NACCB will host several field trips, and provide self-guided field trip itineraries for those looking for additional flexibility. Trips are planned for the days immediately prior to and after the meeting. They have been selected to demonstrate conservation programs located within North America’s 4th largest city, adjacent to the city in rural areas, and wild spaces in close proximity to the city.
The guided trips are scheduled for specific dates and will have a series of planned events, talks, and activities. The self-guided trips can be done on any day; a suggested itinerary and meeting date and time are proposed to facilitate congress attendees traveling and exploring together. The itinerary should be treated as a guide. Please explore the many wild spaces that can be found in close proximity to and a short ride on public transportation from the Toronto city centre. Costs, itineraries, and additional details will be provided at a later date.
Explore the largest botanical garden in Canada and one of the last remaining large coastal marshes on western Lake Ontario. The Royal Botanical Garden (RBG) is committed to using their expertise in horticulture, conservation, science, and education to inspire society’s’ commitment to the environment. An excellent example is the RBG’s conservation and restoration work is Cootes Paradise Marsh which is approximately 980 ha of coastal marsh and terrestrial habitat containing > 50 species at risk. Cootes Paradise is a National Historic Site, a Nationally Important Bird Area, and a Nationally Important Reptile and Amphibian Area. The trip includes a guided tour of RBG and Cootes Paradise conducted by RBG staff and researchers working on restoration and conservation programs. The trip is planned for 26 July 2018.
Known as Toronto’s urban wilderness, Tommy Thompson Park covers 500 ha and extends 5 km into Lake Ontario. In the 1950’s construction of the peninsula that is now Tommy Thompson Park began with the deposition of dredged materials from the outer harbour and fill from development in the city. Tommy Thompson Park is a conservation success story as the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources have transformed the park into one of the largest pieces of habitat on the Toronto waterfront. The park contains wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, cobble beaches and sand dunes all of which support many species of wildlife (particularly birds). The field trip is planned for 26 July 2018 and will include a guided tour of the park which will explore the history of construction and many of the past, present, and future conservation efforts.
Covering almost 80 km2 of Carolinean forest, The Rouge National Urban Park is Canada’s newest and only National Park in an Urban setting. Rouge Park is an excellent example of the history of the Toronto area, it contains some of the oldest Indigenous sites in Canada, working agricultural farms, one of the largest marshes in the region, beaches, and great hiking opportunities. Rouge Park is accessible by transit from the city centre. Go for a day or half day and enjoy self-guided hiking and exploring in a large wilderness setting. Meeting times and places for congress attendees will be organized and maps of the park with suggested routes will be provided for self-guided tours.
Located just over 100km from Toronto and a accessible by train is the largest waterfall by volume in the world. In Niagara Falls you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area with scenic viewing of the falls, take a trip to the base of the falls on the Maid of the Mist, go behind the falls on a walkway, take a jet boat through the whirlpools on the Niagara River, or enjoy the many attractions Niagara Falls has to satisfy visitors of all ages. The congress trip to Niagara Falls is scheduled for 21 July 2018 and will include travel via train to the falls and an itinerary of self guided tours and attractions. Links to attractions will be provided and can be scheduled by attendees.
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo and is a world leader in conservation at the local, national, and international level. Local conservation efforts include the Adopt-A-Pond program that focussed on the conservation of local wetlands, National efforts include captive breeding and release of Black-footed ferrets and Vancouver Island Marmots, and internationally the Zoo is part of the Great Lakes/Aqua Links coalition that is focused on conservation of the Great Lakes. The trip to the Toronto Zoo will include admission to the Zoo, a tour of the captive breeding facilities, and talks/tours of other conservation efforts. The trip is planned for 21 July 2018.
The Toronto Islands are a series of islands located a 13 minute ferry ride from Downtown Toronto. The Toronto Islands were originally a series of moving sand bars that originated at the Scarborough Bluffs to the East and have been known as a place of leisure by all inhabitants of the area. The Islands offer a unique offshore perspective of the city, beaches, and several tourist attractions such as the Gibralter Point Lighthouse, Franklin Children’s Garden, Centreville Amusement Park, and Far Enough Farm. Trips to the Islands can occur at anytime and the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is located a short walk from the congress hotel. The organized trip to Toronto Islands will include fare for the ferry and a guided tour of the historical sites on the Islands. Date TBD.
Located just north of the city is is an internationally recognized site for cutting edge research in biodiversity, ecology, and conservation biology at the Koffler Scientific Reserve (KSR) at Jokers Hill. KSR was a 350ha equestrian estate that was donated to the University of Toronto to serve as an ecological observatory. Home to Ontario’s largest remaining stand of old-growth hardwood forest, wetlands, hayfields, and pastures KSR offers researchers the opportunity to perform manipulative experiments in a natural setting. The trip to KSR is being coordinated with The Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution annual meeting being held in nearby Guelph Ontario the week before NACCB 2018. The trip to KSR will include transportation, lunch, a guided tour of the reserve, and other activities. The trip to KSR is scheduled for 22 July 2018.
High park the crown jewel of Toronto’s park system. High Park is located in the heart of Toronto and includes a combination of extensive natural areas, a maintained parkland, and recreational facilities. The size and beauty of this park is demonstrated by the great capybara escape of 2016, when two capybaras escaped the High Park zoo and spent the summer evading park staff in the extensive natural areas. Despite being located in the heart of the city High Park holds a large amount of biodiversity and in particular a high concentration of rare plant species. High Park is best enjoyed by exploring without an itinerary and at your leisure. We will provide directions and a list of points of interest, but suggest you spend a day exploring. Self-guided.