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Hiking Rouge Park on a sweltering day at TBEX Toronto

Sitting in an air conditioned hotel room in downtown Toronto with a view of the CN Tower while listening to the Toronto TV  weather news talk about how this was the hottest day so far of 2013. The official temperature was 30 C, however, the news reports said it was more like 36 C with the humidity. That is 97 F.

I spent 9:30 to 3:30 pm touring Rouge Park north of Toronto and sweated the day away with 30 other TBEX bloggers and Parks Canada officials.

Parks Canada is in the process of trying to establish Rouge Park as the country’s first urban national park here in the GTA – Greater Toronto Area.

The woods, meadows, rivers, marshes and Lake Ontario beach of Rouge Park were probably a better place to spend the day outside than touring the hot streets of Toronto today.


Rouge Park, Ontario, Canada.


Little Rouge Creek.

One of the interesting facts I learned is Bob Hunter Memorial Park is named for Robert Hunter, the first president of Greenpeace, who died in 2005.


Bob Hunter Memorial Park, Rouge Park.

I’ll write a more comprehensive piece on Rouge Park later. There were several Canada Parks representatives and I heard stories about many of Canada’s 44 National Parks as well as I received a National Geographic guide to Canada’s parks.

The bloggers on the media trip were a delight to talk to as the common questions of “Where are you from?” and “What do you write about?”  were often repeated during introductory mingling. About half the participants were from Canada so I heard many travel stories about places I have been and new places I learned about.

Toronto Hotels

I ended up staying at Best Western Toronto Airport. Not too much to say about that hotel. My recommendation for convenience if you arrive after midnight is the Sheraton Toronto Airport connected to the airport terminal.


Sheraton Toronto Airport is connected to Pearson International Airport and the public bus to Toronto is right outside the door for $3.00 with a free transfer to the Toronto subway for downtown locations. Traveling at morning rush hour with luggage was a little tough, but I made it to the Toronto Convention Center next to Union Station in time for the 9:30 am trip departure to Rouge Park.

My second favorite sign today:


Quiet Please. I’m dreaming of Rewards points! Best Western Rewards.

So what was my favorite sign today?


Rouge Park coyote warning sign.

No coyote sightings for me today in the Ontario woods.

This day was filled with bird songs welcoming me to Toronto and Canada.

The cool thing about having hotel points in a variety of hotel programs was my ability to walk to a nearby hotel this afternoon and book a room using points to save $185.


View of Toronto CN Tower from my hotel room window.

Do you know which Toronto hotel this view is from?

Blogger disclosure: Toronto Tourism and Parks Canada sponsored this pre-TBEX trip to Rouge Park.


Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to email newsletter on the upper left side of this page.


  • Brian May 30, 2013

    The Radisson on the waterfront?

  • Ric Garrido May 30, 2013

    @Brian – You got it. Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto-Harbourfront.

    After baking in the sun I wanted a hotel in close proximity to the Convention Center. The points per dollar ratio was not as good as I like for Club Carlson points, but 44,000 points saved $185. I had to remind myself that it cost less than $100 to earn those points with a Park Inn Fresno stay last summer.

  • Ruy May 30, 2013

    Hi Ric,
    I’m arriving tomorrow and staying at the Hyatt Regency.

  • Michael W Travels May 30, 2013

    Rouge Park sounds really nice. It’s definitely not the typical way to spend a day in Toronto.
    Was curious as to how you got around inside the park?

  • Ric Garrido May 31, 2013

    @Michael W Travels – We traveled around the farming countryside in an air-conditioned full-size motorcoach to four locations where we walked around in the woods and by the marsh and beach.

    It was definitely not a full six hour hike outdoors.

    Also, the photos depict a wilderness looking environment. There are areas with housing tracts, farms, landfill and energy generation facilities.

    The first photo in this post is actually the site of a former waste dump that was restored to forest since the 1980s. There is methane(?) production happening on the hillside from the buried refuse if I heard the Parks Canada representative correctly.

    Rouge Park is an example of how formerly developed land can be restored to park lands when stakeholders work together to recreate land use for recreational use.

  • Michael W Travels May 31, 2013

    Thanks for the info! In Staten Island, NY a similar project to turn the the Fresh Kills Landfill into a massive park has been underway for a few years now.

  • Charles Clarke May 31, 2013

    And if you had credit card links (even if you don’t), you could mention how with the Club Carlson credit card, you could get 2 award nights for the price of one at the Radisson. 🙂

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  • […] year at 30 C degrees with humidity feeling like 36C. I had spent hours outside on a walking tour of Rouge Park, north of […]

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