rouge national urban park

This Toronto park is home to the first of what will soon be two billion trees

Toronto, already dubbed a "city within a park," is about to get a whole lot greener.

Rouge National Urban Park, the largest urban park in North America known for its offerings of trails through Carolinian forest, is getting 26,000 new trees this spring. 

The planting of these trees come as part of a wetland and riparian restoration project with Forests Ontario, Parks Canada, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) – and will be the first of many. 

There are plans for two billion more across Canada over the next decade with the 2 Billion Trees program that was announced back in 2019 amid plenty of climate protests throughout the country.

rouge national urban park

The planting of 26,000 trees started in April at Rouge National Urban Park. Photo courtesy of Forests Ontario. 

Forests Ontario is also planting an eight-kilometre-long windbreak along a section of the park's trail network through their 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP), which is aiming to bring another 2.8 million trees to the province.

These trees will do all kinds of good things like enrich the soil and restore the riverbanks and wetlands of the park that's known for its natural beauty. They'll also help to improve the biodiversity of the wildlife in the area. 

Most of the new trees are being hand planted, including 16,000 white cedars, while 5,000 seedlings will be put in the ground mechanically. Other trees will include white pine and white spruce.

TRCA began planting at Rouge Park in early April and plans to continue into June. Tree planting has been continuing despite COVID, with a few precautions in place, after being deemed an essential service last year due to the perishable tree seedlings make it a time-sensitive business.

Throughout the GTA, including Halton, Peel, York and Durham regions, there have been more than 195,000 trees planted already this spring across over 70 sites through the 50 MTP. 

This is in addition to the 120,000 trees already planted every year by the City's Urban Forestry unit.

Lead photo by

Forests Ontario

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