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Cootes Paradise - RBG North Shore

Cootes Paradise – RBG North Shore

Cootes Paradise has a diverse and long history. The original habitants of the area, known as Princess Point people, first established themselves between AD 500 to 1000 and it was not until the early 1700s that Europeans began to arrive and settle in the area. In the 1780's A British naval officer by the name of Captain Thomas Coote spent many days hunting the abundant water fowl that were present at the time. It was from this naval officer that Cootes Paradise got its name.

Established in 1927, Cootes Paradise sanctuary is significant as a migratory bird flyover zone and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Featuring over 320 hectares of marshland, 16 creeks and 25 km of shoreline, Cootes Paradise is RBGs largest and most diverse sanctuary. Cootes is also home to a thriving population of mute swans, Red Knots, Cormorants, Great Blue Herons and in recent years Bald Eagles who have made their home in Cootes Paradise.

The Sanctuary is stewarded and managed by the RBG and is often broken up into two major parts, the north and the south shore. The South shore of Cootes Paradise borders McMaster University. Several trails can be accessed from McMaster property and will take you down to the shores of the marsh and even into the harbour:

  • Arboretum: A trail hub and one of RBG's primary gardens, the Arboretum leafs into 10 KMs of trails as well as a vast collection of lilacs, magnolias and flowering plants and trees.
  • Burlington Heights: On the eastern edge of Cootes Paradise is Burlington Heights. This historic area is known for the bones of mammoths, giant sloth and giant beavers that were uncovered in the later 1800 - early 1900s during the construction of the railway.
  • Trail map Cootes Paradise map:

Cootes Paradise – RBG North Shore Location

Directions from McMaster University:

Please note not to Run or Bike on the trails along Cootes Paradise. To bike to destinations please use city road bike lanes or the Waterfront Trail.