Natural History of Queen's Park

Urban Forest | Natural History | Cultural History | Getting to Know the Trees | Visit Queen's Park



Glacial Great Lakes Map of South Western Ontario.

15,000 years ago, all of Ontario was covered by glacial ice measuring up to 1.5 km thick. Lake Iroquois formed when these glaciers receded. Queen’s Park lies on sandy sediments that were deposited on the bottom of Lake Iroquois. This glacial lake eventually receded to the level of Lake Ontario.

Prior to European settlement, much of Toronto was covered by native oak and pine forest. Some of the large red and white oaks growing in the Park today descend from that original landscape.

By the mid-1800s, early Torontonians were planting a variety of trees introduced from their European homelands. This planting of non-native trees continued through much of the twentieth century and accounts for many trees found in Queen’s Park today.

The Park is now being planted with trees that are native to Ontario, with an aim to restore its original natural character.

Learn more about planting trends as you explore the Urban Forest.