Ontario's natural heritage – a living legacy

Thousand-year-old cedar trees clinging to rock-cliffs | Tranquil forests harbouring rare or endangered species | Teeming marshes providing refuge to nesting birds

The Ontario Heritage Trust works to protect more than our cultural heritage. It also helps to ensure that our natural environment – wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and geological land formations – remains a viable and significant part of our future.

The Trust owns 170 natural heritage properties that protect 4,116 hectares (10,073 acres) of provincially significant natural heritage lands across the province. These properties protect a variety of rare and sensitive environments, and include wetlands, forested areas, cliffs, and a rare northern Ontario orchid habitat. Some of our natural heritage properties also have provincially significant archaeological sites.

The Trust works in collaboration with a range of partners, including conservation authorities, land trusts, field naturalists and the Bruce Trail Conservancy to steward these lands. Read on to learn about some of the natural heritage properties owned by the Trust. These properties showcase the variety of lands and features protected in perpetuity for the people of Ontario.

Ontario's natural heritage is rich and exceptionally diverse. Your support will help the Trust conserve this legacy so that we can all enjoy it now and protect it for future generations.

Natural heritage properties by location

Central Ontario

Central Ontario Scotsdale Farm

A working farm, Scotsdale presents visitors with 531 acres (215 hectares) of pastoral countryside. Superb hiking trails run through the farm's rolling hills and woodlands ...

Scotsdale Farm, Halton Hills

Central Ontario Fleetwood Creek Natural Area

​Fleetwood Creek Natural Area is located on the north slope of the Oak Ridges Moraine within the City of Kawartha Lakes ...

Fleetwood Creek Natural Area snapping turtle

Eastern Ontario

Eastern Ontario Gardiner, Grace and Neilson Properties

These properties are situated in the Appleton swamp, with several old and large peach-leaf willow trees, as well as provincially significant bird species ...

Gardiner, Grace and Neilson Properties

Greater Toronto Area

Greater Toronto Area Cheltenham Badlands

The Cheltenham Badlands is one of Ontario’s geological treasures, formed at the base of an ancient sea about 450 million years ago ...

Cheltenham Badlands

Greater Toronto Area Yaremko-Ridley Property

​The 64-hectare (160-acre) Yaremko-Ridley property, located just outside of the Town of Milton, contains mixed escarpment forest with stunning glacial valleys, rolling landscapes and numerous rock outcroppings and deposits ...

Yaremko-Ridley Property

Niagara Falls and Region

Niagara Falls and Region Ellis Property

The Ellis property is located 1 km (0.6 miles) north of Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, just west of the Jordan Historical Museum in the Town of Lincoln ...

Ellis Property

Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario Great Manitou Island Property

Great Manitou Island – owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust – is the largest island in the Manitou Islands Provincial Nature Reserve ...

Approaching the Great Manitou Island Property

Southwestern Ontario

Southwestern Ontario Clarke Property

The Clarke property is located on the northern Bruce Peninsula and features spectacular views of the Lake Huron shoreline with numerous bays, low headlands, shoals and small islands ...

Clarke Property

Southwestern Ontario C. Thompson and Hambly Properties

The C. Thompson and Hambly properties are located within the Georgian Bluffs region 10 km (6 miles) east of Wiarton on the plateau above Skinner’s Bluffs cliffs ...

North lookout of the Hambly Property

Southwestern Ontario The Devil’s Monument: Minhinick, LeFeuvre-Chupac and Schneider properties

The Devil’s Monument refers to the presence of a flowerpot that has long been a draw for locals and tourists alike. It is the only complete flowerpot on land along the east side of the Bruce Peninsula ...

Devil's Monument

Southwestern Ontario Westover

The Westover property features four ancient caves created by ancient sea wave action ...

Westover cave

Southwestern Ontario Barrow Bay: Dobson/Nakashima and Deal properties

Barrow Bay comprises the Dobson/Nakashima and Deal properties and are located east of Barrow Bay in the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, County of Bruce. These properties feature amazing views of crystal-clear blue water along the coastline of Georgian Bay ...

Barrow Bay lookout

Natural heritage properties on a map

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