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Rouge National Urban Park: Bridging Nature and Cityscape

Rouge National Urban Park Bridging Nature and Cityscape

Are you aware that Rouge National Urban Park is 13 times the size of New York’s Central Park?! 

From scenic trails to diverse wildlife, let’s get ready to explore this urban oasis. If you’re ready to reconnect with nature let’s dive into the wilderness of Rouge Park!

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The best time to go to Rouge National Urban Park is during the summer months of June to September when the weather is warmer, and the trails are fully accessible. 

If wildlife observation is your priority, autumn presents an excellent opportunity, as many animals migrate through the park during this season.

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Language: English

Calling Code: +1  

What is Rouge Park known for?

What is Rouge Park known for

Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto is Canada’s first national urban park, preserving vital ecosystems and cultural heritage. Important for its conservation efforts, it offers recreational activities.

This includes hiking and birdwatching, providing an accessible natural retreat for the public, tourists, and locals, while promoting biodiversity and environmental stewardship.

Rouge National Urban Park is known for its diverse wildlife, including over 1,700 species of plants and animals. 

The park also plays a crucial role in protecting the watershed and providing clean drinking water for millions of people in the Greater Toronto Area. 

How to Get to Rouge National Urban Park

By car: get onto Don Valley Parkway North, then take exit for ON-401 East. Merge onto ON-401 Express and exit toward Morningside Ave/Meadowvale Rd. From there, take exit 389 for Meadowvale Road, turn left, and then take the exit for Zoo Rd.

By shuttle: ride the Rouge Express shuttle at 34 Asquith Ave (Yonge /Bloor area).

By public transit: go to Scarborough Town Centre Bus Terminal and hop on bus 985A heading to Borough Drive. Then, switch to bus 38A A toward Kingston Road. Next, walk to the Highland Creek Overpass and catch bus 86 A A toward Zoo Road.

Where to Stay near Rouge National Urban Park

Comfort Inn

Address: 533 Kingston Rd, Pickering, ON L1V 3N7, Canada

Phone: +1 905-831-6200

Pricing: $

Book Now

Just off Highway 401, you’ll find the Comfort Inn & Suites. While the rooms are pretty basic, the location is quite nice. It’s only about an hour’s drive to Rouge National Urban Park.

The breakfast spread is lovely with a variety of options like scrambled eggs, potatoes, waffles, assorted muffins, juice, cream cheese, and more.

Best Western Plus Executive Inn

Address: 38 Estate Dr, Toronto, ON M1H 2Z1, Canada

Phone: +1 416-430-0444

Pricing: $

Book Now

Just a quick 10-minute drive from Rouge National Urban Park is the Best Western Plus Executive Inn. The rooms are fully furnished and come with two fridges, a microwave, a coffee maker, and a TV with multiple channels.

You can enjoy complimentary perks such as a breakfast buffet and parking. Additional amenities include an indoor pool, a hot tub, an exercise room, and a sauna.

Toronto Marriott Markham

Address: 170 Enterprise Blvd, Markham, ON L6G 0E6, Canada

Phone: +1 905-489-1400

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Nestled in the heart of Downtown Markham, this upscale hotel exudes sophistication and luxury. It boasts state-of-the-art technology and elegantly designed rooms with sleek hardwood floors.

You can indulge in fine dining at the polished restaurant or unwind at the lobby bar. Additionally, the hotel features an inviting indoor pool and a relaxing hot tub.

Hilton Toronto

Address: 8500 Warden Ave., Markham, ON L6G 1A5, Canada

Phone: +1 905-470-8500

Pricing: $

Book Now

20 minutes away from Rouge National Urban Park is Hilton Toronto.  This contemporary hotel features modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of the city skyline. 

The hotel offers an array of amenities, including a bar, an on-site Italian restaurant, a fitness center, and a squash court.

Monte Carlo Inn & Suites

Address: 7255 Warden Ave., Markham, ON L3R 1B4, Canada

Phone: +1 905-752-2700

Pricing: $

Book Now

The Monte Carlo Inn & Suites is conveniently located at the intersection of Warden Avenue and Denison Streets. With 134 rooms offering all the essentials, the real draw here are the amenities.

You can enjoy dining at the Mediterranean restaurant complemented by a wine bar. The hotel also features an indoor saltwater pool, a fitness center, a patio, and event facilities.

Where to Eat near Rouge National Urban Park

Pizza Pizza

Address: 9390 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1B 5R5, Canada

Phone: +1 416-967-1111

Pricing: $$


For pizza enthusiasts like ourselves, Pizza Pizza is a must-visit destination. It’s undeniably one of the top spots to indulge in delectable pizza.

Their pizzas never disappoint. The crust strikes the perfect balance of crispy, and each bite bursts with a delightful blend of flavors that’s simply irresistible.

Scarlet Ibis Family Restaurant

Address: 30 Dean Park Rd, Scarborough, ON M1B 3H1, Canada

Phone: +1 416-755-1446

Pricing: $$


Scarlet Ibis is a charming family-owned establishment known for its delicious West Indian cuisine. The food consistently delights, and the welcoming nature of the family who runs it adds to the overall comfort of the experience.

One dish we highly recommend is the curry roti—it’s a personal favorite! The rice, infused with Caribbean flavors, truly shines and elevates the dish to another level.

Wimpy’s Diner

Address: 65 Rylander Blvd, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M5, Canada

Phone: +1 416-282-6857

Pricing: $


Since 1961, Wimpy’s Diner has been serving up comforting meals in a nostalgic 50s and 60s setting, complete with coin-operated jukeboxes and adorned with vintage memorabilia.

Their signature burgers are fantastic, and the fish and chips are also worth a try. However, the real standout is their all-day breakfast options, which are simply unbeatable!

Nadi Halal Kebab House

Address: 65 Rylander Blvd, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M5, Canada

Phone: +1 416-286-0555

Pricing: $$


Nadi Halal Kebab House is a cozy Afghan eatery specializing in traditional grilled meat dishes, along with salads and wraps.

We sampled a couple of dishes, including the chicken Tikka boti with beef kofta and the beef Tikka, and both were excellent. They were expertly seasoned and incredibly tender, truly a delight.

Mucho Burrito Fresh Mexican Grill

Address: 6714 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1B 1G8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-282-2500

Pricing: $


Mucho Burrito Fresh Mexican Grill serves fast-casual Mexican food where you can build your own burritos, bowls, tacos, and quesadillas.

The ingredients are fresh and delicious. There are lots of choices. Very tasty and generous portions. We say go for pico de gallo, guacamole, and their signature burrito sauce to add a burst of flavor to your meal. 

What to Do in Rouge National Urban Park

Hike the Trails

Media credit: felixmencat

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


The hiking trails at Rouge National Urban Park wind through different landscapes like meadows, forests, wetlands, and farmland. 

You can take in views of the Rouge and Little Rouge rivers, walk through old-growth forests, pass by farm fields, and discover the area’s fascinating history.

Go Kayaking at the Rouge Marsh

Media credit: msdaniellephillips

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


Rouge National Urban Park offers stunning views from the water, making it perfect for kayaking along the Rogue River or around the serene Rouge Marsh, where you can admire the diverse birdlife that resides in the area.

A favored route is to kayak south along the Rogue River from Glen Rouge Campground to Rouge Marsh, which typically takes about an hour.

Take a Walk and Spot Wildlife

Media credit: streetsoftoronto

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


Rouge National Urban Park boasts an impressive array of wildlife, with 44 mammal species, 247 bird species, 27 reptile and amphibian species, and 73 fish species calling it home.

These diverse species inhabit the park’s various habitats, ranging from shorelines and forests to meadows, farmland, and wetlands.

Go Camping at Glen Rouge Campground

Media credit: terri_jaffe

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


Glen Rouge Campground stands as the sole campground nestled beside the Rouge River, it offers an ideal opportunity to immerse oneself in nature while still being within city limits. 

While at Glen Rouge Campground, make sure to explore the Mast Trail. During the summer months, the dense Carolinian forest provides a lush canopy over much of the trail, creating a serene atmosphere for exploration.

Fish at the Rouge River

Media credit: fishing_canada98

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


The mouth of the Rouge River and the nearby marsh area are well-loved fishing spots within the park. Anglers can expect to reel in northern pike, brown bullhead, and black crappie in these waters.

To fish in the park, visitors must possess a valid Ontario fishing license, as fishing is permitted in accordance with regulations.

Cycle along Meadowvale Road

Media credit: ontariotravelideas

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8, Canada

Phone: +1 416-264-2020


One of the most favored north-south cycling routes is Meadowvale Road. Additionally, there’s a multi-use pathway along the west side of Meadowvale Road near the Toronto Zoo, providing cyclists with a scenic option.

This route offers a pleasant, flat ride with good speed potential. It passes through charming Meadowvale Village, offers views of industrial landscapes on spacious, well-maintained roads, and loops back through Centennial Park.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Rouge National Urban Park

Toronto Travel Guide: free travel guide and trip planner for a trip to Toronto, with more than 14 languages supported.

iOs | Android

Citymapper: ultimate transit app with offline maps, bike routes and real-time arrival of buses.

iOs | Android

Quench: locate the closest refill centre or fountain, add locations and rate cleanliness and temperature.

iOs | Android

Green P Parking: find nearby parking around the city that allows you to pay via credit card or PayPal.

iOs | Android