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What is this Marvellous moraine of which we speak?

It’s a unique geological land formation created through glaciation about 12,000 years ago.

What’s very special is that it divides this region into north and south flowing rivers.

It's 195,000 hectares, which is almost the size of 365,000 football fields.

It’s wide, really wide! Its average width is about 13 km.

think of it like a big eyebrow to the north of Lake Ontario. It runs 160 km between the Niagara Escarpment in the west and the Trent River System in the east.

It is an ecological treasure that we all need to protect.
Not sure how marvellous all that is? Well, read on!

You can think of the moraine
as southern Ontario’s
water filtration system.

But what does that mean?

Like a huge underground reservoir, the moraine holds water from rain and snow. Through its special layers of sand and gravel, the moraine acts like a filter, cleaning and purifying the water before giving it back to us.


But what does that mean?

Like a huge underground reservoir, the moraine holds water from rain and snow. Through its special layers of sand and gravel, the moraine acts like a filter, cleaning and purifying the water before giving it back to us.

The moraine is home to

the headwaters – or starting point – of

rivers and streams that flow both north into Lake Simcoe, Lake Scugog, Rice Lake and even Georgian Bay, and south into Lake Ontario.

Recognize any of these?

food tag

The Oak Ridges Moraine is part of the Greenbelt. Its nutrient-rich, well-drained soil produces a great variety of crops.

Plus, the rolling hills and valleys are gorgeous!

do you get vistas like this:

The perfect spot for:

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A day hike

Some bird watching

A picnic

A little bit of romance

contains the highest diversity of wildlife in the GTA. Its rivers, streams, wetlands, kettle lakes and ponds provide habitat and refuge for thousands of plants and animals.


plant species


breeding bird species


fish species


mammal species


reptile and amphibian species

Some of these animals are provincially or regionally rare and others are endangered.

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The Oak Ridges Moraine is named for the many red oaks that grew upon the ridge, but the woodlands also include white and black oaks, red and eastern white pines, and a diversity of native maples like the sugar, silver and red

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Fish love the coldwater rivers and streams on the moraine. Brook trout, steelhead, salmon and redside dace use them for spawning. Through upstream restoration and conservation efforts more of these fish are being re-established in the Lake Ontario ecosystem.

Birds love the varied landscape. The forests, tall-grass prairies, streams and wetlands support the most diverse breeding populations of birds in southern Ontario, such as the red-shouldered hawks, ruffed grouse, bobolinks, bluebirds, pileated woodpeckers and scarlet tanagers.

settled in this area...

house stat happy people

to live and work!

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The moraine is a working landscape that supports small and large farms, businesses and communities of all sizes.

to play!

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The moraine is a hub for outdoor recreation in ALL seasons. Hiking anyone? Downhill and cross-country skiing? Fly-fishing? The moraine is home to a 273-km hiking trail and is an integral part of the Greenbelt Bike Route.

to be creative!

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There are many festivals, art events and wonderful vistas to enjoy.

can take day-trips to the moraine for fly-fishing, downhill or cross-country skiing, biking and hiking and return to the city for an evening’s concert or movie. GO trains run on weekends in the summer.

is populated by people who are united in a commitment to protecting this special place's water and land.

Something worth protecting, right? Give us your email and we’ll let you know what actions you can take to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine forever.

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The provincial government is going to review the Oak Ridges Conservation Plan in 2015.

We need

your help to keep this 
marvellous landscape


Thank you for supporting us

You already register!

Take action today and help grow a network of people who care about the moraine and are prepared to stand up for it during the 2015 review of the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt plans.

  • Connect with us and be the first to learn about important updates and ways to take action.

  • Share the website with your friends and family so they can also be a part of our network.

  • Act by exploring the moraine, celebrating its land, water and communities, and then sharing your experience, feelings and stories with us.

Alternatively, follow us on social media to share stories, pictures and memories of the marvellous moraine.

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Peter Pomykacz

Jonathan van Bilsen

Evelyn Schmitz-Hertzberg

Hayley Peterson

Marie Adams