When the glaciers of the Wisconsin ice age retreated some 11,000 years ago they left the giant ridge of sediment we now know as the Oak Ridges Moraine. Southern Ontario was a bleak and chilly place.
Woolly Mammoths roamed the perimeter of giant lakes, many times larger than our current "Great Lakes". At this time, the Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) would have looked like arctic tundra, with only a few small coniferous trees and sparse vegetation able to grow in the stark rocky landscape.
The forests of the moraine grew and changed, ultimately evolving into a complex ecosystem that sustained a diversity of wildlife under a towering canopy of oaks, sugar maples, beech, and many other tree species.
The moraine has been shaped by the forces of nature and the forces of human occupation. What happens in the future will depend on understanding the past and by acting now to find a course of sustainability.