TORONTO, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ - 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.
Canadians are encouraged to provide feedback online, by email and at upcoming public engagement sessions. The deadline to provide comments is September 24, 2021. Further details are available on the Parks Canada website at: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/Rouge-WelcomeCentre.
"The vision for the Rouge National Urban Park's visitor, learning and community centre is to create a go-to community hub that celebrates and showcases this protected place. By collaborating with partners and surrounding communities to bring this vision to light, Parks Canada will help visitors discover and connect with nature and history, all within the boundaries of Canada's largest urban centre. Entry into the facility will not only be the first step towards exploring Rouge National Urban Park, but also to discovering Parks Canada administered places across the country."
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada
"Public engagement will be key to ensuring that Canadians, including diverse local residents and members of the Greater Toronto Area, influence what will be one of the most significant destinations in Rouge National Urban Park – the park's flagship visitor, learning and community centre. The centre will become an iconic destination in the eastern Greater Toronto Area and will provide a launching pad for youth and local communities to learn about Rouge National Urban Park."
- 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
Rouge National Urban Park is within a one hour's drive of 20 per cent of Canada's population and accessible by public transit, providing unprecedented opportunities for Canadians to connect with nature.
Parks Canada is working with a range of partners and stakeholders on design elements, including the 10 nations that comprise the Rouge National Urban Park First Nations Advisory Circle.
Engineering, architectural and landscape design draft concepts were created by Toronto-based architecture firm Moriyama & Teshima Architects, in partnership with Six Nations of the Grand River-based Two Row Architect and Toronto-based Ian Gray Studio. Visitor experience and exhibit design concepts, and future fabrication and installation, will be performed by Montreal-based firms cadabra and Daily tous les jours.
SOURCE Parks Canada
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