ReWild Our Cities

ReWild Our Cities

APRIL FOOLS!

Rest assured, the post below was only written in humour as a prank for April 1st. Parkbus will not be transporting any wildlife anywhere. We are however continuing to focus on improving our connection with nature, and that also means a deeper connection and respect for wildlife in its natural habitat. We suggest you hop on board any of our upcoming trips to really experience what we mean. And perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll get a glimpse of actual wildlife at a safe distance. See you there!


Since the early days of Parkbus, our mission has been to connect more people in urban areas with the outdoors. We strongly believe that everyone can benefit from more time spent in nature. Since 2010, we have transported thousands of Canadians from cities like Toronto and Vancouver to beautiful and often remote wilderness destinations across the country. In 2019, we are ready to try something new - introducing project ReWild Our Cities - bringing the Canadian wilderness directly to your doorstep.

have you noticed?

Our cities are becoming overwhelmingly less green and overridden by people, cars and concrete. Sadly, these conditions have created urban environments that have driven out many different species of animals that at one point were native to the area. Planting flowers for the bees and hand-feeding peanuts to chipmunks are becoming naught but faint memories as animals both large and small leave cities in search of more welcoming habitats. 

Furthermore, the ever-growing demands on city dwellers’ lives translate into less free time to explore the outdoors. A recent study confirms a steady decline in visitorship at conservation areas that surround urban environments.

At Parkbus, our clients are increasingly commenting on the effort it takes to join our trips out to nearby parks.

We want to experience natural spaces outside of Toronto, but our lives are just too darn packed, and we simply don’t have the time!
— Betty Parker, one-time Parkbus user
A young and educated white-tailed buck looking left before cautiously crossing the street in a suburban neighbourhood.

A young and educated white-tailed buck looking left before cautiously crossing the street in a suburban neighbourhood.

opportunities

Researchers around the world agree that there are both social and environmental benefits from biodiverse living spaces and there are a growing number of studies that link nature to human health and happiness.

Toronto ranks as the 7th most “livable” city in the world. In an effort to combat the negative impacts of urbanization, we at Parkbus feel that our understanding of “livable” should expand beyond the boundaries of our species alone.

“If we can help people to connect with nature, that’s not just good for them, its great news for nature,” said The Wildlife Trust’s Lucy McRobert. Because, she explains, the more people that care intrinsically for their local environment and value the positive impact it has on their own lives, the more they’ll want to protect it from destruction.
— BBC Earth

Large female Moose transported by helicopter to a nearby town

Large female Moose transported by helicopter to a nearby town

Imagine a different cityscape

Project Rewild Our Cities aims to diversify our cities by reimagining how we think of wildlife and nature all around us.

After months of research and feedback from our followers, we are choosing to start a small pilot focused on the re-integration of select wild species that were once native and more abundant directly back into our city streets.

This year, Parkbus is pledging to reshape and redesign our cities, and our first stop is Toronto. In 2019 we are gearing up to transport up to 45 large mammals (bear, deer, moose) and over 200 small/medium species including birds, reptiles and other critters such as pine martens, back into the city, melding the urban with the wild, allowing these wild animals to also experience the benefits of living in a large metropolitan area.


A lone wolf traveling by foot, looking for a new home near Burlington, Ontario.

A lone wolf traveling by foot, looking for a new home near Burlington, Ontario.

where do we start?

To welcome our wild new neighbours, Parkbus will be working closely with multiple stakeholders and a large community of volunteers to make sure the city is a positive and welcoming home.

We deeply understand the transition from the forest to our busy city streets can be a little abrupt. Offering these wild bear, moose and other wildlife the support they need can make all the difference.

Parkbus will be working with different northern Ontario operators, as well as municipal authorities in the GTA to determine what are the best urban areas to start with.

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Did you know?

Bears are highly evolved social animals, and have structured relationships with each other and other species around them.

Canada is home to nearly 60% of the world’s black bear population, but when is the last time you had a bear sighting?


Next steps

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Currently in its development stages, our team is hard at work consulting different park authorities and local municipalities to determine primary drop-off areas in the GTA.

Our plan is to announce specific shuttling schedules by May 15th, with the first batch of new arrivals expected in Toronto by the end of June.

Interested in learning more?

Follow us online at www.parkbus.ca or on Facebook and Instagram to find out more about ReWild Our Cities.

We’d love to hear what you think about this project. Please fill in our survey (see below) and tell us how you are re-imagining your city. What type of wildlife would you like to see on your streets?