Rouge Beach was so named after the red clay contained in the bed of the Rouge River; the river was once so wide it carried passenger and cargo traffic, but now it is reduced to a smaller,
winding river. It is rich with fish and supports all manner of wildlife, ending in a marshy sanctuary divided from Lake Ontario by a spit of land (the parkís entrance road and parking lot). Here, the observant can see
Canada geese, a variety of ducks, blue herons, cranes, and with telescopes or camera zoom lenses, goldfinches, and monarch and black swallowtail butterflies.
Because of its natural wonders, Rouge Beach is far more than a place for sun and fun on Lake Ontario. Part of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail system, Rouge Beach boasts a long, paved boardwalk and bicycle
path, and it attracts exercise buffs and ornithologists in equal measure.
Easily accessible on foot, by car or public transit, the beach and parklands are well equipped with washrooms and drinking fountains, and are fairly close by car to other amenities.
Rouge has a south exposure and is protected at the eastern end by high cliffs; a lower ridge of cliffs runs along the balance of the beach, so itís all reasonably sheltered and suitable for swimming, kayaking,
canoeing, and para-sailing. Canoes and rowboats are permitted along the river, but in respect of wildlife, no motorized boats are allowed. Fishing (with a license) is done up the length of the river and towards the edge of the lake.
Rouge Beach is a rare entity, not just because it is a wetland and sanctuary so close to the core of a major city, but also because it has found a balance of people and animals in harmony. There are no childrenís
activities here except to learn to identify birds, fish and animals after a fine day building sandcastles on the beach.
See additional Toronto Beaches.