Dufferin Islands Visitor Experience and Ecological Initiative  

The Dufferin Islands Visitor Experience and Ecological Enhancement Initiative is a long-term project that will focus on three key areas over three years. By restoring stability, addressing aging infrastructure, and developing educational programming, Niagara Parks aims to create a sustainable and inclusive visitor experience that protects the environment and fosters a greater appreciation of this area’s unique history.  


The Dufferin Islands Visitor Experience and Ecological Enhancement Initiative is possible thanks partly to a collaboration between the Niagara Parks Foundation and TD Bank Group. In 2022, TD Bank Group committed $400,000 to fund and launch the project. This multi-phase project aims to significantly strengthen the overall environmental sustainability of Dufferin Islands. In addition, the project will continue to support meaningful experiences for guests of all ages and abilities who visit this treasured public park. 


Project Goals

– To provide environmental educational opportunities in the core of Queen Victoria Park 

-Protect sensitive natural areas from trampling from waterfowl and visitors 

-Promote universal access through a natural environment 

-Support the longstanding Winter Festival of Lights program  

Key Areas of Focus

-Restoration of Park Lands

-Dam and Weir Infrastructure

-Trail Infrastructure and Wayfinding

-Trails Accessibility

-Education and Interpretation


Guests are reminded to refrain from feeding animals 

Feeding wildlife may seem like a kind gesture. However, it is crucial to understand that, despite good intentions, wildlife feeding can have severe negative impacts on the delicate ecosystem. It can lead to unusual or aggressive behaviour, overcrowding, the transmission of disease, growth disorders, malnutrition, delayed or failed migration leading to winter death, an increase in rodents and other pests, and degradation of water quality and park lands. This is a significant issue that requires immediate attention and action. 

Niagara Parks has taken steps to deter wildlife feeding on its properties, including Dufferin Islands, Kingsbridge Park and the Botanical Gardens, where the issue has grown to unsustainable levels. Signage has been installed to inform guests that wildlife feeding of any kind, regardless of the type of food, is prohibited on Niagara Parks property. Doing so could lead to a fine or charge. 

As guests venture into the many parks, gardens, and nature trails spanning the 56-kilometre Niagara River corridor, it is important to understand how to minimize the environmental impacts of visiting these spaces. There are many other ways to connect with nature besides feeding wildlife, such as bird watching, hiking, picnicking, and ethical nature photography. 


About Niagara Parks Foundation 

The Niagara Parks Foundation, a unique entity overseen by a dedicated Board of Governors, operates as a registered charity with a singular focus on bolstering and advancing stewardship endeavours within Niagara Parks. Through the Foundation, individuals and corporations can actively contribute to protecting one of the world’s most cherished public spaces. 

In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation offers various avenues for supporters to contribute to Niagara Parks’ stewardship efforts, from one-time donations towards a specific project to recurring contributions as a regular donor.

To learn more, visit niagaraparksfoundation.com 

About TD Bank Group 

Founded by TD Bank Group in 1990, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is a national charity that has successfully funded numerous environmental projects across Canada. The Foundation’s support has led to significant improvements in ecological initiatives, primarily focusing on environmental education and green space programs. Past successful projects include schoolyard greening, park revitalization, community gardens, park programming and citizen science initiatives.