What We Do


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Since 1982, the Kortright Centre has been a centre of excellence in the field of sustainable technology.

Explore the 1.6-kilometre Innovation Trail and see Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Take your energy education one step further by taking part in one of our energy workshops and learn how to conserve energy and save money!

sustainability demonstration at Kortright Centre


The Kortright Centre is named after world-renowned outdoorsman, author and conservationist Francis H. Kortright.

Long before the environmental crisis became an issue of global concern, Kortright recognized the urgency and resolved to do something about it. He devoted the latter part of his life, his full attention and his abundant energies to the cause of protecting wild creatures of the fields, forests, waters and skies. In so doing, he created for all Canadians a legacy that will be appreciated by many generations to come.

Since the Kortright Centre opened, it has delivered unique environmental educational experiences to more than two million visitors.

Kortright Visitor Centre entrance


The Kortright Centre works with individuals and communities to accelerate the adoption of sustainable technologies and practices by providing educational programs, demonstrations and partnerships. The objectives:

  • To instill an awareness and appreciation of the natural world.
  • To develop an understanding of the relationships between healthy ecological systems and our lifestyles.
  • To demonstrate practical, relevant and leading-edge sustainable technologies and practices.
  • To motivate and support individuals, organizations, government and business to adopt sustainable options and actions.
  • To develop leaders, champions, projects and programs in the community that accelerate the transformation of the Toronto region into the most sustainable community in the world.

visitors tour Peregrine Barn at Kortright Centre




The Kortright Centre offers one of Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. Available activities include:

  • Participating in an intensive renewable energy workshop.
  • Taking a stroll on the Innovation Trail to watch the windmill and the wind turbine in action.
  • Viewing displays of solar shingles, hot water showers and water pumps.
  • Visiting the Archetype Sustainable Houses.

renewable energy demonstrations at Kortright Centre

The Innovation Trail

The 1.6-kilometre Innovation Trail features one of Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. These demonstrations provide the knowledge and inspiration that can help you make informed decisions about technology and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the natural environment.

Demonstrations along the trail include:

  • Eight kilowatts of grid-connected photovoltaic systems
  • 500 watts of remote photovoltaic systems
  • Canada’s first roof-mounted grid-connected photovoltaic system
  • Canada’s first solar shingle roof system
  • 120 watt solar water pumping system
  • 10 kilowatt grid connected wind turbine
  • 50 and 400 watt small wind turbines
  • Three solar hot water heating demonstrations


The Kortright Centre for Conservation provides a natural oasis in an region where farmer’s fields and woodlots are rapidly giving way to housing and commercial developments.

From forest to fields to wetlands, the property boasts a wide variety of habitats and natural features to explore.

Nature preservation and species conservation are important at the Kortright Centre. Please stay on the trails and boardwalks and keep dogs on leash at all times to assist us in maintaining high-quality habitat for the plants and animals that call Kortright home.

Bee Space Demonstration Gardens

In 2017, we renovated our bee hive observation building, nicknamed “The Bee Space,” to enhance the visitor experience.

teachers and students visit Bee Space at Kortright Centre

We are also adding bee-friendly demonstration gardens to teach visitors how they can enhance their yards and gardens with attractive native plants that provide nectar for bees and other pollinator species.

Planting for this ongoing project began in spring 2017 with a woodland flower garden. Future features will include a full sun garden, a wildflower meadow to provide nectar for our bees, and interpretive signs.


Ontario Trillium Foundation logo               York Region logo

Allan Foster Garden Project

The Allan Foster Garden is a 0.5-hectare meadowscape that is currently under restoration to create a pollinator garden with native wildflower demonstration gardens, wildlife habitat enhancements, an outdoor classroom, and a Story Walk™.

The project broke ground in Fall of 2016 and will be completed by the spring of 2018.

butterfly on black eyed susan

This garden project is named for Allan Foster, in honour of his contributions to the Kortright Centre during his 30-year career as supervisor of education.

An expert naturalist, botanist and storyteller, Allan called Kortright his home for many years, sharing his wealth of knowledge with countless visitors.


Ontario Trillium Foundation logo               York Region logo              Schad Foundation logo

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