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Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site

Left: Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site Entrance. Right top: Compass in the Children's Learning Area. Right middle: Garter Snake close to the quarry lake. Right bottom: Glenridge Quarry Pavillion. Photos: [Krystal McLeish].



The Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site is a great example of an area that is in harmony with both of its uses: conservation and recreation. Its large area and variety of trails is the perfect setting for a quick stroll, or an afternoon of fun and learning. This site has several facilities for a picnic as well as being a popular spot for bird/wildlife viewing and dog walking, especially around the quarry pond and boardwalk. The children's learning area is the perfect spot for families to learn about the natural environment together. The site even offers a connection with the Bruce Trail.


Some wonderful features of the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site are the educational opportunities it provides. Along each of the trails are signs describing the features and evolution of the park. Several of these include: Niagara Escarpment history, the children's science and nature area, wetland display and meadow habitat.


This site is located in Thorold just off of Highway 406 and east of the Brock University campus. It was originally a limestone quarry and then the City of St. Catharines took over, and from 1976 to 2001 it was the site of a municipal landfill. In the 1990s the Niagara Region decided that this site would be naturalized upon closing on January 1, 2002. During naturalization, efforts were made in the design of the site to ensure energy consumption was reduced and natural and building materials were reused and recycled. This naturalization site has been recognized by many awards including; First Place and Gold Award at the 2005 International Awards for Livable Communities, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Ontario Public Works Association and the Canadian Urban Institute.


In order to naturalize an area there should be no barriers to growth and reproduction of native species. There are several administrative barriers in the process of naturalization as well; what to restore, will it be similar to its original state and the surrounding community. The Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site was designed by creating a habitat similar to natural habitats in the area. Planners decided to restore the site with Carolinian vegetation creating a pollinator habitat and allowing wildlife to repopulate the area. With careful consideration this area was built around an educational and recreational path system. This way the site can focus on conservation while still providing an excellent resource for the surrounding community and its many visitors. This union of community and conservation is a barrier to naturalization but one that is necessary for this sites role in the community. Brock University's relationship with the site has led to extensive research in the area. Miriam Richards, a biology professor, has been studying bee populations, and found that up to 125 species of bees have returned to the site. This is a great conversational achievement and the site is now recognized as a naturalization success.


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TripClip Audio File

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Click to play or download Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site TripClip (mp3 format).


This destination is also part of the TripClip tour 'Touring Niagara's Naturalization Sites.' 



Dawn till Dusk



From Toronto:
1. Take the Queen Elizabeth Way West
2. Merge onto ON-403 W (20.8 km)
3. Slight left onto Queen Elizabeth Way (signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie) (51.5 km)
4. Take the exit onto ON-406 S toward Thorold/Welland/Port Colborne (11.3 km)
5. Take the Regional Road 71/Saint David's Road W exit (450 m)
6. Merge onto St David's Rd (250 m)

Destination is on the right

400 St David's Rd
Thorold, ON L2V 4Y6

From Fort Erie/Buffalo:

1. Take ON-420 West (1.4 km)
3. Take the Regional Road 20 exit (1.5 km)
4. Continue toward Montrose Rd/Regional Road 98 (270 m)
5. Turn right onto Montrose Rd/Regional Road 98 (signs for Montrose Road N) (2.0 km)
6. Turn left onto Thorold Stone Road (5.0 km)
7. Continue onto ON-58 N (signs for Thorold/Ontario 406) (3.1 km)
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Regional Road 71/Saint David's Road (1.4 km)
9. Turn left onto Regional Road 71/St David's Rd (80 m)

Destination is on the right

400 St David's Rd
Thorold, ON L2V 4Y6




The Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site was one of Ontario's first comprehensive "Green Sites'. The award winning planning of this naturalization site ensured efforts were made to reduce energy consumption, reuse natural materials and recycle building materials. 


The Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site is full of informational signs along the trails From the Children's Science and Nature Trail with signs about the Water Cycle to the Pond Boardwalk with signs about native wildlife to the entrance with information about how the site was naturalized, this site has seven trails for you to enjoy. 





Hourdequin, M., & Havlick, D. G. (2011). Ecological Restoration in Context: Ethics and the Naturalization of Former Military Lands. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 14(1), 69-89.


Niagara Region. (2012). Glenridge quarry naturalization site. Retrieved from http://www.niagararegion.ca/living/naturalization/gqns/default.aspx


Papastravrou, S. (2012). Niagara's natural park: The restoration of the Glenridge Quarry into a naturalization site. Policy Breif #4, Niagara Community Conservatory, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.brocku.ca/webfm_send/13789


Richardson, D. M., Pysek, P., Rejmanek, M., Barbour, M., Panetta, D., & West, C. J. (2000). Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: Concepts and definitions. Diversity and Distributions, 6(2), 93-107. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1472-4642.2000.00083.x/abstract

Ownership & Management

Niagara Region


Free daytime parking

Portable toilet


400 St David's Rd
Thorold, Ontario
L2V 4Y6 Municipality Thorold



GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.118994
Longitude -79.237825
UTM easting 643356.0204356438
UTM northing 4775536.080329379


Niagara Region
2201 St. David's Rd.
Thorold, Ontario
L2V 4T7
Tel 905-685-1571
Toll free 1-800-263-7215
Website niagararegion.ca

Trail length 

Meadow Trail - 0.6 km Children's Science & Nature Trail - 0.3 km Loop Trail - 0.3 km Pond Boardwalk - 0.1 km Heritage Arbouretum Trails - 0.4 km Bruce Trail Link - 0.3 km Summit Overlook Trail - 0.5 km

Trail linkages 

Bruce Trail

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