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National park plan in works for Rouge Valley

The Rouge Valley is seen from Beare Hill in Scarborough, Ont. June 28/2011. The hilltop is the site of a former landfill.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The boundaries of a new Toronto-area national park will likely be roughed out by the fall, but it could take as long as 10 years to finish building all the infrastructure, the federal environment minister said Wednesday.

Peter Kent said the federal government is in the process of assembling land in the Rouge Valley and would soon be holding public consultations. Currently, the area is divided between a city-run park in the south and various federal lands further north, which would have to be transferred to Parks Canada.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kent met with his provincial counterpart, along with several park supporters, including former Toronto mayor David Crombie.

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"We expect that by probably late summer [or]early fall we can begin finalizing the actual boundaries of the park and figuring out where we have little gaps to fill and smooth over," he said in an interview. "We're moving as quickly as we can."

Mr. Kent said it usually takes about two years to put a park together. It could ultimately be a decade before all amenities, including trails and an interpretive centre, are built. The minister would not say how much money his government would commit to the project, but indicated it would not be cheap.

The Rouge Valley, which separates the eastern boundary of Toronto from the suburb of Pickering, would be the first national park in a major urban area.

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Global Energy Reporter

Shawn McCarthy is an Ottawa-based, national business correspondent for The Globe and Mail, covering a global energy beat. He writes on various aspects of the international energy industry, from oil and gas production and refining, to the development of new technologies, to the business implications of climate-change regulations. More

Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More

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