No matter where you are in Toronto, you are close to a ravine. In these often-hidden places you can find an astonishing diversity of birds, flowers, and trees.
Jason Ramsay-Brown has spent twenty years exploring the more than one hundred ravines, parks, and urban forests within Toronto's boundaries. For this book he has selected the thirty natural areas most rewarding to visitors, and provided accounts of what you will encounter there — and what you can learn of the city's history as well.
The variety of flora and fauna is astonishing. In one park alone, the Leslie Street Spit, more than three hundred species of birds have been identified since the turn of the millennium. The increasingly scarce butternut tree can be found in Warden Woods, and wildlife such as deer, beaver, foxes, and coyotes are often spotted along many ravine trails.
Jason tells the story of ongoing efforts of ecological restoration and stewardship to protect these habitats and ecosystems, such as the wetlands of Taylor Creek Park and the old-growth forest within Glendon Forest.
The ravines also contain many landmarks of local history: rumours of buried British gold in Scarborough's Gates Gully, large First Nations encampments near L'Amoureaux Park, and early industries like Todmorden Mills.
With extensive visuals illustrating all thirty ravines and forests from across the city, this book offers something for every Torontonian and every visitor.
JASON RAMSAY-BROWN is President of the Toronto Field Naturalists and represented TFN on the City of Toronto's Ravine Strategy Advisory Group in 2015/2016. He served for many years as a volunteer on the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve Stewardship Team, Beechwood Wetland Stewardship Team, and as a Planting Captain with the City of Toronto. Jason lectures extensively all across Toronto, advocating for the protection and growth of Toronto's ravines and the preservation of their remarkable biodiversity.
"This is a marvelous book. It's easy to read with descriptions of the different characteristics of each park, what makes them unique, and what to look for when you?re there." — Margaret McRae, Past President, Toronto Field Naturalists
"Anyone interested in exploring Toronto's fragile forests, ravines and natural areas, their history, and the surprising diversity of their fauna and flora will find this book invaluable. " — Charles Bruce-Thompson, Vice-President, Toronto Field Naturalists