Project Vision

The 500-Year Forest

Endless forests once covered southern Ontario in a tapestry of maples, oaks, elms and cedars. Today, much of that old growth has disappeared, replaced by urban sprawl. The Ignatius Old-Growth Forest, the 500-year project, will bring a piece of that original forest back to life on the grounds of Ignatius Jesuit Centre, just north of Guelph's city limits.

The Old-Growth Forest Project will protect 40 hectares of land.  Benefiting both community and our local ecosystem, our project will provide:

  • Habitat for a rich diversity of wildlife and peaceful backdrop a pristine Speed River.
  • Corridors of forest connecting the Ignatius site to other natural landscapes in the region.
  • An inspiring setting for spiritual development and ecological learning.

We'll watch this 500-year progress starting now, as planting plans are realized, and pioneering plants give way to mature forest development.

Project Goals

Restore, Preserve and Protect
  • Create the conditions for the development of a permanent old-growth forest ecosystem on the land of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre located north of Guelph.
  • Experiment in appropriate ecological restoration in an urban environment.
  • Incorporate the land’s historical ecological makeup and anticipated future environmental changes (like climate change) in the ecological restoration work.
  • Inspire connective ecological restoration in the region.
  • Engage the community in a long-term (500 years) project that seeks to re-establish links between nature and settled environments.
  • Use the project as a means for spiritual development and ecological education guided by Ignatian spiritual values.
  • Identify and protect the significant historic and cultural elements found on the subject lands, for purposes of education, information and interest.