Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto Celebrates Butterflies at Tommy Thompson Park

- Fourth Annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival features guided butterfly walks, family nature walks, butterfly displays and a nature photography workshop on August 25th -

(TORONTO August 17, 2012) – Late August is the prime time to get a glimpse of the Monarch butterfly before it starts its annual journey of more than 3,500 kilometres to Mexico. This incredible migration begins with the gathering of the Monarchs at places like Tommy Thompson Park, home to Toronto’s only Butterfly Festival and Toronto’s largest greenspace that provides critical habitat for butterflies.

On Saturday, August 25 the Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival, welcomes children, families and nature lovers to learn about butterfly conservation and biodiversity and view butterflies up close. Through the many nature hikes and butterfly walks at this year’s event, visitors can explore the world of the more than 55 species of butterflies recorded to date at the park, including the Monarch, Common Buckeye and Red Admiral.

The festival is sponsored by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), Ontario Nature and Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2012 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Some activities require registration. Visit www.butterflyfest.ca for details.
  • For media registration, please see contact information below.

WHAT: Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival

  • Free!
  • Guided walks through park meadows to view migratory butterflies
  • Live bird banding demonstrations by experts
  • Nature photography workshop
  • See birds of prey presented by Wild Ontario
  • Butterfly displays and activities!

WHERE: Tommy Thompson Park, 3 Leslie Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard East.

  • Free parking is available at the Tommy Thompson Park parking lot or on Unwin Avenue and Leslie Street.
  • TTC directions: Take #83 Jones S. bus to Commissioner Street and Leslie Street, or Queen Streetcar to the Leslie Street stop.

NOTE: The park shuttle van will run throughout the festival area, but bicycles and walking shoes are recommended. Private vehicles and pets are not permitted in the park.

“2012 has been a great year for butterflies, across Toronto and at Tommy Thompson Park. A record number of common buckeyes were observed at the park on the official North American Butterfly Association count day in July,” said Andrea Chreston, Environmental Technologist at Toronto and Region Conservation “We are hoping that the weather continues to cooperate so festival goers can see these beauties up close on Saturday August 25!”

“Observing butterflies in their native habitat is a great hands-on way to learn about nature. Kids are naturally attracted to butterflies because of their intriguing shapes and colours, and their accessibility,” said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s executive director. “The Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival is a fabulous way to celebrate the Monarch’s epic fall journey to Mexico and to learn about conserving Ontario’s butterfly species.”

About TRCA
With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature’s beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca or www.ttpbrs.ca.

About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and over 140 member groups across Ontario. For more information, call 416-444-8419 or visit www.ontarionature.org.

About OPG Biodiversity
OPG Biodiversity is a series of conservation-focused, family-friendly events sponsored by Ontario Power Generation in partnership with Ontario Nature, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Earth Rangers, LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), Rouge Park and Trees Ontario. Its goal is to spread the word about protecting and conserving biodiversity in our urban parklands and forest ecosystems, making it easy for people to get involved with the environment and help fight climate change. OPG Biodiversity is part of OPG’s commitment to conserve, sustain and protect nature. For further information on these and other upcoming events, visit opgbiodiversity.ca.

For media information contact:

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation, T: 416-661-6600 ext. 5632; rcalpito@trca.on.ca.

Kimberley MacKenzie, Director of Development, Ontario Nature, cell: 289-231-1339; kimberleym@ontarionature.org.

Ontario Power Generation, Media Relations: 1-877-592-4008 or 416-592-4008.

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