Study Details

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry is currently carrying out a complete resurvey of four Toronto ravines, as was done in the 1977 Rosedale Ravines Study (see map at bottom of page). As one of the world’s first studies of urban nature, the 1977 Rosedale Ravines Study was initiated by Torontonians Paul Scrivener and Dale Taylor and undertaken by the University of Toronto. We are collecting data from the Rosedale ravines with the aim of tracking changes in biodiversity over time and thus to assist with its conservation.

We are replicating the 1977 study in the form of field studies done by Forestry graduate students working towards their degrees. The data collected will have valuable implications for ravine stewardship and management that will feed into a proactive vision to reinvigorate the ravines and proposals to assist the recently launched City of Toronto Ravine Strategy.
In 2015-2016, the tree inventory was completed. For the 2017 field season, we are conducting an inventory of:

– Vegetation (invasives & rare natives)
– Small mammals
– Birds
– Reptiles
– Insects

Download and read the project brochure on your computer:

Print and staple your brochure (select “landscape orientation” and “flip on short edge” for the printing job, and staple in the middle):


Toronto Ravines Revitalization Study

U of T Forestry Crest

est. 1907

Exploring Toronto’s Ravines for over 100 Years

April 2016

University of Toronto

Faculty of Forestry

Toronto Ravines Revitalization Study

Produced by

Eric Davies

Anqi Dong

Jon Schurman

Though Rosedale is still a place of wild beauty and I have heard of the wild rabbits coming up out of the ravine to nest in the gardens of Glenhurst, it is not the place of wild creatures and open stretches of country that it used to be. We used to have all the wild birds and their songs … The wild flowers that used to be there in such profusion are gone too. It has seemed such a pity that they should have been dug up and carried away to gardens where they could hardly have been expected to live.”

Mrs. Edgar Jarvis, Star Weekly, 1925

Toronto Ravines: Past, Present, and Future

1977: The Rosedale Ravines Study

By Paul Scrivener, Dale Taylor et al.

  • Ecological survey of ravines in the Rosedale area (see map)
  • Available at the Toronto Public Library

2015: Ecological Integrity in the Park Drive Ravine:
1977 to 2015

  • First resurvey conducted by Anqi Dong & Eric Davies summer 2015
  • Large increase in invasive species
  • Overall decline of forest health (see maps on overleaf)
  • Thesis awarded the Jackson Prize for best Masters 2015
  • Get a copy:

2016 – 2020: Toronto Ravines Revitalization Study

  • Project launch – Aim to replicate 1977 survey
  • Assess biodiversity & ecological integrity of the Toronto Ravines
  • Citizen Science – outreach & coordination
  • Develop a revitalization strategy

Ravine time lapse_Jonathan

2016 – now: two pilot projects

  • Mapping invasive species in the Vale of Avoca
  • Mapping old-growth native trees throughout Toronto’s ravine system
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