Field Trips

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. 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.

Important: Please note that field trips are subject to cancellation pending minimum attendance by May 31, 2018. If a trip is cancelled, attendees will be notified well in advance, provided a refund, and given an opportunity to swap for a different field trip pending availability.

Toronto Zoo

Sat July 21, 8:30am meet in Westin Lobby, return to Westin by 5:30pm.

credit: torontolife.comJoin us for an educational and fun day at the Toronto Zoo. The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo and is a world leader in conservation at the local, national, and international level. The trip to the zoo will include a morning of educational talks on local conservation efforts such as the Adopt-A-Pond program national efforts such as the captive breeding and release of Black-footed ferrets and Vancouver Island Marmots, and internationally programs such as the Great Lakes/Aqua Links coalition that is focused on conservation of the Great Lakes. After the talk attendees will get a guided behind the scenes tour of the captive breeding and animal husbandry facilities at the Zoo. In the afternoon participants are free to explore and experience the zoo on their own and transportation will be provided back to the Westin.

$30 USD per person (admission & bus transport)

Minimum number of participants:  20

Maximum number of participants:  40


  • Additional CAD $10-15 to purchase lunch at the zoo. We advise that you also bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Koffler Scientific Reserve

Sun July 22, 8:45am meet in Westin Lobby, return to Westin by 4:00pm.

Located just north of the city 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.

$35 USD per person

Minimum number of participants:  20

Maximum number of participants:  30


  • We advise that you also bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Royal Botanical Gardens and Coote’s Paradise

Thurs July 26, 8:45am meet in Westin Lobby 4:30/5:00pm return to Westin Hotel

The trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) takes us out of the Greater Toronto Area, into the Golden Horseshoe region. We will beat Toronto traffic by using public transportation via the GO Train. RBG is in Burlington, Ontario, about 64 km (40 miles) southwest of Toronto and is the largest botanical garden in Canada. It also includes Cootes Paradise, a 980 ha area of coastal marsh and terrestrial habitat, and one of the last remaining large coastal wetlands on western Lake Ontario.

Royal Botanical Gardens is committed to mobilizing their expertise in horticulture, conservation, science, and education to inspire society’s’ commitment to the environment. With the opening of the Indigenous Plants and People Trail at Cootes Paradise Marsh in September 2017, RBG is acting on its commitment to raising awareness about indigenous knowledge. The trail was developed in collaboration with Elders from Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Anishinaabe plant educator, Joseph Pitawanakwat, who is currently doing his Master’s in Environmental Studies at York University. Joe is from Wikwemikong Unceded Nation, Manitoulin Island, and he has spent the last several about traditional uses of plants from elders.

Join Prof. Dawn Bazely (York University), local RBG staff and researchers from McMaster University, for a guided tour of the gardens and Cootes Paradise. We will learn about restoration and conservation programs at Cootes Paradise, which is home to over 50 species at risk. RBG is a National Historic Site, a Nationally Important Bird Area, and a Nationally Important Reptile and Amphibian Area. There are extensive hiking trails in addition to formal gardens, and greenhouses with plants from diverse biomes.

$12 USD per person (admission)

Minimum number of participants:  12

Maximum number of participants:  40


  • Additional $30 CAD for public transport, GO Train & cab fare (use Presto pass or purchase individual train tickets at Union Station)
  • Additional $15-$20 CAD to purchase lunch at Garden Café onsite.  We advise that you also bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Lunch can be purchased at the Garden Café of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Tommy Thompson Park


Thurs July 26, 8:15am meet in Westin Lobby, 12:15 trip end in Leslieville neighborhood – grab lunch and explore, or public transport back to Westin.

credit: waterfrontoronto.caThis unique park is located on the Leslie Street Spit, a human-made land form originally intended for port infrastructure that evolved into a natural area, teeming with flora, fauna and recreational opportunities.  A globally significant Important Bird Area and a regional Environmentally Significant Area, the park boasts a variety of habitats, many of which have been enhanced or created through habitat restoration by Toronto and Region Conservation.  Park Managers will discuss the evolution of the landscape, the wildlife communities, the restoration works undertaken – including creation of 15 hectares of coastal wetland on confined disposal facilities, and the non-lethal management of North America’s largest Double-crested Cormorant colony. 

It is 3km from the gate to the tip of park, so we will be using a bus to allow us to see a diverse number of locations and projects.

After seeing the park, the bus will drop us off back at Loblaws near Queen Street in Leslieville. Please plan to grab some lunch in the interesting, family friendly Leslieville neighbourhood. Its numerous coffee shops, and restaurants have served as the background for many film and TV productions. Spend the afternoon browsing the eclectic indie shops.

$30 USD per person (admission & onsite bus)

Minimum number of participants:  25

Maximum number of participants:  50


  • Additional CAD $7 for public transport (use Presto pass or purchase individual public transit tickets)
  • Additional $$ if you wish to purchase lunch in Leslieville after the trip.  We advise that you also bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Niagara Falls: self-guided

Any time, or Saturday July 21, 8:45am – to meet up with other NACCB attendees. Return to Westin on-own.


Located just over 100km from Toronto and accessible by Go train or Megabus 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 city of Niagara Falls is a tourist destination for people throughout North America and there are many things to see. Check out the links to Niagara Falls tourism below.

GoTransit is available on Saturdays to Niagara Falls via Union Station, though it is a 3-hour ride one way. Megabus is a faster alternative option. We highly recommend purchasing your roundtrip Megabus ticket in advance as space is limited.


  • If you are planning on taking the Go Train to Niagara Fall, bring $45 CAD for round trip fare. If you are planning on taking the Megabus tickets cost $16 CAD – purchase in advance! Bring $$ for park entrance fees and meals. We advise that you bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Rouge National Urban Park: self-guided

Any time, or Sunday July 22, 8:30am to meet up with other NACCB attendees. Return to Westin on-own.


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. There are several options within 2 miles of the park for a lunch stop.

Rouge Park can be accessed by taking public transit from union station. Take to go train Lake Shoare East line to Rouge Hill station. Board TTC bus #85 and take to the Sheppard Ave East and Kingston rd North. Walk 1km east on Sheppard Ave to Glen Rouge Campground.


Take to go train Lake Shoare East line to Rouge Hill station. Walk 1.5km east along the waterfront trail to the mouth of the of the Rouge River. Rouge park can also be accessed by taxi.


  • $25 – $30 for Go Train and TTC fare. Entry to the park is free and there are no other costs. If you wish to purchase lunch there are plenty of restaurants within a 10 minute walk of the park. We advise that you bring water, snacks and a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Toronto Islands: self-guided

Any time, or Sunday July 22, to meet with NACCB participants at 9:00am in Westin lobby. Return trips will be on your own.


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 any time during operating hours and the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is located directly behind the Westin hotel!


  • $7.71 CAD for cost of the ferry ($5.05 for students & seniors, $3.72 under 14, free under 2.)
  • Water bottle, snacks, packed lunch, hat, sunglasses, tennis shoes, and dress for a day outside.

High Park: self-guided



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.

Transit: To access High park from union station, take line 1 northbound to Vaughan Mills and transfer to Line 2 at the Saint George Station. Take line 2 west to High Park Station and the park’s north entrance is a 2 min walk away. Round Trip fare is $6.50 CAD