ReWilding Lake Simcoe

Through ReWilding, experts, citizens, community groups and diverse partners are discovering new ways of helping people enhance their own lives as they help the lake and watercourses. The project is inspiring communities, neighbourhoods, and municipalities to rethink their futures through the redesign of unique outdoor spaces that foster the thriving of both people, nature and Lake Simcoe:

  • Innovations in citizen/expert engagement enable people to reimagine their lives in a 21st C context and demonstrate how a partnership between people and nature can help them realize these dreams.
  • Transformational designs provide spaces with new purpose as well as innovations in Low Impact Development, stormwater management and aquatic habitat.
  • Experimentation with new approaches measure complex changes in both people and nature.

Project History

In 2011, ReWilding Keswick Creeks explored the ReWild™ premise through four small on the ground projects. Based on pilot results, in 2013, 15 other groups became partners in ReWilding Lake Simcoe, a $1.6 million four–year initiative with $1.1 million in Lake Simcoe Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund (LSSGBCUF) support.

Where We Are Now

ReWilding’s initial demonstration project – Pine Beach Park in Keswick – has completed its construction phase. Engagement activity is focussed on re-integrating the new shoreline park space into the broader community. Evolution of a comprehensive set of measurement tools to register impact, economically, socially and environmentally is ongoing.

Looking Forward

Workshops have been held in connection with the communitie’s redesigns of outdoor space at:

  • a community hub in Sutton on the Black River
  • the harbour area in Beaverton, at the mouth of the Beaver River
  • Centennial Park on the Talbot River in Kawartha City

Construction of these projects will take place in 2015-6. A final site is being chosen to complete the overall four-year project.


The Learning

ReWilding is expanding knowledge about citizen/expert engagement along with innovation in the design of public spaces and approaches to stormwater management. OWC hopes to evolve a branded process – including piloted best practices, design ideas, engagement strategies and ways of measuring results – that gets more people involved and maintains their participation beyond Lake Simcoe.