Toronto’s Ravines and Urban Forests

Their natural heritage and local history

by Jason Ramsay-Brown

A book for any Torontonian who loves parks, nature, hiking, walking, birding or local history -- the words and pictures in this volume are irresistible!

Ravines are one of the wonders of Toronto. Cutting deep through the city, they are islands of natural heritage. While the city carries on above them and inevitably has its impact, the ravines still offer surprising ecological diversity. And they have much to tell about Toronto's history.

Jason Ramsay-Brown has had a lifelong fascination with ravines, and he has spent years exploring them and discovering their little-known history. For the past 15 years he has explored more than 100 of these ravines, and hundreds of kilometres of trails weaving in and out of them. In this book he shares his knowledge so that Torontonians and visitors alike can better appreciate their ravine heritage.

Among the 30 ravines across the city featured in this book are:

  • Gates Gully in the Scarborough Bluffs area, a crossroads of natural heritage and local history
  • Glendon Forest, with a beautiful old-growth forest area at risk because of the impact of visitation on highly environmentally sensitive areas
  • Taylor Creek Park in the East York area, an example of the city's sewershed and the value of wetlands
  • Passmore Forest and L'Amoreaux Park North and its 600-year-old Alexandra aboriginal site where 800 Huron-Wendat people lived
  • Rouge Park on the city's eastern edge, and the story of a proposed urban national park

With extensive visuals illustrating the text, this is a book which will inform and surprise every Torontonian, and which will allow visitors an easy path to discover the riches of the city's ravines and forests.

Visit Jason's blog about Toronto's ravines.

About the Author

Jason Ramsay-Brown
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 has 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.


"Torontos Ravines and Urban Forests, author Jason Ramsay-Brown explores the vast ravine system and produces loving portraits of his favourite spots, each one an ecosystem unto itself."
Ben Spurr,, Toronto Star
"Jason has created an exciting vision for the future of our city that has grown from what he has experienced in our valleys. His vision provides the possibility of 'a new urban experience' firmly based on 'the health of our natural world in balance with opportunities provided by progress and modern convenience.' This is exactly the blueprint we need to follow to make Toronto a truly great city."
Toronto Field Naturalists

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