among the largest urban parks in the world and Canada’s first urban national park.

A rich assembly of natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes, Rouge National Urban Park is home to nearly 2,000 species of plants and animals, some of the last remaining working farms in the Greater Toronto Area, and human history dating back over 10,000 years, including some of Canada’s oldest known Indigenous sites.

To ensure more Canadians have access to nature in urban areas, Budget 2021 included an investment of $130.9 million to establish a network of national urban parks. Earlier this week, the Government announced that it has signed statements of collaboration with the Meewasin Valley Authority (SK), the municipalities of Winnipeg (MB), Halifax (NS) and Windsor (ON), and that it is working with others to identify potential urban park sites at various locations, including the greater Edmonton area (AB), Colwood (BC) and Montreal (QC).

Joanna Sivasankaran

Press Secretary   

Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change


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