Canada’s natural landscapes inspire pride from coast to coast to coast. Nature is important not only to our cultural identity, but also to our health and prosperity. That’s why the Government of Canada is doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada’s lands and oceans by 2020.
On November 30th, 2018, the Government of Canada officially took ownership of the Driftwood Cove property near Tobermory, Ontario. The land acquisition grows the size of Bruce Peninsula National Park by 3,272 acres, bringing the park to 90 per cent complete and adding 6.5 kilometres of uninterrupted Georgian Bay shoreline as well as 8 kilometres of the popular Bruce Trail.
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the agreement to purchase the land in July 2018 alongside the Bruce Trail Conservancy, which made a financial commitment towards the purchase of the property.
With the land purchase now finalized, Driftwood Cove will be protected for future generations while preserving the ecological integrity of Bruce Peninsula National Park, contributing to the recovery of species at risk, and protecting areas of cultural significance to Indigenous peoples.
The government put $22.5 million towards the purchase of the property, while the Bruce Trail Conservancy committed $1.9 million.
Future plans for the property will be guided by Bruce Peninsula National Park’s Management Plan. Parks Canada is currently undertaking a process to renew the park’s Management Plan, and public and Indigenous consultations will be an important part of this process that will help shape the future of the park, including the Driftwood Cove property.
“By doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada, we are helping ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. As one of the largest remaining wild places in southern Ontario, securing a remarkable stretch of rugged shoreline in a Great Lakes ecosystem will protect more of our nature, our heritage, and the wildlife that depends on it. This investment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Bruce Peninsula National Park and a true legacy for Canadians.” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
· A community celebration and open house at the Driftwood Cove property will be held in the coming months.
· As part of Bruce Peninsula National Park, Parks Canada’s policies now apply to these newly acquired lands. Activities such as hunting and use of all-terrain vehicles are not permitted. For information, please contact Bruce Peninsula National Park at 519-596-2233.
· The Driftwood Cove property is home to a globally rare ancient cliff-edge ecosystem with the oldest trees in eastern North America, 10 federally listed species at risk, including the Massasauga rattlesnake and ecologically, geologically and culturally significant cave systems. The Driftwood Cove property represents 9 per cent of the surface area of Bruce Peninsula National Park and 22 per cent of its shoreline.
· A total of 8 kilometres of the famous Bruce Trail – Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath – runs through this property, with an additional 21 kilometres elsewhere in Bruce Peninsula National Park.
· Since the establishment of Bruce Peninsula National Park in 1987, Parks Canada has added over 140 parcels of land, acquired on a willing seller-willing buyer basis.