Ontario Streams is a non-profit charitable environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of stream, river and wetland habitats within Ontario.


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Celebrating 25 Years!

A message from our General Manager:

On February 20, 2020, Ontario Streams will celebrate its 25th anniversary. I have had the privilege of being a part of this organization for 23 of those years, and although I have seen many things change over that time, none of it would have been possible without the vision of the original 7 founding members. In 1995, the Board of Directors would hold monthly meetings in Elora often at a picnic table beside the Grand River, to plan the building of Ontario Streams. At times they would have to donate their own money to help pay for a phone line and office essentials, but they felt their vision of an organization that would bring people together to learn and to rehabilitate our rivers, streams and wetlands was well worth their volunteer time and personal financial commitments.

In 1996, with funding from the federal and provincial governments, we partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to begin our first two projects, the rehabilitation of the headwaters of the Rouge River and the Humber River Marshes in Toronto. Since then, Ontario Streams has become a registered federal charitable organization that has developed partnerships with federal and provincial governments, conservation authorities, municipalities and other non-government environmental organizations. We now typically employ up to 4 full time staff, a GIS specialist, and 8 summer staff on an annual basis.

Over the years, Ontario Streams' experiences have allowed us to expand our programming in many ways. We have rehabilitated streams and rivers from Lake Simcoe, to Lake Ontario, restored and created hectares of wetlands, conducted research from the Greater Toronto Area to the Bruce Peninsula and from the Saugeen River to the Irondale River watershed. Our outreach programs have educated youth on the importance of our aquatic resources and provided them with the opportunity to be directly involved in rehabilitation through volunteer events and the Adopt-A-Stream Program.

Ontario Streams' staff and volunteer directors have also had the opportunity to engage with many experts and bring professionals in the environmental field together. We hosted River Rendezvous '97, and River Rendezvous 2001, two conferences that attracted hundreds of people to discuss the issues and research surrounding our rivers, streams and wetlands. We have been members of the Redside Dace Recovery Team, certified professionals in electrofishing and the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol, and produced Ontario's Stream Rehabilitation Manual, a resource that is still referenced thousands of times every year.

These great accomplishments would not have been possible without the hard work of our volunteers and employees. Thousands of volunteers have donated their time to support us in improving our environment by planting trees, removing invasive species, stocking native fish, rehabilitating our streams and wetlands, and removing plastic and other litter from our rivers and valleys. Working along side the volunteers, our staff are coordinating the projects, and working to improve our rivers, streams and wetlands throughout the year. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of employees that are just starting their career, and it is always rewarding to see them develop into young professionals and move on to advance their careers in the field.

As we celebrate our past accomplishments, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in helping Ontario Streams grow for the last 25 years, and invite you to work with us as we expand our rehabilitation projects and develop new partnership programs that will help rehabilitate Ontario's rivers, streams and wetlands in the future.

-Doug Forder

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