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Rouge River Watershed Features

The Rouge River watershed spans 336 km2 of land and water in the Regions of York and Durham, Cities of Toronto and Pickering, and Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch Stouffville.

The Rouge River watershed spans 336 km2 of land and water in the Regions of York and Durham, Cities of Toronto and Pickering, and Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch Stouffville. It includes all the lands that drain to the Rouge River and its tributaries, including the Little Rouge River, starting in the hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine and flowing south to Lake Ontario. Land use in the Rouge watershed today is approximately 40% rural, 35% urban, 24% natural cover and 1% open water.

The lower watershed is dominated by Rouge Park, with a small but well established area of urban development to the west. The middle and western parts are experiencing rapid urban expansion and have sparse natural cover except in Rouge Park. The upper and eastern portions of the watershed are primarily rural and agricultural with some small towns and villages.

Key Facts

* 336 Km2 watershed size, including 41 km2 Rouge Park
* 40% agriculture
* 35% urban
* 24% forest/wetland/meadow
* 1% watercourses/waterbodies