Only 15 minutes north of the city, this delightful conservation center has three aquariums, more than 16 km (10 miles) of hiking trails through forest, meadow, river, and marshland, and a renewable-energy cottage that demonstrates what life would be like off the grid (interior tours first Saturday of every month at 11:30, 1:30, and 3 from February to October). In winter some of the trails are reserved for cross-country skiing (C$18 to use the trail; equipment rentals available).
In the magnificent woods there have been sightings of foxes, coyotes, rabbits, deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, chickadees, finches, and blue jays. Seasonal events include a dogsled race, a spring maple-syrup festival, and a Christmas crafts fair. Nature day camps and day-long energy conservation workshops are offered throughout the year for an extra fee. To get here, drive 3 km (2 miles) north along Highway 400, exit west at Major Mackenzie Drive, and continue south 1 km (½ mile) on Pine Valley Drive to the gate.