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Beach & Boardwalk Project

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Draft conceptual renderings offer us a glimpse of a reimagined Rouge Beach and Wetland area where careful planning, enhanced visitor services and park presence,  addressing rising water levels and eroding shoreline and wetland restoration and ecological health gains will ensure the long term protection and enjoyment of this cherished location.

This project features a revitalization of the Beach Day Use Area, one of the most visited areas in Rouge National Urban Park; a new signature trail that will provide an in-park connection from Rouge Beach to the existing Mast trail; and a revitalization of the existing Mast Trailhead, which will be the northern limit of this new signature trail. This project will enhance and further protect the natural and cultural integrity of the area and foster meaningful connections to its beauty and rich history.

We want to hear from you! During the engagement phase of this project, our team will use a variety of tools and techniques to ensure you have the opportunity to provide your feedback, even with COVID 19 physical distancing measures in place. Engagement for this project will rely heavily on web and social media platforms. We all look forward to when we can make more in person connections but for now, , we'll make sure we receive all your input, whether online or over the phone.

Please click on the "Newsfeed" tool below for more information on this project, key milestones, and updates. Click on the Ideas, Stories, and Survey tools to share your comments, concerns and great ideas!

Visit often! We look forward to hearing from you!




This project features a revitalization of the Beach Day Use Area, one of the most visited areas in Rouge National Urban Park; a new signature trail that will provide an in-park connection from Rouge Beach to the existing Mast trail; and a revitalization of the existing Mast Trailhead, which will be the northern limit of this new signature trail. This project will enhance and further protect the natural and cultural integrity of the area and foster meaningful connections to its beauty and rich history.

We want to hear from you! During the engagement phase of this project, our team will use a variety of tools and techniques to ensure you have the opportunity to provide your feedback, even with COVID 19 physical distancing measures in place. Engagement for this project will rely heavily on web and social media platforms. We all look forward to when we can make more in person connections but for now, , we'll make sure we receive all your input, whether online or over the phone.

Please click on the "Newsfeed" tool below for more information on this project, key milestones, and updates. Click on the Ideas, Stories, and Survey tools to share your comments, concerns and great ideas!

Visit often! We look forward to hearing from you!




  • Below we've included maps showing the three route options from the Mast Trailhead to the Rouge Beach.  Each trail presents opportunities and challenges and can be weighed against values and consideration including the visitor experience, ecological health, logistics and engineering, and the impact on the surrounding communities.  Due to limitations of this platform, opening the images in a separate application or enlarging the images is not possible.  We recommend you save the image on your own computing device by right  clicking on the image and selecting "save picture as", then you can enlarge to view the details and photos with greater clarity.  We apologize for the inconvenience. 

    Route 1 - West Bank

    All three routes begin at the Glen Rouge Campground parking lot. The area is maintained, with occasional views to the Rouge River through shrubs at the trail’s edge. Visitors will begin the route by crossing under Kingston Road along a 3m wide on-grade asphalt trail, rounding a slight embankment, then crossing under Highway 401. The “roof” of the 401 feels enclosed, but views to the Rouge River open up to the east and there is an opportunity to design the area to be more welcoming through public art or other physical features.  

    Beyond Highway 401, the trail turns southwards into the woodlot along the west bank of the Rouge River and transitions into a 3m wide, 500mm high raised boardwalk built on helical piles. Mature canopy reaches overhead and the trail becomes quieter as one moves away from Highway 401 and towards the river. The first proposed bridge crosses at the river straightaway and leads to another raised boardwalk through Moist Lowland Deciduous Forest . The trail crosses the Rouge River again at the second proposed bridge to connect with the west bank.  

    In this location, Route 1 veers slightly east to follow the pattern of the Rouge River. Depending on soil stability, the boardwalk will meander towards and away from the Rouge River to afford views up and down the river. A lookout is proposed approximately halfway along the route, across from the existing chimney ruins.  The trail continues along the west bank of the river, with views of the river to the east and opportunities for wildlife viewing in the shallow aquatic and deciduous forest habitats to the west. A second lookout is proposed at the apex of the river’s meander belt.   

    From here, the boardwalk widens to 4 metres to accommodate a higher number of visitors who may only want to travel from the beach parking lot to the second lookout and back. Not only does the surface widen but the canopy recedes, and the view opens up as the boardwalk makes its way along the spit through the Rouge River mouth marsh. Softly swaying cattails and other aquatic species frame the river and guide the visitor towards the final bridge, which connects to the Rouge Beach parking lot.

    Route 2 - West Bank Crossing to East Bank

    This alternative follows the same route as Alternative 1 up to the third proposed bridge along the route.  

    Just before the meander belt, the route crosses the Rouge River to the east bank. The slopes on the east bank in this location are very steep, allowing for open views on one side of the trail only. As the trail moves southwards it follows the narrow spit along the east bank of the Rouge River channel. Much like mouth marsh area described in Route Alternative 1 above, views open up along the spit and waterways are visible on both sides of the trail. At the end of the spit, a proposed floating boardwalk takes users across the inlet. The experience of being on the floating boardwalk and close to the water level provides an opportunity for viewing aquatic species.

    At the southern end of the floating boardwalk, the route must follow a steep slope up to the existing pedestrian bridge and a set of stairs will likely be required. This reduces the inclusivity of the route and could be a deterrent to cyclists.

    Route 3 - West Boundary

    This alternative follows the same route as Alternative 1 up to the southern end of the second bridge. Then the trail veers westwards up a gentle slope through mature woodland. The route flattens as it follows the toe of the slope and the visitor is surrounded by towering trees and the sounds of wildlife. As the trail rounds a bend in the slope, a view of the shallow marsh ecosystem below opens up. A lookout is proposed at this location. 

    Following the lookout, the trail must descend a steep slope to follow the bluffs that border the western property boundary. Views along the west are blocked by the steep slope, however views to the east are open and provide a generous view of the shallow marsh area. At the tip of the bluff, where the shallow marsh narrows, a proposed floating boardwalk takes visitors across to the narrow spit along the west bank of the Rouge River. The experience of being on the floating boardwalk and close to the water level provides an opportunity for viewing aquatic species and recreational kayakers and paddle boarders. 

    Beyond the floating boardwalk crossing, the route follows the same layout as Route Alternative 1 along the marshy spit, crossing a final bridge to connect with the beach parking lot.

    Please review the maps carefully and provide your comments to the following questions.  We will integrate your feedback into our final routing decision. 


    Please Provide your comments
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  • A number of parking options are being considered currently to address multiple issues ranging from access and capacity to flood mitigation and ecological impacts.

    The following images highlight a few of these considerations with some context.  

    Please review these photos and possible parking solutions.  We welcome your thoughts and ideas to help us arrive at the best parking solutions.

    Mast Trailhead

    Key Considerations:

    • Increasing parking from 50 to 72 spaces to off set parking congestion at the Rouge Beach and accommodate the connected trail experience

    Rouge Beach Lower Parking Area

    This re-imagined conceptualization of the lower parking lot includes a raised "plaza" and day use area. This proposal very much depends on creating new and expanded parking to offset any potential removal of spaces in the lower lot. Parks Canada has entered into discussions with our partners including the City of Toronto to find solutions and we welcome any feedback and comments you have on this issue.

    Key Considerations:

    • Removal of the lower parking area away from flood zone and create a raised pedestrian and day use area (plaza) along the marsh
    • Maintain accessible parking at lower parking area including staff and emergency vehicle access and drop off zone
    • Expand upper parking lot



    Please provide your commments
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  • Take Survey
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