Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto Celebrates Butterflies at Tommy Thompson Park

Fifth Annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival features guided butterfly walks, and educational displays at this free, family friendly event on August 24th

(TORONTO August 20, 2013) – 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 24 the Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival, welcomes children, families and nature lovers to learn about butterfly conservation and discover the diversity of moths and butterflies up close. Through the many nature hikes, 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 free festival is hosted by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and is sponsored by Ontario Nature and Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 2013 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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

WHAT: Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival

  • Guided walks through park meadows to view migratory butterflies and moths
  • Live bird banding demonstrations with experts
  • Nature photography workshop
  • Educational displays

WHERE: Tommy Thompson Park, 1 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 #501 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.

“Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit is one of the best places in Toronto to see butterflies and migrating monarchs and we are excited to bring back this event for the fifth year,” said Karen McDonald, Project Manager, Toronto and Region Conservation. Attending the festival is a great way to learn about butterflies, butterfly habitat and other wildlife at the park. Visitors can join a hike, visit butterfly displays and see real wildlife, including birds and snakes.”

“Watching monarchs gather in numbers to prepare for their winter migration is a profoundly moving experience. At the butterfly festival, sponsored by OPG, I have seen kids and people of all ages so touched by the experience that it instantly deepened their connection with nature,” said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature Executive Director. “Given the steady decline in the monarch population over the last four years, the festival is an opportunity for us to think about what we can all do to help the population rebound like planting butterfly-friendly gardens with milkweed.”

“As a partner in biodiversity protection and promotion, OPG is pleased to help bring the wonder of the Monarch Butterfly to Toronto area families through our continued support of this important annual event,” said Barb Reuber, OPG’s VP for Environment.

About Toronto and Region Conservation
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 nearly 150 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 Toronto Wildlife Centre. 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.

John Hassell, Communications Manager, Ontario Nature T:416-444-8419 ext. 269; johnh@ontarionature.org.

Ontario Power Generation, Media Relations: 1-877-592-4008 or 416-592-4008;
Twitter: @ontariopowergen.

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