New book and photo exhibition celebrate Toronto's natural parklands

May 9, 2017

The City of Toronto today announced the publication of a new, hardcover coffee-table book entitled An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto's Natural Parkland. The book celebrates the natural parkland and ravine system that covers more than 4,000 hectares across the city.

The book and an associated photographic exhibition are the result of a collaboration by photographer Robert Burley and six accomplished writers, including Toronto Poet Laureate Anne Michaels. Together, they document and celebrate Toronto's natural parklands and the important role they play in offering residents access to forests, wetlands, beaches, bluffs, creeks and rivers. 

"Robert Burley has beautifully captured the natural parts of our city that offer Torontonians respite," said Mayor John Tory. "As our city continues to grow, it is important that we take the time to enjoy these spaces and protect them for future generations."

These photographs and stories, which are the result of efforts over the past decade to document and protect Toronto's ravines and natural parklands, complement other significant City initiatives – such as the naturalization of the mouth of the Don River, the creation of Rouge National Urban Park and the planning now taking place for a Rail Deck Park.

"An Enduring Wilderness is part of an ongoing conversation we are having with the residents of Toronto about the importance of ravines and natural parklands to our quality of life," said Jennifer Keesmaat, the City of Toronto's Chief Planner. "There's a balance we work to maintain between urban intensification and maintaining and creating those green spaces that are necessary for a high quality of life."

"Our parks and ravines are our common grounds, and we have shared responsibility to care for, protect and restore these natural spaces," said Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. "The City's upcoming Ravine Strategy aims to guide the use, management, enhancement and protection of our ravine system today and into the future."

The book is available for purchase through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation ( and at local bookstores for $56.50 (including HST). A portion of the purchase price goes to the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. Copies are also available for loan from local branches of the Toronto Public Library.

An exhibition of photos from the book is currently taking place as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival ( The exhibit runs through May 26 at the John B. Aird Gallery, 900 Bay St. The gallery is located on the ground floor of the Macdonald Block (southwest corner of Bay and Wellesley Streets). The building and the gallery are wheelchair accessible.

The following free panel discussions taking place at the John B. Aird Gallery this month are open to the public:

• Tuesday, May 9, 5 to 6 p.m.: Enduring Photographs: Robert Burley in conversation with Toronto's Photo Laureate Geoffrey James • Saturday, May 13, 1 to 3 p.m.: Toronto's Natural Parklands in the new Millennium: the role of natural parklands in building a great city • Saturday, May 20, 1 to 3 p.m.: Enduring Wilderness/Nature in the City: Exploring the complex relationship between nature and the city

More information about Toronto's natural parklands and environmentally sensitive lands, as well as information about the photo exhibit and the new book, are available at

This news release is also available on the City's website:

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at and on Instagram at

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Media contact: Bruce Hawkins, Strategic Communications, 416-392-3496, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.