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Old growth stand, Cootes Paradise
Old growth stand, Cootes Paradise

The history of the conservation movement in Ontario has contributed to some of Canada’s most ecologically significant areas for plant diversity. In Southern Ontario alone, Cootes Paradise conservation lands in the City of Hamilton account for 24% of the country’s biodiversity.

As icons of the conservation movement, these landscapes have a particular resonance within the cultural landscape of Southern Ontario as indicators for the identity of the region. However, these territories have also emerged through a legacy of land use that relegates trees and indigenous forests, such as Six Nations Forest, to the periphery of cities.