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Discover the Rouge River Watershed at Rouge Days

Jun 01, 2011

Media Advisory

From June 8 - June 11 the GTA will celebrate Rouge Days, four days of free events on the Rouge River Watershed that celebrates the cultural, recreational, and natural heritage in the Rouge Watershed. Free events are held in various communities across the Rouge River Watershed in Markham, Toronto, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Unionville and Pickering.

There's something for everyone from a Kick-off Celebration, story-telling, exploring a wetland, a historical tour, workshops, hikes, walks, tree planting and a Canadian Camping 101 Experience!

Although the Rouge Watershed is still the healthiest of the six Toronto Region watersheds, it is showing many signs of stress due to past land use practices and ongoing population growth. Rouge Days brings the community out to connect and discover the local treasures right in their own backyards and to get people involved in protecting, enhancing and celebrating where they live, work and play.

Rouge Days is organized by Toronto and Region Conservation, Rouge Park and the municipalities that reside in the watershed including, City of Toronto, Town of Markham, Town of Richmond Hill, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, and the City of Pickering.

WHAT: Rouge Days

WHEN: June 8 - June 11, 2011

WHERE: Various locations

EVENTS: for complete event listing information at all locations please visit

 Markham Rouge Days Events:

Rouge Days Kick-Off: with local foods and wine
Wednesday, June 8, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. @ Markham Museum

(9350 Markham Road, Markham)

Explore the sustainability exhibits in Markham Museum's new LEED® certified building; tour the gardens, take home a native plant and enjoy local foods and wine. Be inspired by the displays and meet the people behind the diverse environmental efforts working within the Rouge Watershed. 

Peek into the rich heritage of the Rouge River through artifacts left behind by past inhabitants. An archaeologist will display artifacts representing the first people to inhabit these lands; from First Nations people and their cyclical travels up and down the watershed over thousands of years, to the mystery of an unknown potter that threw his pots (literally) at Bruce's Mills in the early 19th century.

The event is open to the general public, aged 19 and over. To register call the Markham contact centre at 905-477-5530.

Pranks, Tricks and Entertainment of Yesteryear
Thursday, June 9, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Mennonite Church

(7452 Reesor Road, Markham)

You'll laugh! You'll be amazed!  What's a horse fiddle you say? Experience what mischief people within the Rouge watershed did for entertainment in years gone by, through story telling and more.   The members of the Rouge Valley Mennonite Church invite you to attend a luncheon with storyteller George Reesor on the "Pranks, Tricks and Entertainment of Yesteryear".

To register call Pat Binks at 905-294-6242.

Markham Historical Tour of the Cedar Grove Community
Thursday, June 9, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Mennonite Church

(7452 Reesor Road, Markham)

Take a step back in time - hear the stories behind the places you drive by every day, and discover hidden nooks teeming with history.  Join us on a historical driving tour hosted by Markham Historian, Lorne Smith, and George Duncan, Senior Heritage Planner from the Town of Markham.  Meet at the Rouge Valley Mennonite Church, where you'll be charmed by tales of pioneer settlement, cottage lane memories, and community celebrations. Return to the church for more stories while enjoying a slice of pie.  

To register call the Markham Contact Centre to register, 905-477-5530 or

2nd Annual Walk with Deputy Mayor Jack Heath
Saturday June 11, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. @ Unionville

You are invited to join Deputy Mayor Jack Heath and the Markham Environmental Advisory Committee for a walk through another of Markham's beautiful and rarely seen areas: the Rouge River valley from Toogood Pond in Unionville to the western entrance of Milne Park.  Some of this natural trail is rough and unimproved but it is walkable for most people. No children or pets. Walk time is about an hour and a half.  A bus will return you to the starting point. We suggest sturdy waterproof footwear, long sleeve shirt, long pants, and hat.  Bring water, snacks, insect repellent, and your camera. Rain or shine! 

You will be informed of starting location when you register. To register call 905-477-5530 or e-mail

Richmond Hill Rouge Days Events

Shop Like the Planet's Watching
Thursday, June 9, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. @ Rouge Woods Community Centre

(110 Shirley Drive, Richmond Hill)

Presented by the York Region Environmental Alliance, this interactive workshop will teach you how to "green" your shopping habits and become an eco-friendly shopper. Learn how you can do your part to address climate change, waste reduction, energy conservation, and sustainability.

To register contact Kate Moroni at 905-747-6465 or

Bring your Soil to Life
Saturday June 11, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Phyllis Rawlinson Park Community Garden

(11715 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill)

Are you tired of working with hard, nutrient depleted soil?  Do you want to increase the bounty of your harvest? If so, please join us and learn everything you need to know about sheet mulching - a natural way to build soil quality, reduce weeds, and fuel plant growth.  We'll take you step by step through a hands-on sheet mulch demonstration that you can recreate in your own garden!

To register contact Mildred Ho at 416-596-1495 x303 or email


Toronto Rouge Days Events

Creeping & Leaping Critters

Thursday, June 9, 1 p.m. @ Pearse House

(1749 Meadowvale Road, Toronto)

Join a Rouge Park biologist and explore a nearby wetland area. You'll spot frogs and turtles, and if you're really lucky, a snake or two. Gain an understanding of the role these creeping, leaping critters play in a healthy wetland ecosystem - more than just mosquito management!

To register visit or call Michelle Holmes at 905-713-6021.

The Wetland Chorus Walk
Thursday, June 9, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. @ Pearse House

(1749 Meadowvale Road, Toronto)

This special evening walk at the Beare Wetlands will be a treat for our ears. Let's enjoy the start of the longest days of the year with the sounds of the wetlands at dusk. Frogs, birds and insects are expected to provide the soundtrack to a wetland stroll and a great way to end the day!

Family friendly: kids on foot or in carriers welcome, please no strollers. No dogs please.

To register visit or call Diana Smyth at 905-713-3184.

Bird Brains of Rouge Park
Friday, June 10, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ Pearse House

(1749 Meadowvale Road, Toronto)

As our breeding birds have settled in, let's use this walk to improve our bird ID skills. Come along and we'll search the skies, shrubs, trees and wetlands for our feathered friends. Bring binoculars, camera, bird ID books and your eagle eyes! Family friendly: kids on foot or in carriers welcome, please no strollers. No dogs please.

To register visit or call Diana Smyth at 905-713-3184.

Spring Bug Walk
Saturday, June 11, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ Pearse House

(1749 Meadowvale Road, Toronto)

It's that time of year where bugs of all types are finally out from hiding. Take this time to learn all the vast number of insects that are jumping, flying, and walking through the Rouge. Learn how to identify different species and discover just what good these little critters do. Let's see what bugs we can hear and which insects come out of hiding! Family friendly: kids on foot or in carriers welcome, please no strollers. Dogs on leash welcome.

To register visit or call Diana Smyth at 905-713-3184.

Canadian Camping Experience
Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. @ Glen Rouge Campground

(7450 Kingston Road, Toronto)

Have you ever wanted to try camping but don't know where to begin? Why not give it a try with us close to home. We'll bring all the tents, tools, food and ideas for a fun family camping experience. This morning of outdoor fun and learning will look at the different aspects of camping, including registering and picking a campsite, setting up a tent, starting a campfire, using a camp stove and how to store food on site. The event will include authentic campfire treats and camping menu ideas. Part of your camping experience will include a guided nature walk. Rain or shine, dress for the weather.

To register contact Andrea McVean at 416-661-6600 x5394 or

Wings over Rouge Park Walk
Saturday, June 11, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. @ Pearse House

(1749 Meadowvale Road, Toronto)

At this time of year, there is a variety of winged creatures to discover in and around the Beare Wetlands. Birds that are breeding in the park should be nesting by now and may even have young. We also expect to see a variety of butterflies and dragonflies out and active. Bring your binoculars and camera. Kids on foot or in carriers welcome, please no strollers. Dogs on leash welcome.

To register visit or call Diana Smyth at 905-713-3184.

Rouge Park Junior Hikers
Saturday, June 11, 2 p.m. -  4 p.m. @ Glen Rouge Campground

(7450 Kingston Road, Toronto)

Kids are the focus of this walk, as we will take to the Mast trail for a mix of activities to awaken the nature nut within your little ones. This walk is ideal for kids 5-10 who can manage the distance on foot. Don't forget to dress for the sun as well as the rain. Family friendly: best for kids 5-10 who can manage the distance on foot (just under 5 km). Dogs on leash are welcome.

To register visit or call hike leader Diana Smyth at 905-713-3184.

Stouffville Rouge Days Events:

Bruce's Mill Hammer & Hike
Friday, June 10, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. @ Bruce's Mill Conservation Area (3291 Stouffville Road, Stouffville)

Calling all friends and neighbours of Bruce's Mill! Join us and lend a hand to help improve the trails at Bruce's Mill Conservation Area. Take part in building an impressive boardwalk and bridge system that will complete the Chickadee Trail loop.  When the work is done, you are invited to join us on a nature walk. No experience required; all tools, gloves and instructions will be provided.

To register contact Steve Joudrey at 416-661-6600 x 5573 or

 Pickering Rouge Days Events:

Western Gateway Community Tree Planting
Friday, June 10, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. @ The Waterfront Trail

(Bella Vista Drive, Pickering)

Celebrate the International Year of Forests! Plant trees to help restore the natural habitat along the waterfront trail high above the mouth of the Rouge River. Grab a shovel, dig in and make a difference!

To register contact Michelle Pearce at 905-420-4660 ext. 2043 or

With more than 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. TRCA's vision is for the Living City - a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, for you today and for your children tomorrow. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at




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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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