Rattray Marsh Conservation Area

Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Region: Central
Character: Wetlands
Length/Size: 38 hectares

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area
By Credit Valley Conservation

Walking access from 50 Bexhill Road, L5H 3L1. Limited parking and walking access at 1180 Lakeshore Road West, Jack Darling Municipal Park.

Rattray Marsh is an "environmental gem" located in a unique natural setting within the City of Mississauga . As the last remaining lakefront marsh between Toronto and Burlington , this environmentally sensitive wetland offers a different experience for nature lovers. Rattray Marsh is home to a variety of wildlife and plants and a definite must see for avid bird watchers, photographers and nature lovers.

CVC, along with local residents and other interest groups have implemented numerous trail upgrades in order to preserve the area's many sensitive features. Raised platforms allow for wider and higher pathways designed to keep visitors on the main trails and the natural areas undisturbed. The popular waterfront trail travels through the property but there is no cycling allowed in the conservation area.

Secured by CVC in 1972, and officially opened in 1975, Rattray represents many things to its visitors. Some remember how it was saved from the developer who planned to fill it in and build homes, while others remember it as a living classroom where they came for guided tours to learn about nature.

Plant life is abundant and beautiful at the marsh. Rattray is home to a large variety of wildflowers, which include Ontario 's large-flowered trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit and the red-berried nightshade. There is also numerous tree species including oak, birch, willow, hemlock, ash and maple.

Although bird life at the marsh constantly changes throughout the seasons, bird watchers relish in sighting the ever-present wood warbler, eastern kingbirds, tree swallows, grey catbirds, and spotted sandpipers. Wading birds delight in the marsh and creek habitat of Rattray. Look for black-crowned night herons, green-backed herons and great blue herons during your visit. Wildlife within the marsh includes rabbits, beaver, deer and occasionally foxes. Other creatures include the vocal spring peeper, American toad, turtles, snakes and more.

CVC is lucky to have a great partner in protection with the Rattray Marsh Protection Association. This dedicated group of volunteers, help protect the Marsh resources through education and stewardship.

Visitor Opportunities

Lake Ontario Waterfront trail (footpath only)
interpretive boardwalk with 3 viewing platforms
bird watching
nature trails
Please note that fishing and cycling are NOT permitted at Rattray Marsh.

Large groups are advised to enter through the City of Mississauga's Jack Darling Park which offers washrooms and picnic facilities not available in Rattray. Just a short 1/2 kilometre walk west along the waterfront trail from the westerly most parking lot of Jack Darling brings you to the Turtle Creek bridge and the entrance to the 38 ha (94 acre) Rattray Marsh.